As Alex Dooler's time as The Journal's blogger comes to an end, he shares what he has learnt during his tenure
My time as a columnist for The Journal draws to an end. During the past 12 months, I have transitioned from graduate underwriter to financial journalist. In doing so, I pass the baton to the next wide-eyed junior in the insurance world.
I wanted to take the opportunity to impart what I've learnt in the past 12 months as a columnist for The Journal and why I would recommend taking up the opportunity.
My move into journalism happened almost entirely by luck. I knew that I enjoyed writing and amassed a portfolio of blog posts online about my time working in the insurance sector. With time, it began to gain attention and soon enough I was offered the opportunity to write for The Journal.
From there, I was able to leapfrog into the world of financial journalism, using my experience in finance and writing to break news stories about debt in emerging markets.
So, my first piece of advice would be to follow what you love. If you truly enjoy what it is that you do, opportunities will flow from that. As my experience shows, an interest and passion for writing allowed me to improve and hone my craft through committing time to the subject.
Secondly, I would advise you to get involved in roles and responsibilities outside your role. Insurance can often be hierarchical in nature, with juniors sometimes feeling handicapped at the level of responsibility they can take on.
Getting involved in employee resource groups or charities linked to insurance was a great way to acquire leadership experience at the very start of my career and has helped me to develop skills that can be used for life.
Lastly, I would advise to realise the true power of your platform. During my first job in insurance, I was able to build and develop a partnership with the charity Career Ready, helping to get children from less economically privileged backgrounds into finance. And within The Journal, I have been able to champion the case for social mobility and raise awareness of an often-forgotten form of discrimination.
Regardless of your rank or profile within an organisation, you can always make a difference and bring about positive change in the world -- however small.
Alex Dooler is a financial journalist at Debtwire
We published our recommendations for Insuring Women's Futures in November and it was fantastic to see the energy and enthusiasm that came out of the event launch. The actions we have put forward in our final report pave the way for important partnerships and initiatives in 2020 and beyond. We will be working with professionals, policymakers and consumer bodies to make a real difference for women at every stage of their lives.
I am also very proud of an important piece of work we have done with the charity Scope, which we published in December. It sets out guidance, along with case studies, showing what employers can do to help people with disabilities thrive in the workplace. The case studies show how much is already being done to make the workplace more accessible for people with many different kinds of disability, including many less noticeable disabilities such as chronic pain.
As we reach the end of 2019 and look forward to 2020, I am struck by how much initiative people throughout our profession are taking into their own hands, improving their workplace and their community without waiting for government and other institutions. In this spirit, I would like to wish you all a very happy New Year and a prosperous 2020.
Sian Fisher is CEO of the CII