Office Space?
January 7, 2008 3:59 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking of taking a job selling insurance for Progressive. Do any of you have any experience with this company or type of job?

The job description states I would spend 90% of my time taking calls from customers and talking about rates and policies for $12-$14 an hour plus a 7.5% shift differential. I realize this sort of environment differs from office to office, but what could I expect in terms of pay increases, career advancement and stress? I have never worked in an office before.
posted by Brandon1600 to Work & Money (9 answers total)
I can't answer your particular questions from an insider's perspective, but I have Progressive as my auto-insurance company. My experience with them includes an accident I was in which wasn't my fault. These are often the worst situations because I'm really trying to collect from the other guy's insurance. But Progressive handled the whole thing for me. I've talked to their employees on several occasions and have yet to catch a cranky customer service person. So, at a guess I'd say that the environment there is pretty good.

As for being an office worker in general, I'd say don't expect much in terms of advancement other than what you can specifically negotiate up front or which is explicitly scheduled. Modern office work seems to be mostly jumping from job to job to get advancement.
posted by TeatimeGrommit at 4:12 PM on January 7, 2008

Is this a situation where you need to get licensed first? I did that with Prudential about 10 years ago. I had to take classes which I paid for out of pocket, and I would have had to buy office supplies out of pocket before I began making sales. I spent weeks on this without getting a paycheck before I ditched the whole plan.
posted by saffry at 4:18 PM on January 7, 2008

Probably not much in the way of advancement, but you could have some fun working there. The nice thing about answering phones is that there will be slow points where you can goof off with coworkers. Or learn to hate them. It all depends on who you're working with. That is decent pay for what could be a nice and easy job, go for it, and don't feel bad quitting in a few weeks when you are sitting across from a psycho woman who throws troll dolls at you all day or something.
posted by cschneid at 4:21 PM on January 7, 2008

A friend of mine was looking for a new job and found some site where people posted complaints about their job. GEICO was one of the worst. The employees were very unhappy. I think there there were some about progressive in a similar vein, but I can't find it on google.
posted by delmoi at 4:28 PM on January 7, 2008

As a former progressive employee, they are a pretty good company to work for. Benefits are great, there is awesome training, and a general easy-going attitude from the top down. Onsite fitness center, health clinic, cafeteria, etc, add to that.

But it's still a call-center job, which is the modern-day equivalent of factory line work. It's repetitive, boring, and not mentally stimulating in the least, and can definitely be a bit stressful. It pays the bills though. And the gain-sharing bonuses were nice.

Opportunity for advancement seemed to be pretty good, compared to alot of other entry level positions I've worked in. There is alot of tenure here, and they like to brag that most of them started on the phones. There is almost a cult-like feeling to how much many people there enjoy their jobs....take that as you will.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:30 PM on January 7, 2008

Progressive has phenomenal benefits.

If you've never worked in an office before, it's likely to be a very stressful environment for you.

Ditto (x2) for phone work. It can be very draining, even if there's no conflict involved.
posted by Irontom at 4:33 PM on January 7, 2008

oh, and to answer saffry's question, all the training (12 weeks of it) were paid for, as well as all the licenses (you'll get about 30 or so state licenses).

Compared to other call-center jobs I've had, Progressive was by far the most laid-back and best environment to work in.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:33 PM on January 7, 2008

I worked in an insurance agent's office in college, cold calling the phonebook to ask people when their insurance expired next, so the boss could cold-call them then. It sucked. People hate insurance companies moreso than your average sales job, seemed to me. Be prepared for some level of hostility during sales calls.
posted by nomisxid at 4:38 PM on January 7, 2008

progressive doesn't have cold-calling, it is incoming only.
posted by Espoo2 at 6:37 PM on January 7, 2008

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