“You me to buy something I can’t see or touch? Something that’s only on paper?”
For Bernice, insurance was never something important to have or even a career option. It was an intangible object. After all, what value can a piece of paper hold?
However, that all changed when the company her dad was working for decided to withdraw the benefits given to the employees. “My dad’s company provided medical coverage for the spouse and child, as long as they are below 18,” shares Bernice Hon, 27.
She understood then that companies can give you the coverage but it can also be taken away from you at any time.
Despite knowing about the downside, she still went about without any insurance. Upon entering college, she found herself saving up for a variety of things – tuition fees, movie outings, nasi lemak, Starbucks and let’s not forget the printing expenses we incur during our assignment periods.
Once she completed her degree in financial accounting and starting working in one of the big accounting firms in Malaysia, she started to put a small part of her savings aside for insurance.
Little did she know, that’s not the last of her contact with insurance. “I thought I was feeling great. This seemed like the right pathway and I’m at a place I should be in,” says Bernice.
But after almost two years being in the industry – the job, the environment and the lifestyle wasn’t what she expected. Bernice was looking for work life balance having time for friends, family and most importantly, time for herself. Hence the decision to leave this industry.
That also happened to coincide with the birth of her first child at 25. However, she wasn’t fuelled by money or the desire to be a stay-at-home mum. “I did it because I didn’t want to live my life fulfilling someone else’s dream. Which was I was doing at work,” she adds.
Note: Bernice got insurance for her baby girl as soon as she was 30-days-old. She believed that it was better to transfer the risk to the insurance company as soon as possible.
Her venture into the insurance industry however, is the total opposite. Bernice loves how she’s guided by setting her own dreams and goals. “We are focused on our own dreams and targets in life. Besides this, I am glad to be in the industry that I assist people around me to protect what they have and then help them to create what they want.”
She admits that it’s still tough to approach people at times. “I may know the importance of having sufficient insurance coverage. It’s not so easy transferring knowledge and trying to change the mind-set of the person sitting across from me.” Bernice acknowledges that this is an industry where one shouldn’t be afraid of rejections.
Many people worry about running out of people to meet and that’s what went through her mind too. “In this industry, it’s all about meeting people and servicing people. As long as you provide a good service then eventually people recommend you to their friends and family,” she adds.
“As long as you don’t lock yourself up at home, you will definitely meet people and that’s where you get to replenish the deck of cards in your hands.”