Cambodia, Expat, lifestyle, Personal, Phnom Penh

Not just my card.

Personal

I’d like to take a moment and share an MBA, a Mischke Business announcement: just because I currently work in the insurance field does not mean my sole interests lie in Death and Disablement, Medivac, Benefit Tables, and taking your money for reasons many believe aren’t necessary.

It seems that at least once a week when I hand my business card to someone, regardless of whether we’ve met or not, they look up and say “are you serious? You’re in insurance?” or “that is not the right place for you”. It’s far less interesting than the Ivy League, jealousy-charged moments between Bateman and co. at Pierce & Pierce when exchanging cards (“Oh god…it even has a watermark…”)- but first of all, let’s go over a little common courtesy. Just because I was the editor and writer for a fashion and lifestyle publication for the past year and the manager and buyer for a boutique and skate shop prior does not mean I should or shouldn’t be doing something in a different field. Would you ever say “oh you’re really not right for that position” to a nurse turned hair dresser? To an interior designer to turned paralegal? It’s rather rude, short-sighted, and above all- my decision. Who knows, I may be writing up your next quotation (which I would love to do, so get at me).

When asked why I decided to leave my old post writing about lip gloss, the current fitness crazes, and what designers celebrities wore to the most recent red carpet event I tell the truth: I wanted change, I wanted to learn things in new areas, I wanted freedom in different areas, and I didn’t want to become stagnant. People are quick to assume that just because I enjoy shopping and styling, have a large wardrobe, co-own a jewelry line, and have an affinity for skin care and makeup means that if something is outside of my “interest” bracket, it must be wrong for me.

To clear up some questions or negate statements that I’ve been inundated with recently, I have a few reasons in why I now hold the title of “Employee Benefits and Medi+ Specialist”.

1. Creating my own ‘social study’ has been increasingly compelling as I continue to meet a growing list of potential clients. Seeing some of the massive international companies not caring much (or at all) for their employee’s safety and health and being unwilling to cover the most basic of health plans, getting to explain that there is such a thing as employee benefits to HR officers to their excitement and/or surprise, and then witnessing the reactions of people when the realize what they’re not getting, why they should be getting it, and that it’s possible- from Cambodia, in Cambodia. It’s also interesting and promising to speak with owners of companies who do want to give more to their employees, who value their staff and want to live up to international standards when it comes to living and appreciating their work force, regardless of the size of their company.

2. My overseers and bosses respect that I have a creative side, urge me to tap into it, and push me towards new things and flexing the right side of my brain. They admire TEMPER, they give me feedback on ideas or possible ventures, they’re constantly thinking themselves of different ways to work within the market on different projects. I can be open to tell them about freelancing jobs, curating new lines, my blogs, crafting new designs, and doing photo shoots without shade getting thrown. If it’s not taking away from my daily work and goals- why should I be held back? They don’t put me in any sort of labeled box making me an “insurance salesperson”- and wouldn’t want that for themselves either. I truly enjoy their company and respect their insights.

3. I am taken care of well. There’s not much else to say about that. The company happily treats their team fairly and honorably with class. One of the benefits of being in benefits.

4. I’m on a constant learning curve. Since I never had a strong desire to go through the rigidity of typical and standardized education, I jumped into the workforce far before I decided that college wasn’t going to factor into my future any time soon. Now that I’m working on projects that require specialized education on a certain level (specific knowledge, which is provided for loyal employees) I am constantly learning about products, procedures, terminology, the market, people, portrayal, and sales. This is the type of environment I have the potential to thrive in. Lectures and training sessions, not so much- on the ground running myself? I’ll take it.

5. There doesn’t seem to be a ceiling, glass or…whatever it is that most ceilings are made of. I’m a green mango here, meaning I don’t know much about a lot of things and a little about a few things- but one thing I am quite certain of is that in this business you can keep on moving up and up and up. If I choose to make this a career path, it’s possible. I’ve seen it done by successful women and men all around the world who end up creating their own schedules, doing well financially, and having the option to maintain a family and household. This experience is putting me in an ideal place if I decide it’s something I want to carry on with. Expanding your resources is never a bad thing.

In short, I may be someone in a vast sea of insurance- but I’m also doing a lot more than that. Look past my business card(s) and speak with me, get to know me. Go even further than that and do the same for all the rest of the people you meet at networking events. I may be able to get you some awesome coverage on your Lexus, but I can also do a helluva lot more than that. Want me to help consult on your startup business plan? Teach you how to apply false lashes? Read your next article? Freelance model for your upcoming campaign? Sit down with you for coffee and lend an ear for your problems (this one I have limits on- I will only listen to you about your ex from four years ago for…27 minutes)? Help you sort and organize your wardrobe? Prop style your entire apartment under $100? Look me in the eye and tell me again that “I shouldn’t be in this industry”– every decision is stepping stone, let me bound onto this one without your idea of where I should be utilizing my skills.

Please, and thank you!

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