06 Oct 2020
Is it a must to declare that you are an insurance agent to your full time job or is there any conflicts of interest? I am a fresh grad considering to do both at the same time and was wondering if anyone could offer advice regarding it thank you!
I'm guessing you're asking this question because you're experiencing reduced working hours at your full-time job due to COVID-19 and want to supplement your income?
I can't answer the insurance agent part well because I'm not in the industry. But what I do know about employment in Singapore is that whether you can moonlight or not, depends on your employment contract.
However, from what my friends have shared with me (as well as my personal experience with agents), being an insurance agent means you have targets to meet. And it's not really responsible being a part-time agent because after you sell whatever insurance package to your clients, it's your job to follow-up with them, do periodic check-ins, help them process their claims... you get the picture. And if you get into the financial planning part, reassess their financial situations, give advice, and be there for them as part of your service.
Technically, you can just sell your plans, get your cut of the premiums, and disappear from their lives. But that wouldn't be very responsible wouldn't it?
And since you want to do this part-time, you might find yourself in a situation (not now, but in the future) where your full-time job (plus any other commitments eg. a kid or family) becomes too much for you to handle and you have to give up your clients. That means transferring them to another agent who may or may not have their interests at heart.
Frankly, it's a business that is based on trust. Building trust and reputation takes time, so whenever I have friends who ask me if they should become an insurance agent. I caution that they should consider this as a legit full-time occupation and NOT treat it as a temporary job because YOU are responsible for your clients' (and their dependants') lives and financial well-being. Even though, yes, they should exercise discretion before buying anything from you. But c'mon... They wouldn't know better, yes?
I'm not saying that this is what you'll do, but there are bad apples who have done this without considering the future of their clients and they've inevitably given the industry a bad name.
But if you actually enjoy being an agent and eventually decide to make it a full-time thing instead. Then good on you.
That aside, in light of the COVID-19 situation, if you're looking for alternatives to make up for lost income. MOM has urged ALL employers to waive contractual prohibitions where possible, and I've detailed that in this article.
This is to help employees make up for lost income and help them mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihood.
However, you have to ensure that you can take on both jobs without compromising the interests of both employers.
And you have to be transparent with regard to the requirements of both jobs to both of your employers.
With so many support grants and upskilling initiatives being launched by the Government, you might also find that your first employer might want to send you for further training during this period especially if you're experiencing reduced work hours (read: pay cut).
So that might cut into the time you'd want to spend working your second job as an insurance agent. To get around this, you'll want to talk to both of your employers and figure out what's the best way to deconflict your work schedule and responsibilities (or conflicts of interest, if any).
Alternatively, you might want to consider looking at options under the SGUnited Traineeships Programme. Look for part-time or temporary positions which allow you to pick up relevant skills in the industry which you want to develop your career in. Whether that's the insurance industry or not - it could be underwriting and etc.
For eg. if you're a programmer. Then you might want to seek a part-time traineeship in a tech start-up or data science related company to build more skills, make yourself even more relevant, or train yourself in cross-disciplines to become more versatile. You have the time and energy now as a fresh grad so make full use of your time to do something for your future.
The best part of this?
You get paid a training allowance as well. So this way you're supplementing your lost income from your first job while learning and upgrading yourself.
Hope this helps!
From what I know, currently regulations have only gotten stricter. From my time, its was in transiti...
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