Survey Results: How The Heck Did You Land in Workers’ Comp?

Last week I sent out a survey and asked the question, How The Heck Did YOU End Up in Workers’ Comp?  The results were both enlightening and entertaining, and I found myself laughing out loud at a few of the comments.

 

In total there were 223 responses, and I think the results of this fun and informal survey give some perspective on the challenge our industry is facing attracting the millennial generation.

 

The reality is that the more things and generations change, the more they stay the same.  I read a statistic that eight out of 10 millennials are unfamiliar with insurance as a career path; and while that might be cause for alarm, according to this survey, you weren’t familiar with it either!  (that statistic was more general to insurance rather than just workers’ comp, but you get the point)

 

 

When you were in college, did you think you would be working in the workers’ compensation industry?

 

The first question in my survey asked: When you were in college, did you think you would be working in the workers’ compensation industry? 217 out of 223 people, or 97.31% said NO.

 

Yet, here we all are, with the vast majority of responses giving an indication that they really like what they do.

 

 

In one or two sentences, how did you end up in workers’ compensation?

 

The second question was an open text response asking: In one or two sentences, how did you end up in workers’ compensation?

 

The question and results may not live up to the rigors of a statistical analysis like a WCRI Study, but I broke the responses into 7 different category answers.  Here are the results:

 

  • I just needed or job, or a different job; there was an opening and I took it. (53 out of 216, 25%)
  • I was in a related field, and it turned into workers’ compensation (51 out of 216, 24%)
  • I was looking for a job and the skills required seemed to be a good fit for me (39 out of 216, 18%)
  • I was asked, volunteered, or was forced to take over workers’ comp at my company; or I grew into it internally (started in the mail room and worked up). (39 out of 216, 18%)
  • I was looking for a job and was interested in work comp because it paid well; or I was attracted to the opportunity of the industry (18 out of 216, 8%)
  • In college I got my degree, had an internship, or had a part time in a work comp related field. I stuck with it after graduation (11 out of 216, 5%)
  • I had my own work comp claim and / or wanted to make a difference (5 out of 216, 2%)

 

If you look at answers #2 & #3, which make up 42% of the responses; it was the background of the person’s skill set that lead them to be attracted to work comp, whether they had an existing job or were looking for one.  In fact, to a slightly lesser degree, the common thread through all the responses was that once we arrived here, we stuck because we liked the work.

 

While it certainly is important to embrace change and attract millennials by leveraging social media and offering flexible work schedules, opportunity for advancement, etc.  Let’s not forgot, workers comp may not have been our dream job while in college, and even though it could have been by accident, we all made it here and stay because we like the work.

 

Something tells me they are going to like it too…

 

 

Here are a few highlights to the question: How did you end up in workers’ compensation?

 

  • By accident. I went to another person’s interview because she did not want the job.
  • Practice interview…my first one out of college so I picked a field I didn’t care to be in! Loved the office and the people. It started me on my insurance journey.
  • Needed a job and the insurance folks were hiring when I got out of college…we were in a recession at the time
  • …Saw an ad for insurance consultant, applied- although I didn’t know what it was, got the job and the rest is history
  • …When they moved work comp to HR, I drew the short straw!!! Now I love it and it’s my specialty.
  • …My boss came into my office and asked me what I knew about WC. I said nothing, and she said well neither do I, here you go it’s your job now. Been in love ever since.
  • I needed a job and started working in the documentation center of a major w/comp carrier, not even fully understanding what comp was all about, and became curious about what the adjusters did back in the ‘pit’. Within a year I had my adjusting license and haven’t looked back.
  • A Risk Manager told me if I wanted to get into safety I should go to work for insurance company. I took a test for a claims adjusters job.  I had to look up what a claims adjuster was.  I passed the test and landed the job and have been loving workers’ compensation ever since
  • When I was around 22 years old, I thought the word “investigator” sounded cool
  • I was working in an Emergency Room and the local aerospace company brought in their employees to our ER. They routinely were doing CPR incorrectly, so I called the First Aid department at the company to talk to them about this issue.  They hired me to work in their First Aid Department and train all the first responders.
  • As various opportunities opened up, the path led here. It was not intentional or planned.

 

Read all of the responses below.

 

Workers’ Comp Newcomers Course

 

It’s fun to think back to when you were brand new in workers’ compensation, but you will also recall that it’s not very fun to have no idea what you are doing; particularly when your boss “volunteers” you to take over work comp.

 

I want to reminder about my new course: Workers’ Comp Newcomers – For Employers & Insurance Brokers that starts Monday, August 22nd.

 

This course dramatically accelerates the learning curve for those new to our industry.  Students who register for Workers’ Comp Newcomers will be equipped to make an immediate impact on workers’ comp costs in just 60 days.

 

 

Complete Survey Responses To Question: How Did You End Up In Workers’ Compensation?

 

I just needed or job, or a different job; there was an opening and I took it. (53 out of 216, 25%)

  • No jobs after law school, went to auto claims, 12 years went to finance project management hated it, looked for a job in claims and landed in Complete. A claims a claims a claim.
  • By accident. I went to another persons interview called company cause she did not want the job.
  • Through a strange confluence of events, I started my legal career in the GC Office of a property casualty insurer. (I went to law school to be a public defender. I have been representing WC insurers, and other lines as well, ever since.
  • I was out of work after being laid off in the mortgage industry and they (Sedgwick) found my resume posted and contacted me. At first I ignored them but they were persistent.
  • wanted to change from operations to account management when I got word of a job opening from a friend’s mom. I didn’t know a thing about work comp but 16 years later, here I am!
  • As an attorney looking for work, I didn’t know I was interviewing for an opening in workers comp. I was hired because I had trial experience.
  • recruited by insurance company from college.
  • After graduating with a degree in elementary education and securing certification and license to teach, I was unable to secure a position due to budget cuts. I proceeded to take every civil service test for which I qualified and landed at the NY State Insurance Fund.  Moved on to private carriers from there and never considered anything else after that.
  • Needed a job and the insurance folks were hiring when I got out of college…we were in a recession at the time (many, many years back).
  • needed a job. it was available
  • Graduated in ’09, and they were one of the few firms hiring
  • While working for the Federal Government, I was furloughed. While on unemployment I took tests for NYS and was offered a position by the State Fund.
  • Relocated to the Seattle area and went to a job fair. Aetna was looking for entry level employees to manage workers’ compensation claims.  I just kind of fell into this line of work.  Been in it for 25+ years now.
  • My friend told me about the company she worked for and said they had an opening. Before this I was paying medical bills for a health insurance company.
  • Shortly after graduating I found a job posting under “Degree Required”. At that point I figured why not and gave it a shot. That was over 30 years ago.
  • Needed a job, headhunter approached with claim trainee job
  • Referral from friend
  • Someone left our department and I wanted out of benefits, so applied and got it.
  • I was a Juvenile probation officer, no weapons allowed then, had a baby and changed professions. Answered ad for claim trainee.
  • Needed a job and my sister who was in wc claims told me of a company that had a trainee position open.
  • Saw a poster in a career support department about what degrees go where(my degree is in History), so I started to apply for various insurance jobs since I was not enjoying the work I was doing at the time.
  • The job market was tight after I got out of college. I ended up getting an insurance job because my father worked in the business. One thing led to another and I finally landed a WC adjuster trainee job. Fast forward – I have been working in the capacity of Director of Risk Management for the past 8 years. It has been a very rewarding career for me.
  • I graduated with a BA in Biblical Studies & got an interview with the WCIRB through an employment agency. I learned how to audit and later got hired by a carrier.
  • Could not find a Criminal Prosecution job after passing the CA State Bar, and the woman I sat next to in Bar Review asked me if I wanted to interview for a WC position she was leaving. After 24 years, we are both still in the field.
  • A friend told me about a job opening for a claims assistant. I was out of a job and majored in interior design at the time.
  • I was teaching in a daycare and my (now) husband told me about an ad in the paper for a local insurance company. The rest is history.
  • I had previously interned in another field & found out after graduation they were not hiring business majors. I had then received an offer for an adjuster position & thought I would try it out….30 years later here I am!
  • My first job after law school was with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board (at the time, I said “the who what”. Went to a firm and then founded my own firm and been handling cases ever since.
  • I relocated from New York to Florida and landed a temporary job as a credentialing coordinator at CorVel.
  • I was a Psych major at Northeastern in Boston and the only job I could get close to my home (for financial reasons in Palmer MA was at the Aetna in Springfield MA where I was introduced to the insurance claim world. Good company, steady job and I was good at it so I stayed!
  • Dissatisfied with career as purchasing agent, wanted a change, adjuster first, then on to current Manager position in WC
  • It was not an objective when I graduated in 1980 with a degree in teaching and couldn’t find a job. Eventually during the recession of the early 80’s I landed a position as an auto claims adjustor, just to start a career in a white collar field. I moved around to move up and eventually got into risk management. Claims has always been an aspect of my career, and workers comp has become a big part of that.
  • Government Educational Program for At Risk Youth I was working in lost funding, I was out of a job. Within the same company was an opening in Workers Comp.  I had absolutely no clue.  BUT 15 years later in the field I look back and see it was divine intervention – cuz now I’m hooked on WC!
  • I was in a sales position at a metal company. When they sold the company to a competitor, the majority of the sales and service staff were let go.  A former colleague of mine from the steel company recently started a sales position for a occupational medicine company told me I should send him my resume and he would pass it along.  The rest is history!
  • I interviewed at UGA for an underwriting position at Liberty Mutual. I did not even know what an underwriter was.
  • I am a nurse and needed to get out of direct patient care-lifting!
  • The economy was terrible when I graduated. Insurance was one of the few industries that offerred extensive training programs for new grads.
  • I needed a job at middle age and the civil service was hiring for worker comp adjusters for the state workers comp fund
  • Fell’ into career as insurance consultant- was an underwriter at Allstate, saw an ad for insurance consultant, applied- although I didn’t know what it was, got the job and the rest is history. I help clients purchase workers comp ins and manage their risk
  • In 1991 tired of working 12 hour shifts in the ER as the charge nurse and missing kid’s activites; looked in paper and saw a position advertised as a day job Mon-Fri 9-5. Been in differnt positions in WC ever since.
  • My mom sent out resumes to all kinds of different companies. I interviewed for a property job and called back nine months later for the WC position.  It was the first salaried job I was offered.
  • Got out of college and there were few jobs. Took an interview at insurance company because my mom encouraged me to and got the job. Started in liability and volunteered to cross train in workers comp. Totally unplanned.
  • I had been laid off from a hotel chain in West Hollywood in the late 90s. The insurance manager from that same company called me and asked if I wanted to learn about WC claims.  I said, “yes, of course…why not!!
  • Moved to a new city and a friend arranged a job for me processing medical only claims. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • It was the only insurance defense position that was available when I wanted to get the hell out of a crazy plaintiff’s practice.
  • While earning an undergraduate degree in psychology, I worked as a waitress at a popular restaurant. A regular customer told me I HAD to meet his wife, who happened to own a private Case Management company…
  • Employment agency called me about a job with a carrier, went to the interview and was hired, but at a ridiculously low salary and for really bad company. Then got back in it after trying other things as a Claims Administrator for a wrap-up program.
  • Job posting at college career center. I needed a job and figured I’d get a better when on graduation. That was 38 years ago.
  • I had just graduated from college and a guy at church said his company was hiring claims adjusters. I went and interviewed and had a job offer before I arrived home (before days of cell phones).
  • My mother went to a temporary agency looking for work and they placed her at a TPA. One day they needed help and she told me to apply and at that time I thought that workers’ compensation was only for people that died at work.  Boy was I wrong!
  • An Hr position I had worked had a minor aspect of WC. When I was laid off a friend introduced me to the WC Manager of another company who hired me as I had some experience in WC, It took off from there,
  • Someone told me there was an opening at The Hartford for a claim trainee. I applied and got the job!  27 years later I’m now a workers comp risk manager.
  • There was an opening and I needed a job.

 

 

I was in a related field, and it turned into workers’ compensation (51 out of 216, 24%)

  • Fell into a position with a personal lines insurance carrier 15 years ago. Eight years ago made the switch to a commercial lines carrier who primarily wrote WC
  • I started in nursing, moved to medical device companies (marketing and R&D), then to PBM with workers comp component, to managed care to Excess WC today.
  • I’m an attorney and was doing ERISA litigation. Part of the health plan work is subrogation – that led me to do subrogation in the Federal Government, which is part of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act – and now I am the Deputy for the attorneys that support the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs at the Department of Labor.
  • I was working in an Emergency Room and the local aerospace company brought in their employees to our ER. They routinely were doing CPR incorrectly, so I called the First Aid department at the company to talk to them about this issue.  They hired me to work in their First Aid Department and train all the first responders.
  • Started as a temp in 1990 doing statistical data entry at the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, moved over to the claims side. Been at it ever since!
  • Started my career in a “safety” environment, proceeded to “risk” and ultimately ended up in what I became passionate about, WC.
  • The firm needed someone to assist the comp attorneys. At the time, it actually paid well.  So much for that!
  • The opportunity came along in the first few years of my physical therapy career and I found it challenging and interesting and after 40 years of practice, it continues to be.
  • Working in contract labor, ended up chasing fraud claimants 30 years ago… Now Risk Manager
  • Earned my BSN, injured my lumbar spine while lifting a patient. Left bedside nursing; obtained a position as a RN in a corporate industry with primary focus in Worker’s Compensation.  Earned my CCM, and began working as a RN independent consultant in WC.
  • Became a health researcher after University. Landed a job leading a government workers compensation health research team, and then slowly moved into workers compensation research working closely with a regulator and insurer in Australia.
  • As various opportunities opened up, the path led here. It was not intentional or planned.
  • Studied government affairs in college and spent a brief time working for a lobbyist. He knew a guy hiring for a public affairs person in the work comp industry and 18 years later, I’m still here.
  • Work for a medical provider that provides care for injured workers and their employers.
  • I was in an HR position at a company that had their own safety department – so outside of the occasional assistance I didn’t deal much with workers’ comp. I left that company and moved to an independent insurance agency that has a dedicated risk management team – so a majority of my position is assisting clients with workers’ comp. Not something I originally saw myself in but it was an easy transition coming from an HR background.
  • When I graduated from high school, I really wanted to prove to my parents that insurance people were not as “sly & slippery” as the used car salesmen (no offense intended), so I decided to major in insurance. While attending college, one of the instructors said that each student would be most successful and most happy with one area of insurance–be it underwriting, sales, or claims.  For some reason, I was really drawn to claims. After many years of working in the insurance industry, I was given the opportunity to adjuster workers’ compensation claims, and it was like someone lit a match and started a fire.  I’m addicted.
  • I began as a part timer while in college to become an RN. I helped with filing and data entry. I’ve since worked my way in to a WC specialist type position and handle all WC claims for our company of ~2500 employees.
  • Started in an Analyst role that was based on financial benchmarking and analysis, not specific to work comp, then migrated into specific Claims and Pricing analysis in just that line of business.
  • I changed fedral jobs after starting graduate business school.
  • Worked as an engineering intern for an insurance broker while in college. Stayed in the industry because each day was different and I got to see how everyone else made their money!
  • started in dental insurance then moved to construction then construction w/c
  • Natural progression from being an Occupational Health Nurse wanting to get into Case Management which led to W/C Claims Mgmt., then SI Admin and now W/C Supv for national carrier (Have kept the RN, CCM going and picked up an MBA along the way)
  • I got my bachelor’s in insurance and real estate and was looking for a job with State Farm. I ended up at Crawford & Co. interviewing and they offered to send me to their WC training school in Atlanta GA, and then I was placed in Fairfax, VA.  I had no idea what I was getting into, LOL.
  • I was a part of every job I have held, even just though a small part. It grew into being important to the survival of small companies to have resources who understood what it took to make WC work for you.
  • I did make a college decision to pursue insurance claims as a career. Getting into workers’ compensation was my employer’s choice.
  • I started in Loss Control and later became the risk manager for a municipality, where I’ve stayed.
  • I started working as a lawyer doing insurance defense for a firm that mainly defended auto claims.  I changed firms and started doing comp in the new firm.
  • I was promoted from a small office in Wichita,Ks(1979) to a large office in Houston, Tx . I was handling all-lines but as a part of the promotion I changed over to WC..  I am now a consultant for all lines.
  • I started my career as a manager trainee in a regional insurance carrier. I was away from workers’ compensation underwriting for many years while working in the casualty reinsurance industry, but found a position managing large workers’ compensation programs written through MGAs.
  • I work for one of the big brokers as a claim consultant and wc is a large component of the job. It was an accident involving an affinity for interpreting a foreign language such as insurance contracts.
  • When I transferred from working in a hospital to working for an industrial manufacturer, work comp and OSHA became part of my job duties as a nurse
  • I started working in disability claims reviewing individual policies and got offered a position in workers’ compensation claims
  • part of my responsibilities as a Risk Manager.
  • Took a job in safety in 2003, WC and MVA claims were part of the task load for commercial transportation co. I happened to be a great claims investigator, have an affinity for asking good questions, reducing claims, risk. Plus I was safety officer in 6th grade at recess!!! I’ve always said I’m wired for WC:), enjoy helping people, service oriented.
  • I am a registered nurse and I found a position as a field case manager, working w/ injured workers. Tired of traveling, I found a job with a WC carrier and I interview injured workers to determine the need for case management assignment.
  • RN, switched to manufacturing field, then transferred to physician office specifically to hand WC.
  • I was trained as a vocational counselor and made the switch from nonprofit to private rehab in WC
  • I transferred from the Emergency Department to Employee Health
  • Fell into occupational medicine after completing my family medicine residency by accident.
  • I fell into a job with a medical bill review company. I now serve as the Marketing Director for the leading WC litigation defense law firm in the Pacific NW.
  • a work comp case manager and I were in touch when I was a hospital case manager; she asked if I knew anyone who might be interested in a work comp NCM roll – the rest is history. That was in 1990.
  • I started out in GL and got promoted to a managerial position that included oversight of WC and GL.
  • Via the claim department file room, I was a file room clerk. Forty years later I am the Director of WC Claims for my company.
  • Nurse with manual handling training and experience with an employer who encouraged me into WC and RTWC position
  • Started my career as an RN which progressed to being certified in occupational health. As my career advanced workers compensation was a major responsibility and I enjoyed the combination of clinical, legal, and human resource services.
  • business insurance broker with W.C. in our bag of offerings.
  • Working in Ag….. Clients needed emergency response, etc. I gravitated to safety and risk.
  • Was hired to manage a PM&R practice that did WC on the side, and this has morphed into mostly WC.
  • I was hired by a medical device manufacturer as an insurance administrator in their risk management department and was introduced to workers compensation in 1975. While attending a monthly meeting of the local Risk & Insurance Management Society at which Minnesota’s WC statutes and system was discussed awakened me to the importance of understanding the law, the actors within the system and the cost impactors on both injured workers and employers.
  • My career started and personal lines, Evolved into commercial lines, then moved into Worker’s Compensation where a niche specialist can really make a difference to all parties
  • I applied for a Claims Trainee position and was crossed trained in all aspects of insurance. There was an opening in the WC department, so I was placed in that department. 26 years later, I am still involved in WC.

 

 

 

 

I was looking for a job and the skills required seemed to be a good fit for me (39 out of 216, 18%)

  • By accident. I completed my degree in sociology and had high dreams of helping out the world by studying cultural diversity and helping bring people together. Instead I needed a job and started working in the documentation center of a major w/comp carrier, not even fully understanding what comp was wall about, and became curious about what the adjusters did back in the ‘pit’. Within a year I had my adjusting license and haven’t looked back.  I do get to study cultural differences and I do hope that I help all parties come together with the sole purpose of returning the employee to productive and safe employment.  There are some who don’t want to work….we wean those out quickly and move back to the majority who do.  🙂
  • I was initially in social services, then went into processing health insurance claims. I got bored with that so moved in to work comp.  Psych background has been helpful.
  • I was hired by a insurance defense firm (with a large book of WC business) out of law school and liked the practice.
  • I searched for jobs in which I could work independantly and found a field adjuster position handling all lines. I chose WC because I could meet claimants in their work place or a clinic and it was safer.
  • I studied HR in college and accepted an internship in workers’ compensation which I had learned about in an HR 101 class.
  • I started marketing for a mono-line wc company and found out there was a lot to learn to be good at it.
  • I graduated with a degree in educational psychology, thinking I would become a school counsellor. Instead, I ended up using those skills for providing vocational testing for injured workers… And spent the next 30 yrs (and counting!) in the Workers Comp Industry. Who’d’ve guessed??!!
  • I accepted an entry level position with an insurance company and was aligned to the workers comp division. The rest as they say is history…
  • I started out Pre-med in college, had a lot of work experience in hospitals, so it seemed a natural course to take when I landed a job in HR with Fremont Comp. Transferred into claims in 1990 and the rest is history.
  • I had to quit a graduate program in speech pathology and became involved in WC because of my medical exposure
  • My parents owned an insurance agency and I swore I would never do insurance work. Still, my sister really liked her job as a State WC adjuster  so ~ because I admired her so much ~ at college graduation I took the first entry level adjuster State test that came up (100 miles from home) and got the job.
  • I was interviewing for an open position at a pharmaceutical and the HR Director told me I’d be better in another area and offered me a position in Risk Management. 26 years later…..
  • When I was around 22 years old, I thought the word “investigator” sounded cool
  • Soon after graduation form college in 1975, I secured a job with the State deaprtment of Labor’s division of Workers’ compensation. The position was suppose to be temporary. I stayed there for twelve years before moving on to private industry.
  • Looking for part time job when son was small and I was just out of college; Aetna Casualty & Surety claims office had opening. Was so impressed with the people and the company I went full time; still doing WC!
  • I was in a completely different line of work and did a favor for a friend who needed someone to ‘temp’ for just a week at what turned out to be the WC dept. of a Fortune 500 Company. 25 years later, I am still in WC, and now running the WC program for another Fortune 500.
  • A friend recommended I try Nurse Case Management, I did and here I am in an on again off again type of employment. I work in it for a while and when I am fed up with everyone I go back to management. Rinse and repeat!
  • I have a safety and security background, and was looking for a new opportunity to use my case management skills.
  • I was almost finished with college and wanted to have a “real” job (outside of being in the restaurant industry to pay for college tuition). I started out in a clerical position at a local TPA in NY supporting claims. I then moved into a med only position.Soon after, I held a lost time position in claims. I then became employed on the vendor side selling managed care services. I now hold an operations title for a national TPA.
  • The Risk Manager for Clorox told me if I wanted to get into safety I should go to work for insurance company. I took a test for a claims adjusters job.  I had to look up what a claims adjuster was.  I passed the text and landed the job and have been loving workers’ compensation ever since.  And I am not being sarcastic, at every “intro to workers’ comp training” I do, I ask who is new to insurance.  I explain why worker’s comp is fun.
  • I was interviewing with DAs and PDs because i wanted to do trial work—and one of them suggested i try workers’ comp.
  • Job searched using words: “investigation”, “research”, and “negotiate”… This turned up jobs in work comp insurance claims. This was 18 years ago. I am still loving my job at SFM – www.sfmic.com
  • Had been an Administration of Justice Major in college, but went into the military as an officer. Within months there was a RIF (reduction in force) because we won the Cold War.  Got into WC investigations shortly thereafter.
  • I was disillusioned with retail – marketing & management. Too many hours, not enough pay, weekend and holiday work. I was burnt out and tired of babysitting employees, filling in their hours when they could not show up for their shift. I quit. Took 3 months off and was encouraged (by my dad, the insurance guy) to apply for a medical claim adjuster job at a nationally known insurer, John Hancock. The office was a field office and handled national accounts; Trump Plaza, National Rodeo Clowns, FTD, etc. The claims and accounts were fun. Then a friend at JohnHancock gave me a tip on a job at a regional self-administrator of health benefits. He gave their recruiter my name. I got an interview and job in one day. Within 30 days, I was asked to interview for a new position of a claim adjuster for Work Comp. It was a start up department run by one man. I interviewed and within in a week was doing work comp claims and handling Granite City Steel in Granite City Ill. The rest is work comp history . I even worked for the Missouri Div of Work Comp as an auditor.
  • My very job in Insurance gave me the exposure to WC issues facing my then employer (types of injuries, claim costs, in and out of network providers of care to injured workers, third party claim administrator, healthcare networks, monopolistic states, regulatory reporting requirements for self-insured, self-administered claims, etc.).
  • Practice interview…my first one out of college so I picked a field I didn’t care to be in! Loved the office and the people. It started me on my insurance journey.  That was a retail job about 20yrs ago.  Worked in commercial retail, commercial underwriting, & when I heard about a job writing Sovereign Nation Work Comp I jumpled on it!!
  • I needed a job and had some insurance experience, and a W/C company needed someone like me in their area.
  • An acquaintance worked in the industry and suggested that I check it out.
  • I needed to do an internship. I was recruited by a regional case mgt company that needed a full time vocational rehabilitation counselor.  The job & internship was done concurrently.  It was a match made.  I’ve never looked back. No two days alike.
  • I had trouble finding a job after graduating from college. My mom is a RN and she was responsible for coordinating workers compensation benefits for her self-insured employer. The TPA that they were partnered with at the time was hiring and she referred me to them for a job interview. I was offered a good salary and was intrigued by the combination of medical, legal, customer service and investigative skills that required for a WC claims role. I’ve been in the industry for 18 years and I absolutely love my job!
  • I was already employed in another field altogether, but actively searching for a different job and my Dad saw an advertisement in the newspaper classifieds for a company near me that was hiring for an Assistant Claims Examiner to handle occupational disease claims and the description of the job looked like it fit my skill set, so I applied to the position to see what an Assistant Claims Examiner did. I was offered the job a day or so after and accepted.
  • Applied for an insurance company job in work comp because my prior job developer skills were similiar to the job placement skills used formerly in vocational rehabilitation. I got the job.
  • My college Professor suggested that I apply for a “Loss prevention” job.
  • A friend who is a GL adjuster suggested it as the sum of my experience in loss prevention, arbitration, writing, customer service and management.
  • Friend went to work in Ins. Loss Control. It sounded interesting so I did. Been in it 45 yrs., last 18 yrs. as Corp. LC Mgr. for WC Ins. Co. Enjoyed the ride!
  • My graduate school advisor thought I would enjoy and be good at WC, so he mentored me. He was right!
  • I had had agency experience and when I was looking for a job in a new city, one of our former marketing reps was with a company called EBI.  Their passion for eliminating accidents, taking care of injured workers and doing the right thing for all stakeholders was amazing.
  • 30 years ago I worked in a doctor’s office and sat next to the paralegal handling WC. Thought it was interesting and got training in it.
  • Because I was an EMT and could understand the doctor’s reports and with my HR degree I knew the business side and could design light duty/return to work.

 

 

 

I was asked, volunteered, or was forced to take over workers’ comp at my company; or I grew into it internally (started in the mail room and worked up). (39 out of 216, 18%)

 

  • The operations leaders felt that my personality fit the bill for a new department called Risk Management. The company was taking the responsibility away from HR. A 12.5 year career.
  • Approached to transition from medical case management
  • Working for a staffing agency, manager recognized my ability to handle and investigate claims.
  • Moved from workshop floor into safety management and then that progressed into WC as a risk manager.
  • Started as an all lines and wc outside adjuster. Promoted to supervision of multi lines/wc
  • I volunteered to help my boss the HR Director.
  • The legislation changed to employers being responsible for paying threshold limits – I was working in HR at the time and the newest member of the depth. Someone had to manage these latest changes so I was told I would be responsible for workers comp. 30 years later I am still working in workers comp and injury management.
  • My boss felt I was a good fit because I had an HR background.
  • I was working at a general practice law firm and one of the partners needed an associate to do Plaintiffs work comp. I did not know what it was but it allowed me to get a lot of court time as a young lawyer.  Now 16 years later I’m still doing it from the defense side though.
  • I was challenged to bring a group health management program to workers comp by a major carrier. I accepted the challenge
  • Took over father’s business
  • Fresh out of college, I applied for a position with an insurance company that I thought would be related to auditing / consulting with businesses and it turned out that it was typing invoices for premium audit. I declined to type invoices but they liked me and offered me a position in underwriting. I liked it and have stayed.
  • By helping to take some of the burden off my boss. He wasn’t really able to give it the attention it required.
  • I needed something to do and the firm needed help in the area of WC
  • The person doing the job was very unpleasant with the injured workers and the company decided they needed a change. They asked me to take over.  I have been the document control coordinator in the prototype engineering department.
  • I was working for a company that didn’t have any safety in place and they got an OSHA violation and the office manager and I both ended up doing safety and I eneded up doing WC. Not the company I work for now.
  • Working in HR and one day (20yrs ago) my boss came into my office and asked me what I knew about WC. I said nothing, and she said well neither do I, here you go its your job now. Been in love ever since.
  • The Benefits Manager left our company. I became the Payroll and Benefits Manager and then the person handling workers’ comp quit.
  • The company I worked for needed someone to do the OSHA log and various other safety items. Since it was a slow time of the year, I decided to take it on.  (I was in accounting full time).  Eventually the company needed to either hire a full time safety person or a full time accountant and they asked me which one I wanted.  Safety/work comp seemed to catch my interest and 18 years later I am still doing it.
  • Filled in for manager who was on a leave of absence and I am still “filling in” 9 years later.
  • Recruited from within the health care sector to transition into workers’ compensation (specifically a Medicaid PBM to a WC PBM).
  • I have a background in organizational development, and was asked to join this team in order to re-visit its workers’ comp program.
  • I was in the HR dept. Work comp was handled by the Finance dept.  When they moved work comp to HR, I drew the short straw!!!  Now I love it and it’s my specialty.
  • I had no choice I’m in HR.
  • It was giving to me because I was handling the GL claims and I had some CSR level experience in it.
  • I worked my way up from the mail room at a time when you could do that and you did not have to have a college education. I obtained my degree as I worked my way up.
  • Ha! I was injured at the hospital job and was stuck in the WCC system. I told everyone to go…well you know, took a night job, went back to college, interviewed for a sales asst job and on day one was told instead I was the new claims asst. Six mos later I was promoted.
  • got involved in safety and they added WC to my plate
  • I took on a position as the paralegal for our COO/general counsel and our HR department (of 1!) needed assistance. I took on the project because I was interested in WC law and its implications as well as to serve the company in that capacity.
  • Education, training and promotions within company from admin to HR.
  • Volunteered by the owner of the Company
  • Out of college I started as a Benefits Secretary and was given the task of working with our injured employees as part of my job duties to initiate their claims and process WC billing. I’ve now continued that task for the last 17 years as well as expanded the program.
  • I started as an EIT on a Bridge construction project in 1980. The GC needed a “Safety Guy” so, me being the “New Guy” got me the assignment. That evolved into claims making and management, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  • My company wanted to move WC from our safety dept to the HR dept. I work in HR compliance so they gave me the responsibility.
  • Our company created a Risk Department and I was chosen to run it, and within this new department is our Work Comp program. My career goal is to focus more in general risk management.
  • I started working at Wausau Insurance in the mail room at the age of 20. I was promoted over the years and was a WC Case Manager when I retired from Liberty Mutual after 35 yrs. I now work for an employer facilitating their WC injuries.
  • It was given to my boss and I, with the expectation from management was we would fail. They were wrong.
  • I was the bookkeeper/office manager for a small machine shop. We recieved a letter saying we were getting kicked out of group rating and were now penalty rated.  I was tasked with figuring out how to fix it. I learned work comp by trial by fire for four years in a small business. I then transitioned into employer consulting on the payor side for the past 14 years.
  • I was a Director of Case Management and the hospital decided to focus on Work comp and asked me to head up the program. That was almost 20 years ago.

 

 

 

I was looking for a job and was interested in work comp because it paid well; or I was attracted to the opportunity of the industry (18 out of 216, 8%)

  • Left law enforcement to work with dad. Didn’t pan out.  Saw ad for claim rep job.  Paid much better than I had earned as a police officer and skills aligned.
  • I was making peanuts in my first job when a friend called and said her insurance company was looking for claim trainees and paying $28k a year to start. In 1992, that was a great starting salary, so I accepted an offer and have been in the industry ever since!
  • Former English teacher, offered an opportunity to enter the P/C Ins. Industry w/ CNA in 1980. Received the best training program in Insurance at that time. 5 years later went to AIG and grew substantially.
  • new venture opportunity– consulting service to employers facing rising WC costs in late 1980s and insurers unresponsive
  • The insurance industry is so backward and the mistakes are over the top. Even today the claims system is from mid evil times exactly the same as health insurance
  • Seized on an Opportunity
  • I am a structured settlement consultant. When I looked at the market analysis for my area, it was obvious that workers’ compensation is a good area for me because structured settlements save a lot of money for insurers on MSA’s and also on indemnity settlements too.  I love understanding the laws in different states and being able to add value to settlements.
  • developed technology that can age and dx soft tissue injuries which everyone said was needed in comp didnt design it for comp but thats where it had a big imoact
  • HR posted for a HR technician to handle w/c, liability & benefits. Posting did not require prior WC experience. I applied, interviewed & was offered the job.
  • great job opportunity with ownership coming out of consulting firm doing turnaround work
  • Applied and it paid well then enjoyed the industry
  • I originally chose this line of coverage as a lead in to meet new clients. The California system was so confusing for my customers, I decided to focus on fixing their problems with it.
  • Providing physical therapy to a wide variety of patients in an outpatient clinic and private practice. In general, the workers’ comp patient population proved to be a bigger challenge due to delayed recovery as the result of failures on all sides of the claim.  I chose to move my practice specialization from treating patients to focus on functional testing, job analysis, and ergonomics to help provide employers with more objective data regarding proper job placement for hiring and return to work.
  • I working in practice management for a large multi-specialty clinic as a business development administrator. We decided to add occupational medicine as our 22nd specialty and recruited an occmed physician to start a new division.  Spent 12 years building 900 employer relationships and added 5 physicians, midlevels, work hardening, OT and PT programs for neuroscience division.  Very successful in the 90s and on.
  • Made a decision one day that work comp was a more lasting profession as disability was a benefit and employers could take that away at any time. As a nurse this has worked quite well for me.
  • I found out accidentally that w/c is paying for compound prescription drugs. And in light of opioid epidemic, our company is convincing the doctors implement trans-dermal pain creams for their patients.
  • I got a job with a law firm that represented injured workers and loved the work. David v Golitha–fighting for the little guy etc.  Pays well also.
  • Went to college for an Accredited Record Technician, landed a job in medical records at local hospital, friend told me about a billing job at General Care Review (Genex). Took the job as it seemed more interesting, and the pay was better. 27 years later, I suppose this is my career.

 

 

 

In college I got my degree, had an internship, or had a part time job in a work comp related field. I stuck with it after graduation (11 out of 216, 5%)

  • My degree was in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling and I interned at a VR Company working with injured employee’s. I was hired full time and then transitioned to where I’m at now.
  • I majored in marketing & management at the University of Cincinnati and accepted a cooperative education position with a TPA during my junior year. And the rest, as they say, is history.
  • My father was a W/C defense lawyer and I became his associate when the associate quit.
  • Interned for Judge Cohn at the Agoura WCAB, then got my first temp job in work comp after law school
  • Going to college and needed part-time job. Started with carrier-owned TPA which was growing in mid-1990’s.
  • While in school, I was looking for part time work. At the time, I had a relative who worked for State Fund.  She told me there was an opening for a part time student assistant in Underwriting.  That was almost 24 years ago!
  • While in college part time, I got a job answering phones at a WC office and worked my way up, but ended up never finishing college.
  • Applied for a reception job in an office while still in college
  • My college and graduate studies were in occupational safety and Wauaus Insurance hired me.
  • Had internship with current employer
  • Hired to do Vocational Case Management in 1989 after receiving a Masters degree in Vocational Rehabilitation

 

 

 

I had my own work comp claim and / or wanted to make a difference (5 out of 216, 2%)

  • I had my own W/C claim & knew I wasn’t getting treated fairly. I wanted to learn about what my entitlement was and I didn’t want to see others treated as unfairly as I was, because I lacked the knowledge. If I only knew then what I knew now… 😉
  • My father injured his back and I helped him navigate the WC system.
  • My ex had a brain injury covered under workers comp (didn’t know about it then). Shortly after I was offered a temp role in it and figured it sounded good.
  • My interest in working as a vocational expert
  • Because I wanted to represent working people.

 

 

Author Michael Stack, Principal, COMPClub, Amaxx LLC. He is an expert in workers compensation cost containment systems and helps employers reduce their work comp costs by 20% to 50%.  He works as a consultant to large and mid-market clients, is co-author of Your Ultimate Guide To Mastering Workers Comp Costs, a comprehensive step-by-step manual of cost containment strategies based on hands-on field experience, and is founder of COMPClub, an exclusive member training program on workers compensation cost containment best practices. Through these platforms he is in the trenches on a working together with clients to implement and define best practices, which allows him to continuously be at the forefront of innovation and thought leadership in workers’ compensation cost containment. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 

 

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Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional.

 

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