1. Welcome Hannah, 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’?
An artist – my Dad will tell you that as a kid I’d always be covered in paint, running around saying, “I need to create!”
2. Tell us a little about your career journey - what led you to where you are now?
I completed a degree in Fine Art, specialising in Print Making in Ireland. After college, I worked in a marketing role at Toyota Ireland to save up so I could move over to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa.Four years ago, I landed in Melbourne and began waitressing in a restaurant while I looked for an office-based role. My next job (and first insurance role) was as a Claim Service Officer in the Motor Claims Team at Allianz. Once my 6 months were up there (visa requirement), I took a comparable role at Zurich for another 6 months. I had a few similar roles in between travelling around Australia and in February 2020, I landed a Service Executive role in Honan’s Strata division.This was a great role to really sink my teeth into and it enabled me to develop my insurance career. I have been fortunate to have received a lot of support and opportunities here, which allowed me to progress quite quickly. As a Service Executive, I assisted a Client Executive with their portfolio and serviced their clients. I also took on the role of training our new starters and developed my own training program. After 15 months in my Service Executive role, I was promoted to a more client-facing role as a Client Executive – where I oversaw my own portfolio of clients. I was promoted to Client Manager in Strata 6 months later.
3. You're currently a Client Manager and an invaluable member of Honan's Strata team. In one sentence, what does this role entail?
Like a Client Executive, a Client Manager has their own portfolio of clients. In addition to that, I manage an outstanding team and we find Strata solutions for our clients.
4. In the scheme of career progression, what is one of the most challenging obstacles you’ve come up against? How did you overcome it?
Having had multiple roles over a short space of time has been a challenge. Over time, my responsibilities have changed, from supporting a Client Executive with their portfolio to now supporting a team with a range of skills and experience levels. I like to push myself outside my comfort zone and with the support of the leaders around me, overcoming challenges to achieve my goals has been possible!
5. Who has inspired you the most and why?
My Grandad. He was super generous, hardworking, and had fun along the way. I share the same values and aspire to be more like him every day.
6. Your greatest 'ah-ha!' (biggest learning) moment in the last 6 months?
It’s OK to say no – this goes for life and in work. It’s important not to take everything on yourself, and to share the load when you can.
7. What is the biggest risk you've ever taken, and did it pay off?
Moving to Australia – my partner and I moved to Australia without any family or many friends over here. I didn’t have a job lined up and was worried about burning through my savings too quickly. What was meant to be only a 1-year trip, has turned into 4 years and counting. I guess it goes to show the risk paid off!
8. Which of your personality traits are you most proud of and why? How does it help you professionally?
My parents say I am very patient (my partner will say otherwise) and I believe this is an important trait to have when training and managing people. Everyone has different skillsets and progresses at a different speed. It’s important to be patient with your colleagues and support them.
9. If you could share one piece of ‘career’ advice with your younger self what would it be?
Don’t feel pressured to know what career to go into straight after school. Enjoy the ‘figuring it out’ stage and take each opportunity as it comes.
10. What’s one work-related thing you want to accomplish in the next year?
I am eager to expand my knowledge in people development. I want to be able to support and lead my team and give them the same opportunities I have received.
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