1) What a full time job is.
Before starting at Service First Insurance in July 2011, I had never had a full time job. It was not easy accepting that I had to get up every morning Monday-Friday and if I didn't want to- Welp, too bad. It's a job, not a vacation. It's called "work" for a reason. Go figure!
2) "It is what it is".
This phrase was spoken at least once a week in our office. I am the type of person who takes things (especially work related things) really seriously. When something went wrong or I messed something up, I would usually get pretty upset. Cue walking in to Rick's office on the verge of tears and him saying, "It is what it is". And he was usually right. Whatever it was, it worked out and everything turned out okay!
3) Don't take it personally.
Working in any customer service position, there are times the customer, or insured, is not happy. Whether it's a premium going up thanks to a claim, a late fee, or "my neighbor's insurance is much cheaper!", I talked to some unhappy people. I've been called names, screamed at, cried at, it was an interesting position to be in. There were so many times I wanted to say, "Sir, I did not increase your insurance premium". However, I was the first contact. I was the one who answered the phone and was a real live person he/she could talk to. Once I learned to stop taking things so personally I made for a much better customer service representative.
4) Experience is everything.
I do have a VA insurance agent license. I had a big book that I studied and studied and studied. I learned nothing from that book. I learned more from Vickie, Rene, and Rick on a daily basis than I could have ever got from studying for the insurance licensing exam. Their experience and knowledge about insurance was what taught me about the field. All of the funny/ tricky things insurance has to offer, between the three if them, there was always an answer.
5) Not everyone has a "First Grown Up Job" nightmare tale.
It wasn't always a walk in the park, or a field of flowers, but as a whole, my first "real world" job experience was wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better boss or coworkers. I feel like we became a sort of work family. Not in a cheesy, "Let's all have a movie night and go out to dinner every month" sort of way, but in a real way. I spent the majority of my time for the past three years with these people and they were there to listen to my heartbreaks, family venting, and when I really screwed up, they were there to let me know how much they cared.