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  #11  
Old 01-10-2019, 10:50 AM
hjacjswo hjacjswo is offline
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I'd recommend reaching out to a GOOD recruiter to talk about some of these things. They see a lot of resumes and talk to a lot of actuaries, so they may be able to help you assess your experience relative to others. They also can help you with whether your job responsibilities and compensation make sense. An added bonus is that building this kind of relationship can be really beneficial if/when you choose to move down the line.

I don't think that anything you described is necessarily bad, though I'd be looking for ways to demonstrate leadership and to incorporate different skills (DS, predictive modeling) in your work.

I was in a similar situation in a previous role, albeit with a couple years less experience. In my case I had peers at my company, but no idea how that company compared to the industry overall. Anecdotally I knew that it was very different, and I worried about my ability to ever be hired somewhere else.

The recruiter I worked with was very helpful, and the information she gave me helped me to argue for a promotion. Later, she placed me in a role that was a really good fit. Feel free to send me a PM if you want to know who I worked with.
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm not prepared to talk with recruiters at this point. I have gotten offer through them before. So it's not like I think they provide absolutely no value. But, once I speak with one, I'm gonna get flooded with job openings from them and they will be pushy and try to take over my job search, which can be frustrating.
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  #12  
Old 01-10-2019, 12:03 PM
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Colonel Smoothie Colonel Smoothie is offline
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I've never managed budget. I've managed projects as in being in charge of processes, certain tasks, etc. Is this what you mean? When do most people start having direct reports? I would think kts quicker at bigger companies. 5 yrs?
7 years for me, but I've seen people with just 3. There's a company near me where it takes 12 years before you manage people (if you're on the regular pace of promotion).

Start asking to lead projects or manage people. In my experience, you don't really get to be a manager unless you start asking outright.

A good way to start is with interns. They're temporary, cheap, and if something goes wrong, mistakes are low-impact.
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Don't you even think about sending me your resume. I'll turn it into an origami boulder and return it to you.
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  #13  
Old 01-10-2019, 02:48 PM
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KimboSlice KimboSlice is offline
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm not prepared to talk with recruiters at this point. I have gotten offer through them before. So it's not like I think they provide absolutely no value. But, once I speak with one, I'm gonna get flooded with job openings from them and they will be pushy and try to take over my job search, which can be frustrating.
I hear you. If it helps, that wasn't my experience with this particular recruiter. But I was also clear about the fact that I had no intention of leaving my company, just wanted to better understand my position. It seems like I got super-lucky and just found someone who respected that (very rare).

Good luck to you!
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:40 PM
CowboyGuy CowboyGuy is offline
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Be your own person, set your own goals imo. For example, do you even want to manage people? Being concerned just because others are managers isn't worth it, if that's not what you want to do.
This is good advice. I've realized that sometimes comparing yourself with others gives you nothing but frustration.
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  #15  
Old 01-10-2019, 05:46 PM
CowboyGuy CowboyGuy is offline
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For the last 5 years or so, I've been working in environments, where there is no peer at a similar experience level. Therefore, it's very hard for me to gauge how I fare against other actuaries with my level of experience.
I'm an acas with around 7 years of experience.
When you are about 7 years in, what kind of things are you guys doing?

Things that concern me are:
I'm not an FCAS
Most of my experience has been in only one of reserving/pricing.
Have not touched GLM, predictive modelling, data science, etc.
Have not had direct reports or much mentoring experience.
Not sure how actuarially technical my experience is. What type of actuarial techniques are you guys using?

How legit are my concerns?

When I apply to jobs, I hear back from 1 out of 5-7 positions I apply for (I'm pretty selective on location). How bad is this?

I would appreciate it, if you could share what type of experience you have accumulated at around my experience level. Basically, I'm interested in identifying a few areas that I can concentrate on in the next couple of years to further my career.

Thank you!
I've been in a similar boat as you, and I'm sure a lot of people are or have been. While 7 years isn't too late, you need to move to a company as soon as possible that gives you a wider work exposure. If you're really up for challenge and willing to invest 2-3 years of life in setting yourself up for a highly marketable resume and open up for lucrative job opportunities, I'd say you should move to consulting. Although keep in mind that it will be a big cultural shock to you, more stressful, travel, lots of work etc.

Otherwise, you can switch to an insurance company in a job that lists work and skills in its job description that are in high demand right now or will be in the future.
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  #16  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:23 AM
Opplegran Opplegran is offline
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Just seeing the list of things you don't do doesn't give us a good picture of the things you do do.

If you don't build predictive models but you do price reinsurance treaties than that's good experience. Data science isn't the only skill out there.

But if you're not sure if what you're doing is actuarial or mor, I guess there's a good chance it isn't. You definitely want to upgrade from "running tasks" to "doing analysis" if you're not there yet.

How much of your own judgment do you use in solving problems vs. following a strict procedure of defined rules? Are you making decisions about model parameters or selections or conclusions, or are you cutting and pasting data from one Excel spreadsheet to another?
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:00 AM
Helena Lake Helena Lake is offline
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Originally Posted by hjacjswo View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm not prepared to talk with recruiters at this point. I have gotten offer through them before. So it's not like I think they provide absolutely no value. But, once I speak with one, I'm gonna get flooded with job openings from them and they will be pushy and try to take over my job search, which can be frustrating.
Not necessarily. I fostered a relationship with a recruiter for 12 years before I finally was ready to move. He sent me lists of openings about once a quarter, and about once a year I responded with an update on my current skills and to reiterate that I was happy where I was at the moment. About once every two years, I'd have a phone conversation with him, just to touch base about my interests, where my career was evolving, and particular skills I have that might set me apart. He also would keep me in the loop about what skills the next-level-up sorts of jobs tended to be emphasizing.

When I finally was ready to move on, it was easy to get my resume polished, and it was easy for him to narrow down good fits. I ended up with something ideal for my particular interests and skills.
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  #18  
Old 01-31-2019, 11:19 PM
hjacjswo hjacjswo is offline
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Originally Posted by Opplegran View Post
Just seeing the list of things you don't do doesn't give us a good picture of the things you do do.

If you don't build predictive models but you do price reinsurance treaties than that's good experience. Data science isn't the only skill out there.

But if you're not sure if what you're doing is actuarial or mor, I guess there's a good chance it isn't. You definitely want to upgrade from "running tasks" to "doing analysis" if you're not there yet.

How much of your own judgment do you use in solving problems vs. following a strict procedure of defined rules? Are you making decisions about model parameters or selections or conclusions, or are you cutting and pasting data from one Excel spreadsheet to another?
Yeah, I am definitely doing analysis. I would actually say I use too much "actuarial judgment" in my job. I work in a field with little data to go around. So, I have no choice but to use judgement. Actually, I feel like I need to learn more advanced actuarial/statistical methods to supplement my actuarial judgement, since I can't derive straightforward answers just off abundant data. I fit some simple distributions and stuff but I was wondering what kind of modelling other people do at my level. I've seen things like neural network, machine learning, etc. thrown around but have no idea what they are. I've never even done clustering. I think I should learn more about simulations, glm, etc.

I am actually making decisions about selection/adjustment of model parameters or bring them up to decision makers. But, I'm not sure I'm doing anything crazy technical.

I guess I feel like I'm mostly past the level where most of my of job is pumping out reports/numbers and automating processes, etc. I have built different types of models used by actuaries and non-actuaries, and re-vamped existing processes, and stuff. Now, I feel like I need to shift my focus onto honing actuarial techniques and learning how to "influence others." So, I was curious about where people are in terms of these skills at my experience level.
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  #19  
Old 01-31-2019, 11:22 PM
hjacjswo hjacjswo is offline
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Originally Posted by Helena Lake View Post
Not necessarily. I fostered a relationship with a recruiter for 12 years before I finally was ready to move. He sent me lists of openings about once a quarter, and about once a year I responded with an update on my current skills and to reiterate that I was happy where I was at the moment. About once every two years, I'd have a phone conversation with him, just to touch base about my interests, where my career was evolving, and particular skills I have that might set me apart. He also would keep me in the loop about what skills the next-level-up sorts of jobs tended to be emphasizing.

When I finally was ready to move on, it was easy to get my resume polished, and it was easy for him to narrow down good fits. I ended up with something ideal for my particular interests and skills.
That's good. I guess my last experience with a recruiter sort of traumatized me. I didn't really think the recruiter added much value at all. Actually she might have hurt me in negotiation. But, anyways, no recruiter for me.
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  #20  
Old 02-01-2019, 03:54 AM
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The_Polymath The_Polymath is offline
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Originally Posted by hjacjswo View Post
Yeah, I am definitely doing analysis. I would actually say I use too much "actuarial judgment" in my job. I work in a field with little data to go around. So, I have no choice but to use judgement. Actually, I feel like I need to learn more advanced actuarial/statistical methods to supplement my actuarial judgement, since I can't derive straightforward answers just off abundant data. I fit some simple distributions and stuff but I was wondering what kind of modelling other people do at my level. I've seen things like neural network, machine learning, etc. thrown around but have no idea what they are. I've never even done clustering. I think I should learn more about simulations, glm, etc.

I am actually making decisions about selection/adjustment of model parameters or bring them up to decision makers. But, I'm not sure I'm doing anything crazy technical.

I guess I feel like I'm mostly past the level where most of my of job is pumping out reports/numbers and automating processes, etc. I have built different types of models used by actuaries and non-actuaries, and re-vamped existing processes, and stuff. Now, I feel like I need to shift my focus onto honing actuarial techniques and learning how to "influence others." So, I was curious about where people are in terms of these skills at my experience level.
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