LOVE MONDAY: Featuring Margie Miller
At Painted Turtle Partners, we believe that every individual should be able to fully utilize their interests, skills and experience in a work setting that they will enjoy. In our weekly post, “Love Monday”, we will be highlighting individuals that have made a major career change and now love what they do. This week, you will gain insight from Margie Miller who, after spending 20 years in the retail industry, became an independent agent with Aflac so she could spend more time with her family. Learn what career changes she made and how she got there.
What was your past career(s) and what are you doing now?
Previously I spent the last 20+ years working as a manager in the retail industry. I worked for Kroger for 8 years, Best Buy for 2 and Micro
Center prior to that. Currently I am an independent agent with Aflac for the past year.
Was there a point when you just knew that you wanted and needed to go for this new opportunity? Can you describe that moment? What pushed you to move forward?
I knew I needed to get out of retail because I have degenerative disc disease but what really pushed me was when my 4-year-old grandson came to me and said “Nanna, why have you never come to my birthday?” He was quite earnest about the question, and it was like a lightning bolt for me. My husband and I have nine grandchildren, and I knew that I needed to be in a career that allowed me to focus on them….on my family. I still get emotional when thinking about his innocent statement and all the holidays, weekends and other events that I have missed with them. My mom had always been there to help me with my kids, and she never missed a birthday party. I want my grandchildren to be as close to me as my children were to their grandmother.
What helped to prepare you for this career change?
I wasn’t really prepared for the career change but I have a very supportive family and a solid support system of friends and colleagues. It seems like I have been in Management and sales forever so I thought it would be a piece of cake. There is a load of difference between inside sales and outside sales but the consistency is that it’s all about people, and I am passionate about people and helping them. Aflac is a great product that really helps people when they are sick or hurt and can’t work. It is a product that I love and can really get behind.
What have been the biggest struggles and/or hurdles that you have encountered with this change? What are you doing to overcome them?
My biggest struggles have been in the prospecting and cold calling. I have been in the position where customers have come to me and now going out and finding them is much different than what I have done in the past. Other obstacles are the mindsets of individuals about sales people. The perception is not the best and when going into a businesses they are busy and don’t want to be bothered. I am passionate about people so I just spend time getting to know people and what their needs are. I am not out to make my clients insurance poor. I consult with them and marry them with the products that best fits their needs.
If you were to offer one piece of advice to individuals that are contemplating making a major career change, what would it be?
Pick a career that you love! If you love what you do it’s not work. After that I would say make sure that you have a solid support system of family, friends, and colleagues. Most of all though is to love what you do, have a passion for it to sustain you when things are tough.