Last year, Luke Madsen, Managing Director at Northwestern Mutual Bellevue, was impressed when Zach asked for more work to do in his job as data entry assistant. Well, Zach got his wish: he now tracks the daily activity of an entire fleet of insurance advisors.
“I help the first- or second-year financial advisors keep track of the people they call,” Zach explains.
“In our business, you have to make a certain number of phone calls, you need to meet with a certain number of people,” says Luke. “Zach has a system that he plugs all the information into.”
“It’s a more active role in the business,” Zach says. “I learn a lot when I’m here.” Right now, he’s learning to use Career Activity Management (CAM) System software for his daily call tracking. “It says how many referrals and how many initial appointments they made. It has a save option, too, where I can list what I know and then save it for that specific day.”
Not only does Zach help keep his coworkers organized and efficient, but he keeps them motivated, too.
“He really lifts up the office,” says Luke. “There’s a lot of rejection in our business, and it’s good for our advisers to interact with someone who has different experiences in life and to quit feeling sorry for themselves.
“One of the worst things that people can do in our business is approach our clientele with their mind already made up about how the meeting’s going to go or what’s going to be important to the client,” Luke continues. “Our job is to understand people before we jump to conclusions. Having a diverse workforce breeds that open perspective.”
Don’t miss the boat.
Luke wishes more employers would follow Northwestern Mutual’s lead; he encourages them to “look at Northwest Center like any other employment service. “The boat’s getting missed,” Luke emphasizes. “The stories coming out of Northwest Center show how profitable these relationships can be, like any other good employee-employer relationship. You just have to find the right person.”
As for job-seekers, Zach’s advice is the same as his work philosophy: “Just be yourself,” he says, “and work hard.”
Northwest Center is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. We envision a day when all people have the same opportunity to learn, work and enjoy a fulfilling life. From birth to retirement, we support people with disabilities.
This story was originally published as part of Northwest Center's 50th anniversary project: 50 Stories Worth Sharing
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