What has been your most valuable career mistake? For three successful women at The Hartford, the answer to this question is the same: not going for an opportunity and being afraid to take risks. Even if you are comfortable where you are or worried about taking the leap, you should go for it! The Hartford is invested in talent mobility beginning on day one of an employee’s career and is very intentional about giving employees development opportunities.
“Only you can hold yourself back,” says Chelsye, an Audit Service Coordinator within the Commercial Lines Department at The Hartford. She notes that after she began letting herself take risks, she learned to never doubt herself or what she was capable of. I have “confidence in myself and just go for it every time,” says Chelsye.
And she is not alone in this thinking. Vanessa, a Customer Relationship Specialist within the Small Commercial billing department, emphasizes the importance of believing in yourself. “Stepping out of my comfort zone, I feel empowered,” she says, “I am the only one who can control my success.”
As Rachel, a Customer Relations expert in the Small Commercial Payroll and Systems team says, “Growth never happened in comfort zones.” This realization “introduced me to myself,” Rachel states, “and helped me, always, become the better version of myself.”
To learn more about progressing your career, making successful career moves and how The Hartford supports employees every step of the way, read on.
Share a little about your career journey so far.
Chelsye: Before joining The Hartford, I worked for a health care provider through a temporary agency. When my temporary assignment was nearing an end, one of my managers recommended The Hartford, and I began my career here in March of 2015 with the Personal Lines Sales team. Soon after, I transitioned to the service side, answering calls from customers to address their questions and make changes to their policies, where I’ve spent the last few years.
Vanessa: I have been in the customer service industry since I was 16, and for the past seven years, solely insurance. I joined The Hartford in September of 2019 as a Personal Lines Auto Representative addressing customers’ needs on their policies. Recently I made the transition to Small Commercial Audit, where I still work with the customers, but surrounding business audits, requirements, and billing needs.
Rachel: I came from a medical background working with orthopedic trauma surgeons, and it was a random conversation with a stranger that introduced me to The Hartford; that stranger’s excitement and genuine love for the company attracted me.
I started in Personal Lines Auto, mastering my business acumen in Auto/Home insurance to be able proactively understand and actively listen for what our customers need. I also coached and mentored new hire classes. Two years later, I learned a new skill set when I was trained in Personal Lines home Insurance and transitioned into Small Commercial. I really value The Hartford, their mission and leadership. Not only have I personally grown, but The Hartford truly invests in their employees, allowing me to use my talents to empower others and help them become the best versions of themselves. I feel valued here at The Hartford, and I am excited to continue my career —there truly is no ceiling to how far you can progress here.
You recently had an opportunity to join a new department (congratulations!), talk about what opened up this new opportunity for you.
Chelsye: What made me decide to take the leap to a new department is that the opportunities within The Hartford are endless as long as you put your best self forward. Further, The Hartford itself is a huge support system, helping me seamlessly make this transition.
Vanessa: What made me successful in my last role was the willingness to be open to change and leaning into situations in which that I felt that I was not strong.
Rachel: Several things I achieved in my prior role set me up for success — I leaned into coaching, focused on what I could control, proactively grew and sought perspective to understand. Most of all, it was a mindset that “failures are just lessons” that helped me succeed.
How did The Hartford support you in your career journey?
Chelsye: Every manager I have had always let me know how to get where I wanted to be within the company, provided constructive criticism when veering off path, offered positive support when I just felt like giving up, and pushed me to be my best! And mentors I have met along the way have always been kind and supportive, providing tips and best practices.
The Hartford has an amazing culture to help everyone, their employees and their customers, and you feel that in every role!
Vanessa: The Hartford has been a blessing. I have met incredible people throughout my journey, such as my supervisor, who encourages me to be a leader, to face my fears and to always remember to take care of the company that takes care of my family. I’m thankful to my coworkers and the knowledge and compassion that they have instilled in me.
Rachel: The Hartford and their leaders are attuned to everyone’s personal journey, however that may look for the individual. The culture of The Hartford makes it fun to come to work every day, and, with the support of each of my managers, I’ve been able to use my talents to help others and stretch my comfort zone. With the resources and tools available, there is no limit!
Talk about the value this new role has brought to you personally and professionally.
Chelsye: My new role has brought so much positivity inside and outside of the workplace. First, the new schedule makes it easier for me to spend more time with my family on the weekends. It also offers higher compensation and plenty of opportunities for further growth, such as coaching. I have already set goals and planned how to step even further out of my (introverted) comfort zone.
Vanessa: The value I have from this new role is confidence.
Rachel: If you succeed in one area of life, it automatically seeps into other areas. Professionally, this new role has given me confidence in myself, introduced me to hidden talents I never thought I had and pushed my comfort zones to more capacity. Adversity, or any challenge, is now exciting because it will become my strength.
What advice would you give to someone looking to explore other opportunities in the business (including lateral moves)?
Chelsye: Just go for it! Research the job description, look at the requirements and beneficial characteristics for the role and take some time to job shadow and speak to colleagues within the role to get other perspectives. You can never learn too many roles, and you can never be good at too many things!
Vanessa: Just do it. Lean into change, and do not become complacent in doing what is comfortable. Push yourself to explore new challenges for your own growth. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Rachel: Run into it. Embrace the unknowns and feel confident in yourself. There is no limit with The Hartford, which values progression and personal growth. Talking to leaders in those fields will do you a great service in exploring new opportunities.
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