August is back to school for most of the kiddos; however, August is back to work for me.
I have been at Texans Insurance Group, formerly Curley Insurance Group, for a little over five years (five years this past July 11 to be exact). Being employed at Texans has been like riding a roller coaster over the years. The agency has gone from changing ownership, to changing names, to changing locations and offices, to changing policies and procedures, and now back to changing ownership again. The agency is up for sale and the purchase will take place any day now as all of the potential buyers have done their due diligence and are now in the final phases of submitting their offer and intentions. While I had fully intended to ride the wave even as things seem to diminish, I was approached by a past co-worker in regards to a position opening up in her agency. A position that only I came to her mind as the perfect candidate. I went on an interview which ended in a very positive note in all areas; I had a feeling that the job was in the bag.
Meanwhile, two days later, my immediate boss turned in her two weeks notice. This rocked my world as I was also contemplating leaving the agency (pending I would get an offer from the other agency soon). My boss turning in her notice came a complete shock to me. I thought she would be riding the wave with me at Texans, and she actually one of the main reasons I never wanted to leave Texans. Also, with her being my mentor, I had sad feelings about separating from her and the department that we created. All good things must come to an end, and I needed to accept the fact that my boss and I would not be working together forever anyway. She was offered a position at a top, national (and international) agency; it is where most young professionals in our industry strive to work for, so she definitely needed to take the opportunity.
In the midst of all of this, our upper management team met with me on taking over my boss's responsibilities and mentioned that I have the potential to take over her position and manage our department after the sale takes place (depending on the buyer). However, there were no guarantees and nothing could be placed in writing. Do I stick around through the sale while working overtime to satisfy mine and my former boss's accounts not knowing what really lies for me in the future, or do I turn my back and walk away...leaving it all behind me...giving myself a fresh start at another agency?
As I am sure you assumed, I did get the offer from the other agency. I contemplated on both opportunities. I made several lists of pros and cons. I analyzed all of the "what ifs" by staying at Texans as well as the offer from the other agency that was laid in my hand. I got advice from all areas and several people.... I asked many, many questions.... I tried to envision myself at both places a year from now.... I prayed to the good Lord.... And I went to a lecture led by Ron Reynolds. Ron made a few comments that really hit home. He said that you are not going to get anywhere in life if you continue to sit comfortably. You have to go out and take a risk in order to gain. You have to move yourself and make things happen. This was the final piece to all of this mind and soul searching I was doing. I then decided to take the job opportunity at the new agency.
Once I made this decision and turned in my two weeks notice, I never looked back. My only concerns were leaving my long time customers along with friends and family I had written accounts for and serviced over the years, as I have a non-compete clause stating I cannot solicit their business for two years. Besides that and leaving our department short staffed with two people, I did feel slightly unsettling, but after informing them of my decision, I finally felt a freedom and self-worth that I have not felt in long time.
I took a long weekend break from work. Mark, my sister, and I took a mini-vacation with my parents to El Campo and Port Lavaca for a wedding. I'll post on that later. My last day at Texans was last Thursday and today was my first day of work at the new agency. Boy did I forget what it felt like to be the new kid on the block (at Texans, I was one of the last men standing).
Even though I am doing the same line of work, today was like my first day at school. Everything is so new and there are so many new faces to learn. I was sent home with homework (procedures manuals and paperwork to review and fill out). There are several people I need to meet with this week in order to familiarize myself with their accounts. I already have prospects coming to me that need quotes. There are new carriers I have to get to know. It is all so exciting but slightly overwhelming. So much for being comfortable.
I guess I can go ahead and tell you the name of it my new agency: TexCap-Concord Insurance Services. It still feels funny saying that. Everyone is so welcoming and friendly. I know they are truly happy to have me on board. I know I will eventually be comfortable at this new agency, and I know that I am already valued. I look forward to this next chapter in my life and wish the same "back to school excitement" for you whether it be from a new venture, an addition to the family, or even a small, personal change.