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What fashion models can teach insurance agents

January 30, 2018
Opposite of Insurance Agent - Aartrijk

Lessons in Opposites

By Regis Coccia

As the saying goes, opposites attract. We can also learn from opposites. With that in mind, let’s consider what models such as Gisele Bundchen and Tyson Beckford can teach insurance agents.

Does this sound like a stretch? Thank the U.S. Department of Labor and an unusual feature in The New York Times’ online column, The Upshot: a look at Labor Department data on opposite jobs. An interactive tool allowed readers to input a job and see its opposite, according to the Labor Department’s data.

The opposite job of an insurance agent? A fashion model. So much for the glamorous life of selling policies and advising clients about insuring their risks.

The skills most and least used determine the Labor Department’s list of opposite jobs. Let’s look at what those are for agents and their counterparts.

Insurance Agent Model
Skills used most Skills used most
Selling or influencing others Ability to maintain balance
Sales and marketing Gross body coordination
Economics and accounting Trunk strength
Communicating with persons outside organization Ability to reach with arms, hands and legs
Customer and personal service Performing general physical activities
Establishing and maintaining interpersonal relationships Performing for or working directly with the public
Performing for or working directly with the public Technology design
Negotiation Stamina
Clerical Fine arts
Resolving conflicts and negotiating with others Dynamic strength
Skills used least Skills used least
Performing general physical activities Monitor processes, materials or surroundings
Ability to coordinate two or more limbs Identifying objects, actions and events
Ability to quickly and precisely adjust controls on a machine or vehicle Making decisions and solving problems
Controlling machines and processes Processing information
Operating vehicles, mechanized devices or equipment Estimating the quantifiable characteristics of products, events or information
Ability to focus on one sound among distractions Finger dexterity
Transportation Getting information
Building and construction Pattern recognition
Visual color discrimination Near vision
Depth perception Information ordering

The opposite job of a marketing manager is an agricultural grader. Marketers are in the business of selling and influencing others, while agricultural graders need physical strength and dexterity to handle and move objects. In case you’re wondering, the opposite job of a writer or author? It’s a mobile home installer.

As the Labor Department data shows, every profession has its strengths. Insurance agents and models might learn from each other, particularly where performing physical activity, working with the public and problem-solving are concerned. The average insurance agent may never walk the runway or appear on the cover of Vogue, but models and agents alike can enhance their value as professionals by strengthening their minds, bodies and public image.

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