While applying for my first job, I only focused on two things: the name of the employer and the position title.
I must admit, I was very choosy and immature then. I didn’t want to apply for a clerical position.
Let me make this clear: I have nothing against clerical work and I respect all those who hold this kind of job. But maybe because of my academic background, I had this preconceived notion that I should aspire for a higher position. (wrong, wrong!)
So when I was offered a job by a top food manufacturing company and my position title was Labor Relations Assistant, I accepted it. The salary offer was lower than I had hoped for, but I was satisfied with the job title and the Company that I will be working for.
But a year after, I accidentally discovered that my Labor Relations Assistant title was, in fact, equal to that of an HR Clerk in terms of job grade.
After avoiding lots of similar positions before, it turned out that I still got hired for a clerical job. Haha.
I was surprised, but was not disappointed. I guess I had known it all along, given the kind of tasks being assigned to me during my first few months.
I was more amused thinking that my boss went all his way to lobby for a better-sounding position title, just so he could offer me the job. Wow, haba ng hair ko! He probably knew I won’t accept it outright had I known it was a clerical post, and well, he was right. Good foresight!
(In case my former Boss is reading this now, I want you to know that I have forgiven you for this “misinformation” and I still have the utmost respect for you. Hehehe!)
It didn’t take long before I got promoted to a higher job grade, and was given more challenging responsibilities year after year. That clerical position opened new and exciting doors for me. The experience was really good. I wouldn’t change a thing. No regrets, whatsoever.
So what’s the moral of the story? Don’t get fixated on the job title alone.
You might think I learned my lesson after that incident. Well… not quite.
I have been invited to enter the life insurance industry a few times after that, but again, I had issues with the title “insurance agent.” Agent na nga, insurance pa. Double whammy!
It’s because here in our country, a lot of people are still allergic to the word insurance. There’s also a certain stigma connected to being an agent that makes other people avoid agents like a plague.
So what made me agree to join this industry?
A small part of the reason was because insurance agents can now be called Financial Advisors. However, that’s not always the case. I’ll explain this further in another blog post.
The idea of being called a Financial Advisor was more enticing than be called an insurance agent, so I agreed to undergo the whole process of becoming one, and the rest is history.
By being labelled as a Financial Advisor, did I get to escape the stigma of being an agent?
No. Not entirely.
A Different Perspective
But rather than feeling bad about it, I chose to change my perspective about agents.
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines agent as “a person who does business for another person; a person who acts on behalf of another.”
Do I do business for another person? Check.
I do business on behalf of a financial institution.
Merriam-Webster also defines agent as “a person or thing that causes something to happen.”
As a Financial Advisor, I help my clients achieve their financial goals. Big check!
Even with the prestige of being called a Financial Advisor, at the end of the day, I am still an agent.
That is why I decided to name this blog site as Touched by an Agent, and not Touched by an Advisor.
I realized that if I want to stay in this industry, I have to embrace my role as an agent and not focus on the title so much.
I hope that through my blogs, I can also inspire others to look beyond the position title of an Agent and appreciate the kind of work that agents do. Who knows what kind of blessing agents like me can bring into your life.
It’s worth a try.