After a challenging journey, Dr Partiban, a former university dean, discovered career fulfilment when he joined Great Eastern as an agent of life. This is his story:
“I was a university lecturer for seven years before being made the dean. While I was honoured by the promotion, my income did not reflect my years of experience. As the father of three young boys, it was important for me to earn more for my family.
Although I had a passion for teaching, I made the hard decision to leave and joined a property developer. While the remuneration package was rewarding, the tasks and responsibilities were not. Feeling unfulfilled, I eventually left.
I was unemployed for four months. It was then that fate intervened and I discovered that by becoming an agent of life, I could both provide for my family and achieve career fulfilment.”
Changing perceptions to change a life journey
“My initial perception of agents was derived from the stereotype of them as insurance salesmen. This all changed four years ago when I suffered a heart attack. Thankfully, I had bought a medical plan from an agent a few months ago.
It was then that I realised the importance of insurance in people’s lives, and how different my life might have been if my agent had not approached me with a medical plan. So, when the opportunity to become an agent of life was presented to me, I did not hesitate and took it.”
Adapting past skills and experience to a new career
“I had no sales or insurance experience but I was prepared for the challenges that would come my way. I believed that I could adapt my past skills and experience to my new career. When I was teaching, leadership, critical thinking and communication were important skillsets. Now, I use them as an agent to educate people about the importance of planning for life. It’s fulfilling helping my clients learn how to protect their futures and those of their loved ones.
Of course, learning is just as important as teaching. As a ‘student’ at Great Eastern, I learned a lot through the structured training and advancement programmes, including the art of making the sale. I was also taught how vital it was to be digitally savvy to connect with my clients, especially the younger ones.
With the support provided, I was able to use my past experience of making video presentations as a lecturer to make educational videos for my clients. This helped me tremendously during the multiple movement control orders, as I could continue to reach out to new clients and be there for my existing ones.”
Choosing a rewarding and fulfilling career
“Some people believe that you have to choose between a financially rewarding career or an emotionally fulfilling one. I believe that you can have both if you are prepared to make a change in your life journey and work for it. As an agent of life, I could not be happier with the way my career is going. Not only has my income grown exponentially, I love what I do and have a better work-life balance, with more time for my family and health.”
Jun Kit was a fresh finance graduate before a life-changing incident put him on the path to greatness as an agent of life with Great Eastern. This is his story:
“I graduated in finance and investment from TARUC. For my work experience, I chose an internship at a Great Eastern agency. I did not know it then, but that decision would turn out to play an important part in my life later on.
After completing my internship, I was briefly involved in multilevel marketing before my life suddenly changed. I was diagnosed with an eye condition which required surgery. As I did not have insurance, my father had to cover all the medical expenses with his life savings.
It made me aware of the difference that insurance and financial planning could make, not just to a person’s life, but to the lives of his loved ones. It also helped me realise that anything can happen in life, and if I can support my loved ones and friends to prepare for it, I would.
That was when I made the decision to become an agent of life.”
Making a difference to people’s lives
“There’s a perception that being an agent is no different from being a salesman. It’s not. Because of what happened to me, I do not see insurance as selling at all, but as providing people with security and peace of mind should something life-changing occur. That’s why I’m always sharing with my family and friends about the importance of being insured, not because I want their business, but because I care for them and want them to be protected.
This extends to the way I support aspiring agents at my agency. My father was supportive of me becoming an agent. But there are parents who disapprove of this career path for their children and worry for their future. What I do is take the initiative to personally visit the candidates’ parents in their hometowns, even if they live in another state. I share with them their child’s potential and my agency’s commitment to help them achieve their ambition. I also share my own story, as I too was once a fresh graduate who succeeded in the industry.”
Growing as agents and people
“At my agency, selling insurance isn’t our goal… making a difference to a life is. It’s a purpose that I believe in deeply and share with all my agents and customers. By providing my team with the right path, training and support, I try to inspire them to discover the greatness in themselves so that they can grow, not just as agents, but as people too.”
Aki was a flight attendant for eight years before she discovered her journey to greatness lay in becoming an agent of life with Great Eastern. This is her story:
“I enjoyed travelling around the world as a flight attendant. But after several years, I began to miss my loved ones every time I flew. On every flight, I would notice parents travelling to visit their children studying or working abroad. It made me realise how many birthdays, festivals and gatherings I had missed with my own family. My parents were also getting on in age, and I want to be there for them when they need me, not halfway across the world. That was when I made the decision to return home.”
Greatness begins with a leap of faith
“I came back to Malaysia without having a job lined up. Thankfully, my best friend was there for me. She’s an insurance agent and invited me to a seminar hosted by Great Eastern. Even though I had no insurance experience or a network of people to approach as I had been away for years, I could see the potential for me to build a career and grow as a person. So, I took a leap of faith and signed up.”
Being supported in every way
“As a rookie, I was initially concerned about the learning curve. But it turned out to be smoother than I expected as the company supported me all the way. There were a lot of reading materials to help me improve my insurance knowledge, and comprehensive training programmes to help me discover new skillsets.
I was also taught how to be digitally savvy, using social media and chat tools to connect with and serve my clients. This was a blessing in disguise because when Covid-19 and the MCO hit, I was still able to reach out and help the people who depended on me.
I’m proud to share that after only two years as an agent, I was in the running for the prestigious Next Gen award!
Living life to the fullest
“Today, I have a team of agents under me. I have also secured many new clients despite the challenging times thanks to the company’s digital support. What I love most about being an agent of life is that there is no limit to what I can achieve – how much I earn and how far I go is up to me. Even my working hours are up to me, giving me the flexibility to make more time for my family and friends. I take great pride in being an agent of life. Changing my career has given me the opportunity to live life to the fullest!”