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Hiring new generation risk managers
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Thursday, 15 April 2010 10:38
RIMS' (Risk and Insurance Management Society) latest newsletter includes an interview with Rebecca Ryan, founder of Next Generation Consulting. Check out her thoughts on younger generations breaking into the industry.

Q. Most risk managers of generations past fell into the field accidentally and learned as they went. Today, students are preparing for and actively choosing the profession. Can you speak to any implications this may have for the future of the industry?

A. This probably means that the next generation will come in a bit better versed in what to expect, and they may ask MORE from managers than they're comfortable with. It may be a bit like going to the doctor my Mom's generation (she's 84) doesn't question the doctor. Later generations do their research BEFORE their appointments, and sometimes know more than the doctor does. Doctors today have to be better than in the past for this reason. Same with managing people who are prepared for the profession: you have to be ready to step up as a manager and lead at a higher level.

Q. As the next generation of risk managers prepares to enter the workforce, do you have any tips for more seasoned professionals who may be charged with mentoring them?

A. First, remember that you were once young, clueless and 22 years old. When today's managers were 22 years old, they probably hoped for a kind-hearted manager who would support them, and help them develop their potential. Be that kind of manager. Second, don't put the next generation in front of a copier for the first six months. Give them real work to do, and hold them to a high standard. The amazing thing about expectations is that they tend to be met.
Q. Young risk managers just graduating from college and getting into the field are doing so in an uncertain economy. Any brief advice you might be able to share as to how they might best succeed?

A. You have to figure out how to get out of the pile. There are HUNDREDS of people applying for the same jobs. How will you differentiate yourself? Some novel approaches I've seen are:

Doing a YouTube video of why you want to work for my company;
Offering to work for free for several months on ANYTHING;
Calling the CEO or hiring manager every day for a month. This shows persistence and determination.

 
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