Join 3,433 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


What are the pros/cons of working for Aflac?
September 25, 2006 6:54 PM   Subscribe

What are the pros/cons of working for Aflac? I was recently recruited for one of their sales/representative positions. Does anyone out there have any experience either working for the company or as a policy holder? Good/bad? Is this a telemarketing thing? I have not accepted the position yet or started their training process. I need the meta to help me. . .
posted by whimsicalnymph to Work & Money (9 answers total)
 
Good company. Good product, for some. It's insurance. It's also kind of multi-level marketing, if I understand it correctly. I DID go to one of their introductory meetings. It's sales. Not for me.
posted by JamesMessick at 7:24 PM on September 25, 2006


I work for one of the large insurance companies, but have never worked for Aflac -- so take this as hearsay. I know someone else who works with me who did the Aflac thing, and what I was told was that it is basically a "let's hire as many people as possible, and maybe we'll get lucky with 1 or 2" type of situation. She advised me that she was given almost no training whatsoever.

She did say, quote "It's not a bad job..." Not exactly the way I'd want someone to describe my future job.

Here's my advise: Allstate, State Farm, Shelter, (etc.) are all looking for agent staff in all markets. You're better of going for a position that is less based on sales, and more based on stable production. On the flip side, most of the agents with these companies look for people with at least a small amount of actual insurance experience.

Do you already have insurance with one of these companies mentioned above? If so, get your insurance licenses and then contact your agent. Ask him/her about how to get into the business or if he or she is looking for staff.

If you don't have one of them as your insurance company already, then try contacting a nearby agent at one of these companies. Ask to speak with the agent directly. Never speak with agent staff. As far as we're concerned, you just need to go talk to someone at our corporate office. Your goal is to get to the agent without looking like you're trying to be subversive. So, if it were me (knowing what I now know), I'd ask to speak with the agent. If the staff member starts asking questions, just say you want to leave a message because you need to speak with the agent directly. Don't be difficult or act like you're trying to keep information from the staffmember, because that will eventually be passed on to the agent in the message that is being left. (And they may assume you're a bill collector or telemarketer, since those folks generally don't want to give any info.) Just make it sound like you're a current customer who needs to speak with the agent because they already know the situation.

Once you get through to the agent, just give the usual -- you're looking for a position with a major insurance carrier. You're driven, prepared (this is where having your insurance licenses comes in -- if you don't have them, they're going to tell you to go get them), and you'd like to work for them because they're "nearby and neighborly" (or whatever). Your hope is that they'll see you showing ambition and they'll ask you to come in for an interview. On the flip side, they may tell you to contact the corporate office/recruiter.

Keep in mind that agents for these companies hire staff as their own employees. So unless you're told that you have to specifically speak with a recruiter, don't be deterred by a shrug-off. Just go to the next agent. Eventually you're going to find someone who is hard-up for a good staffmember because, believe me, they're all looking for them. Almost all the agents I know of area understaffed by at least one person.

Hope that helps :)
posted by PandemicSoul at 8:40 PM on September 25, 2006


Barbara Ehrenreich has a chapter (or thereabouts) in "Bait and Switch" about being recruited to work for Aflac. While I take everything she writes with a boulder of salt, she painted it as the employment equvalent of vaporware. It might be worth a read as an additional point of view.
posted by Dreama at 9:39 PM on September 25, 2006


My father works for Aflac (and happens to have the same name as me). I don't feel comfortable speaking for him, so I'll just say that it seems to be a pretty good job for a semi-retired man in his mid-50s who doesn't really need the money and is primarily looking for something to do between being laid off and his pension kicking in.

If those are your expectations, go for it.
posted by BackwardsCity at 11:29 PM on September 25, 2006


I work for one of the large insurance companies, but have never worked for Aflac -- so take this as hearsay. I know someone else who works with me who did the Aflac thing, and what I was told was that it is basically a "let's hire as many people as possible, and maybe we'll get lucky with 1 or 2" type of situation. She advised me that she was given almost no training whatsoever.

I work downstais from a Liberty Mutual penguin farm in Massachusetts. Every week, they get a busload of fresh new graduates, buy them nice suits, feed them buffet food, and catapult them against the wall point-blank to see who sticks.

Every so often, one of them will sit with me and my co-workers, looking out-of-place and asking for a little career advice. They never seem to be in it because they love sales or particularly care about insurance, but more because they wanted to be saved from the vagaries of post-graduate unemployment or because one of their ex-frat buddies talked them into it. Invariably, we never see them again.

It strikes me that all they need are warm bodies to fill those cozy black suits. I have no idea what the politics or the practices of AFLAC might be like, but the insurance sales trade around here gives me the willies.
posted by mykescipark at 2:52 AM on September 26, 2006


My friend worked for aflac in nyc for about six monthsabout a year ago. I don't believe he ever made a sale, so he pretty much didn't make any money. I can't even recall if he got a base or not.

from his descriptions it sounds like a lot of cold calling. It might pay well for the right person, but I get the feeling that unless there's some inner salesman in you that you're unaware of, you're just wasting your time.

the small company I work for recently offered aflac to us (my boss wanted extra coverage since they're so invested in the business). A certain percentage of people had to sign on, but the big upside was that aflac somehow worked some magic so that all of our health deductions came out before taxes (not sure why this wasn't the case already), which made the additional cost pretty close to nil for some people, and scored me some extra take-home (because naturally, I didn't sign up). The salesman was a total cheeseball, however.

so there you go. fifty fifty.
posted by fishfucker at 11:59 AM on September 26, 2006


Well, thanks for the honest advice.

I found out their products are good but working for them is actually pretty close to running your own business, except your business helps them make money. Good for some. Not for me.

Fortunately, I got a job offer from a small office that involves no sales, no insurance, good pay. I'm accepting it and hoping for the best!

Cheers--
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:39 PM on September 26, 2006


Oh yeah. And that office is not Aflac.

Ps. When I went to the recruiting interview I did get this really cool stuffed Duck that says "AFLAC" when I squeeze it. . .
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:40 PM on September 26, 2006


Ps. When I went to the recruiting interview I did get this really cool stuffed Duck that says "AFLAC" when I squeeze it. . .

*sighs* Wish I had a duck.
posted by PandemicSoul at 8:29 PM on September 26, 2006


« Older reggaefilter: Can someone iden...   |  Why do dogs shake out?... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.