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  #1  
Old 09-23-2018, 12:30 AM
kimster kimster is offline
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Default Am I stagnating? - EL Actuarial Analyst

I've been working for 7 months at a mid-sized P&C company as a reserving actuarial analyst. This is my first job out of college, and I've only had 1 actuarial internship in a different field and company. Even though I feel like I've settled down in my job and have a general grasp of the tasks I'm assigned, I feel like I'm starting to stagnate in my position. I understand that Reserving work naturally is more cyclical and predictable in nature, however I feel like I'm starting to become more passive and complacent in my job. I'm starting to lose some interest and motivation in my work, which is concerning to me, as I value being engaged with the work I'm assigned. I haven't been given many projects aside from an occasional segmentation analysis or weekly reporting, so I don't feel like I'm being challenged on a routine basis.

Recently, I've begun to reevaluate my progress and development in my role, and I honestly haven't developed very much expertise or technical skills since I began this role. I'm not sure if this is my fault, or if this is just the nature of Reserving work in general, or if it's due to my company. I'm just concerned that I might not be advancing as quickly as I should compared to the general EL population. I'd like to hear from other people's EL experiences if they felt the same way, if it gets better, and how they were able to make the job work for their professional development goals. What can I do to get the most out of my EL experience?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2018, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimster View Post
I've been working for 7 months at a mid-sized P&C company as a reserving actuarial analyst. This is my first job out of college, and I've only had 1 actuarial internship in a different field and company. Even though I feel like I've settled down in my job and have a general grasp of the tasks I'm assigned, I feel like I'm starting to stagnate in my position. I understand that Reserving work naturally is more cyclical and predictable in nature, however I feel like I'm starting to become more passive and complacent in my job. I'm starting to lose some interest and motivation in my work, which is concerning to me, as I value being engaged with the work I'm assigned. I haven't been given many projects aside from an occasional segmentation analysis or weekly reporting, so I don't feel like I'm being challenged on a routine basis.

Recently, I've begun to reevaluate my progress and development in my role, and I honestly haven't developed very much expertise or technical skills since I began this role. I'm not sure if this is my fault, or if this is just the nature of Reserving work in general, or if it's due to my company. I'm just concerned that I might not be advancing as quickly as I should compared to the general EL population. I'd like to hear from other people's EL experiences if they felt the same way, if it gets better, and how they were able to make the job work for their professional development goals. What can I do to get the most out of my EL experience?
Go to your manager and tell them word for word the exact same thing you posted here. But, before you that, at least come up with a plan for what skills you want to develop (odds are your superiors will approve) and then work something out with management.

I think you should express that you want to advance quickly, but that the pace of work so far isn't going to give you a good enough track record to justify an early promotion. Express that you want to have a good portfolio of successful projects (again, make your own suggestions here) under your belt so that you can be prepared to move up when the opportunity arises. Something along the lines of "when another analyst II position opens up, I want to be ready to step up to fill that spot, and then have someone else fill my current job, instead of having an outside hire take it."

7 months is super early, so I don't think you should worry. That's enough for like...2 reserving cycles. You'll get more work as things move along.
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2018, 04:42 AM
jas66Kent jas66Kent is offline
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From my observations from working at a composite insurer, reserving work in P&C is a lot like valuation work in Life. If you don't like drudgery and repetition, you will become unmotivated and disengaged quite quickly. It's basically a rite of passage to be perfectly honest when ELs first start.

Beyond a certain point, it really is not all that interesting (automating processes to save time gets old after a while), and you tend to notice that quickly if you're a problem solver with a good technical background. So best bet is to not only follow CS's advice, but to start looking to rotate to another department were your innate skills and abilities are more useful.
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Old 09-23-2018, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by jas66Kent View Post
start looking to rotate to another department were your innate skills and abilities are more useful.
7 months is not a sufficient rotation. At the very least, go through the full annual cycle. Year-end reporting might offer additional learning opportunities.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2018, 10:09 AM
bsanders33 bsanders33 is offline
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Originally Posted by kimster View Post
I've been working for 7 months at a mid-sized P&C company as a reserving actuarial analyst. This is my first job out of college, and I've only had 1 actuarial internship in a different field and company. Even though I feel like I've settled down in my job and have a general grasp of the tasks I'm assigned, I feel like I'm starting to stagnate in my position. I understand that Reserving work naturally is more cyclical and predictable in nature, however I feel like I'm starting to become more passive and complacent in my job. I'm starting to lose some interest and motivation in my work, which is concerning to me, as I value being engaged with the work I'm assigned. I haven't been given many projects aside from an occasional segmentation analysis or weekly reporting, so I don't feel like I'm being challenged on a routine basis.

Recently, I've begun to reevaluate my progress and development in my role, and I honestly haven't developed very much expertise or technical skills since I began this role. I'm not sure if this is my fault, or if this is just the nature of Reserving work in general, or if it's due to my company. I'm just concerned that I might not be advancing as quickly as I should compared to the general EL population. I'd like to hear from other people's EL experiences if they felt the same way, if it gets better, and how they were able to make the job work for their professional development goals. What can I do to get the most out of my EL experience?
Having a boring, routine, and non-stressful job as an actuarial student is a very GOOD thing imho. I would not approach your bosses to tell them you aren't challenged, as this will likely lead to more work.

As an actuarial student, you should be primarily focused on passing exams. An easy job allows you to do that.

I've known too many actuarial students who never passed exams because they were way more into their work than the exams. Big mistake imho.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:03 PM
Westley Westley is offline
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Lots of good advice already. Need to decide first on bsanders advice I think. You're better off in a boring job passing exams than in a more interesting job NOT passing exams, early on. If you're convinced you can pass exams regardless, then most of the other advice ITT is also good.

A bit of an over-simplification on jsakent's part, but yes life valuation and P&C reserving are very comparable. His advice is good if you are technical and want to be successful in a technical role. Lots of great jobs in life valuation and P&C reserving, but they're more business-oriented - if you want to be successful on the business end of the insurance business, you're on that path (even so, get some rotations in pricing, modeling, etc). If you are more mathematical and analytical, it is the lowest end of actuarial work (not counting pension work).

Regardless, having an honest conversation with your manager on your goals and interests is almost always a good idea.
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