In part one of our two-part series about being an insurance agent in Singapore, we talked about managing salary expectations for people entering the insurance advisory space. In today’s article, we are going to focus about the working hours that new agents should expect.
How Many Hours Should New Agents Expect To Work?
During recruitment, agents are told that working hours are flexible as agents have full control over their time. This gives some agents the impression that they would be able to work whenever they want, similar to how some freelancers are able to work as and when they like.
Despite the promise of flexible working hours, most agents do not enjoy as much freedom as what they may be led to expect. Here’s why.
# 1 Flexible Long Working Hours
In Singapore, flexible working hours are generally just a nicer way of saying that you are probably going to work more hours than the regular 9am-6pm.
The same can be said for new agents joining the industry. In one way, working hours are indeed flexible, since most agencies are not rigid about official working hours (remember, they don’t pay you a fixed salary for coming into the office).
At the same time, having flexible working hours doesn’t mean working shorter hours. An ex-insurance agent shared with us how a typical weekday schedule looks like for him.
|930am – 1130am
|Close cases, complete paperwork for clients
|12pm – 2pm
|2pm – 530pm
|Insurance planning for clients, more paper work, appointments (if any)
|6pm – 9pm
|Dinner appointment or phone calls to schedule appointments for the week (usually on Monday)
On average, working hours are about 9 – 11 hours each day, depending on whether or not there is an evening appointment. The reason for the long working hours is due to the fact that agents need to plan their schedule around the availability of their clients, or potential clients. That usually means dinner or even post-dinner appointments, thus stretching working hours late into the night for many agents.
Even for those that do not have appointments for the night, the time would still be best used for something work related – such as the dreaded cold call. Weekday nights usually provide the most ideal (or rather, the least disruptive) time to prospect for new clients via telephone calls.
The best time to meet clients is typically the weekends. That’s when most working adults have time to catch up non work-related matters.
As such, working on weekends is common for agents. Whether it is meeting a potential client for a meeting, having a review session with an existing client, or joining a roadshow at the shopping mall to generate more leads, most of these activities would occur during the weekends.
Be Prepared For Long (And Odd) Working Hours
To be fair, most agents who we know off do have flexible working hours in the sense that they are able to manage their own schedule to take into account any personal matters that they need to attend to.
At the same time, this flexibility also comes with it a price. And that price is in the form of long working hours, which includes working on weekends and odd timings such as over lunch and dinner, and even at times, holidays. Agents need to be mentally prepared for these working hours, and to also remember that unlike what some recruiters may want them to believe, hardwork in the form of long working hours may not always translate into success all the time.
Are you an agent or an ex-agent who have similar experiences to share? Or are your experiences vastly different from what we have written about? Join the open Insurance Discussion SG Facebook Group to share your experiences with other Singaporeans.