1. Welcome Natalie, and thanks for stepping into the Honan Careers Spotlight! First things first … as a child, what did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
It’s funny, I think a lot of people in the insurance industry can relate to the idea that it wasn’t exactly what they aspired to do when they grew up. I wanted to play basketball professionally or become a vet. As it turns out, I actually included ‘Become an Insurance Broker like my Dad’ in my grade 4 autobiography!
2. You’re currently a Customer Service Team Lead and an invaluable member of Honan’s Real Estate Team. In 1 sentence, what does this role entail?
I’m currently training and developing our newly created Landlords Customer Service team, to ensure we are providing the best possible service to our clients as a one-stop-shop for Property Managers and Owners.
3. You’ve been in your current role for a few months now but began your career with Honan as a Client Executive within the Strata team. Tell us a little about your journey at Honan – where it started, and how you’ve progressed through the business since day 1 …
I joined Honan’s Strata Team in September 2019, with 4 years prior experience at a smaller brokerage in Far North Queensland, where I handled domestic including Strata, Commercial (SME), and claims handling. Over my 18 months in Strata at Honan, I’ve gained invaluable broking experience whilst still having exposure to diverse lines such as Professional Indemnity, Management Liability, and Cyber insurance.
An opportunity opened up when Real-Estate became included in our Strata division, and the Landlords Customer Service Team was established. I transitioned into my new role in April 2021 and I am lucky to be working with and mentored by great people at Honan, including Teighan Carr and Matthew Henderson.
4. Tell us a little about your personal education pathway/s – what led you to where you are now? How closely do your formal qualifications match your current career?
After graduating from school, I took a job at a broking firm (as previously mentioned) to “save money for overseas”, working in the compliance and privacy side of the business. I went on to study in the US while playing basketball for 6 months before coming back to Australia. This was an incredible experience! When I returned home, I continued my studies in Psychology, but I struggled to find the motivation to continue my degree.
I saw my old firm was advertising a trainee broking role for their general insurance portfolio, which I grabbed with both hands! I obtained my Tier 2, 1, and Diploma in General Insurance, all while working full time.
6 years in, I have the experience and knowledge to confidently lead and mentor a team.
5. What inspires/excites you most about the work you do each day?
Being able to find solutions for our clients. A ‘one size fits all’ approach doesn’t work for everyone’s insurance needs, so there are plenty of opportunities for problem-solving and creative thinking.
6. In the scheme of career progression, what is one of the most challenging obstacles you’ve come up against? How did you overcome it?
So far, the biggest obstacle was having confidence in my ability to make the jump from being a Client Executive to managing people.
I stopped overthinking and just went for it!
7. Noting career ‘success’ is often underpinned by leveraging strengths and superpowers … tell us, what’s one of yours?
I’ve always believed my biggest strength is my ability to build relationships and empathise with others. I use these a lot in my role, both with clients, and my team.
8. Magic happens when organisational and personal purpose collide. What is it about Honan that keeps you coming back each day?
The people I work alongside every day.
9. If you could share one piece of ‘career’ advice with your younger self what would it be?
You learn the most from the people you work with; everyone has a different perspective and level of knowledge, but together you can always find a solution.
10. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live tomorrow.” What’s next on your learning agenda?
My new role has a lot more involvement in the operations of the division. I want to expand my knowledge on process and people development to ensure I give my team the opportunities to learn, succeed and progress in their roles.