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Entry Level Jobs

Discuss about getting a well paid job or career advancement. Ask about salaries, expat packages, CPF & taxes for expatriate.

victorplusone
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Entry Level Jobs

Postby victorplusone » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 11:04 am

Does anyone else find it hard to get a good entry level job in sg nowadays ? I graduated from a top 15 US university with an honors degree but have been unemployed for half a year. Been constantly sending resumes in to sites like recruitexpress and jobsdb, looking for engineering sales - related jobs , but i never get any replies.

The only interviews i get seem to be those for insurance agents. I believe this is because 1) barrier to entry for insurance agent is non-existent - anyone can do it, there are no special skills involved 2) insurance companies always need new agents to feed the machine - turnover rate is high because new recruits realize after a few years you dont really learn anything there - u are just repeating the same pitch to customers over and over like a robot 3) New guys are easily lured by the promise of fast money - ive been to quite a few interviews and the managers all use the same pitch - u can make this amount after 1 year, double that after 3 years with passive income etc etc.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 11:49 am

Are you local or foreign?

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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Postby carlsum1986 » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 12:22 pm

victorplusone wrote:New guys are easily lured by the promise of fast money - ive been to quite a few interviews and the managers all use the same pitch - u can make this amount after 1 year, double that after 3 years with passive income etc etc.


why does this sound like mlm?is the insurance industry similar to mlm?

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 1:46 pm

To start, I'm in the financial sector but not in the sales area.

I would disagree that there is no or low barrier to entry for insurance field. You need to pass at least 3-5 tests (and nope, they are not that easy) followed by a wait of 2-3 months before you are granted a license by the regulator. This exclude all the extensive background checks that most companies have to conduct.

With the mini-bond saga, the regulator has taken a stricter stand/position to ensure that the industry recruit and keep the right people. In reality, many people quit or "resign" because they can't meet the growing target or they were reprimanded for misconduct (have to get out of the industry). In fact, many people left the industry because it is getting extremely regulated, i.e. if you don't work really hard, you won't be able to survive. Plus, you cannot make any mistake at all. A mistake committed in a company is reported to the regulator, and will follow you when you changed organization.

With regards to the income, this is because the insurance agent's commission is paid over 4-5 years (depending on the product that is sold). This is to screen out the fly-by-night agents who are only interested in making a quick buck. In addition, the incomes is based on the expectations that you have a growing "business", hence its entirely different from MLM.

I am sure that manager did not highlight this side of the story to you, because he is interested to recruit you.

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Postby victorplusone » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 2:24 pm

I see, thanks for the info Girl_Next_Door. What about career path for an insurance agent - do agents jump into corporate sales / management after a few years or continue selling insurance forever? To be honest, insurance doesnt seem like a scalable type of business - i mean, how much can 1 person make selling insurance , 20mil, 30 mil? Are there very rich agents around ?

victor

Girl_Next_Door wrote:To start, I'm in the financial sector but not in the sales area.

I would disagree that there is no or low barrier to entry for insurance field. You need to pass at least 3-5 tests (and nope, they are not that easy) followed by a wait of 2-3 months before you are granted a license by the regulator. This exclude all the extensive background checks that most companies have to conduct.

With the mini-bond saga, the regulator has taken a stricter stand/position to ensure that the industry recruit and keep the right people. In reality, many people quit or "resign" because they can't meet the growing target or they were reprimanded for misconduct (have to get out of the industry). In fact, many people left the industry because it is getting extremely regulated, i.e. if you don't work really hard, you won't be able to survive. Plus, you cannot make any mistake at all. A mistake committed in a company is reported to the regulator, and will follow you when you changed organization.

With regards to the income, this is because the insurance agent's commission is paid over 4-5 years (depending on the product that is sold). This is to screen out the fly-by-night agents who are only interested in making a quick buck. In addition, the incomes is based on the expectations that you have a growing "business", hence its entirely different from MLM.

I am sure that manager did not highlight this side of the story to you, because he is interested to recruit you.

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 3:28 pm

For insurance agent, if you stay with the insurance company, you can potentially be promoted/appointed to be a manager (i.e. managing a team of insurance agents) after 2 years (minimum). Of course, a good insurance agent doesn't make you a good manager. Likewise, a good manager, is not always the person who is top in sales. If you watch soccer, you will know the same principle applies in coach and soccer players.

As a manager, you are eligible for over-writing over your team. The percentage is very little, but if you have a big team of productive agents, the actual amount can be substantial, over the years.

When you ask, how much can 1 person make selling insuance? It depends on how successful you are, and the type of customers you have. If your main clientele is retail clients (i.e. man on the streets), then you would need to work extremely hard. If your main clientele is private clients, then its a different ballgame right?

In Sg, several Mediacorp actors/actresses are part-time agents with different insurance companies. I have also seen a top Taiwanese tv host quiting her job, to be a full-time insurance agent in Sg. There are insurance agents who take bus to work but there are a few who drive a posche/jaguar/bmw/merc s-class as well. The minimum entry educational requirement is 4 'O' levels, but there are PHD holders who work as an insurance agents as well.

For sales line, there is never a fixed career path. The thing is, if you are so successful in sales, you are usually very relectant to move into a management position, simply because the commission plus flexibility you are receiving is so much to give up, for a fixed salary.

But yes, there are insurance agents who made it to management position. Without giving specific names, the ex-GM of AIA Singapore used to be an insurance agent back in US before he was moved to work in the corporate and subsequently posted to SEA. Now, he is posted in another country. I am sure there are numerous such stories in other insurance companies.

With the development of the financial sector, many insurance agents are moving to work in banks and/or independent financial planning companies as alternate career path.

If you are really good and have a good clientele of customers, you can move into private banking as well, and be a private banker. Insurance agent is just a starting point, and the ending point, is what you can make out of it, right?

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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Postby beppi » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 4:17 pm

carlsum1986 wrote:why does this sound like mlm?is the insurance industry similar to mlm?


Similar?!? The insurance agents industry IS multi level marketing!

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Postby Girl_Next_Door » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 5:18 pm

Forgot to mention. In this industry, you will meet exceptionally more idiots who knows absolutely nothing but think that they know everything and love to give an opinion.

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Postby victorplusone » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 6:00 pm

Girl_Next_Door wrote:For insurance agent, if you stay with the insurance company, you can potentially be promoted/appointed to be a manager (i.e. managing a team of insurance agents) after 2 years (minimum). Of course, a good insurance agent doesn't make you a good manager. Likewise, a good manager, is not always the person who is top in sales. If you watch soccer, you will know the same principle applies in coach and soccer players.

As a manager, you are eligible for over-writing over your team. The percentage is very little, but if you have a big team of productive agents, the actual amount can be substantial, over the years.

When you ask, how much can 1 person make selling insuance? It depends on how successful you are, and the type of customers you have. If your main clientele is retail clients (i.e. man on the streets), then you would need to work extremely hard. If your main clientele is private clients, then its a different ballgame right?

In Sg, several Mediacorp actors/actresses are part-time agents with different insurance companies. I have also seen a top Taiwanese tv host quiting her job, to be a full-time insurance agent in Sg. There are insurance agents who take bus to work but there are a few who drive a posche/jaguar/bmw/merc s-class as well. The minimum entry educational requirement is 4 'O' levels, but there are PHD holders who work as an insurance agents as well.

For sales line, there is never a fixed career path. The thing is, if you are so successful in sales, you are usually very relectant to move into a management position, simply because the commission plus flexibility you are receiving is so much to give up, for a fixed salary.

But yes, there are insurance agents who made it to management position. Without giving specific names, the ex-GM of AIA Singapore used to be an insurance agent back in US before he was moved to work in the corporate and subsequently posted to SEA. Now, he is posted in another country. I am sure there are numerous such stories in other insurance companies.

With the development of the financial sector, many insurance agents are moving to work in banks and/or independent financial planning companies as alternate career path.

If you are really good and have a good clientele of customers, you can move into private banking as well, and be a private banker. Insurance agent is just a starting point, and the ending point, is what you can make out of it, right?


I see, thanks for your detailed reply ... selling insurance doesnt sound so cheesy now .

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Postby Nath21 » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 6:17 pm

I work for an insurance company and we are hiring flat out and cant fill positions both with our direct sales force (salaried positions with leads) and are agents FA/ banks etc who we place and they get no help from us on leads (do if from the bank) and are on commissions. As stated before cant find people who have passed there exams. High performers pull 400k-1.5m usually and our salaried staff earn much less salary plus bonuses. Usually $50-150k with very high performers probably pulling close to 200k.

But getting back to your employment issue. What was your degree, what jobs are you applying for and are you actually eligible to work in SG?

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Postby victorplusone » Tue, 31 Aug 2010 6:30 pm

Nath21 wrote:I work for an insurance company and we are hiring flat out and cant fill positions both with our direct sales force (salaried positions with leads) and are agents FA/ banks etc who we place and they get no help from us on leads (do if from the bank) and are on commissions. As stated before cant find people who have passed there exams. High performers pull 400k-1.5m usually and our salaried staff earn much less salary plus bonuses. Usually $50-150k with very high performers probably pulling close to 200k.

But getting back to your employment issue. What was your degree, what jobs are you applying for and are you actually eligible to work in SG?


Nath21, i am a local but studied in the states. Degree was engineering, currently applying for engineering sales jobs. I have some experience, doing sales , call colds etc at 2 startups .. so i thought would be good to go into engineering sales, leverage on my degree. But it seems like most call i get are from insurance companies.

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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Postby victorplusone » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 1:57 pm

beppi wrote:
carlsum1986 wrote:why does this sound like mlm?is the insurance industry similar to mlm?


Similar?!? The insurance agents industry IS multi level marketing!


Well ... i guess there are similarities in how your manager sucks a percentage from you in both insurance and mlm (property agent too). Usually direct sales - related jobs are structured that way.

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Re: Entry Level Jobs

Postby Girl_Next_Door » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 3:07 pm

victorplusone wrote:
beppi wrote:
carlsum1986 wrote:why does this sound like mlm?is the insurance industry similar to mlm?


Similar?!? The insurance agents industry IS multi level marketing!


Well ... i guess there are similarities in how your manager sucks a percentage from you in both insurance and mlm (property agent too). Usually direct sales - related jobs are structured that way.


Personally, I think insurance (I'm not familiar how property sector is like) and banking sector's sales job are the most transparent. Everyone know the standard commission and the manager's over-writing percentage. There is no secret about it. In most position, remuneration is a very sensitive subject whereby you are not allowed to share.

To be and remain manager in the insurance industry, it takes quite a bit of hard work. I have seen and met many manager who decided to step down to do sales, simply because the over-writing is not enough to justify the quantity of work they have to do. By staying in sales, they earn alot more, and yes, it can be in millions if you are fantastically good.

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Postby victorplusone » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 8:08 pm

Seems like might be a good career choice to consider ... For the average sg guy without family connections to money, this seems like one of the ways to escape slaving away at a desk job for a few thousand dollars a month for several years

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 02 Sep 2010 11:01 pm

There's the windup, an now for the pitch! :-|


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