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For aspiring independent adjusters looking to begin a new career in catastrophe or daily adjusting, there are several important traits that will serve you well in finding work at the outset of your new career. The first one I’d like to talk about, because it’s fundamental to your expectations and consequently the way in which you perceive the industry and interact with perspective employers, is flexibility. If you’ve decided that you’re only taking a post with a six-figure salary handling lollipop residential property claims within 5 miles of your house in Harvey, North Dakota, you’re going to be a little frustrated by the lack of offers. Now, that’s an exaggeration, of course, but the reality is that many folks place far too many restrictions on what they’ll deign to do on their first assignment with the unfortunate consequence that they never receive a first assignment. Flexibility is key.

If you’re interested in CAT adjusting, you should be willing to travel at any time, work as an unpaid apprentice for a few months, and live out of tent if needs be in a disaster zone. Expect to be put on stand-by, asked to be in Mobile, AL for orientation in 12 hours only to find when you get there after driving through the night that the meeting is now in Beaumont, TX and your deployment status has been downgraded from probable to possible. That’s par for the course! Until you are prepared to pay your dues and until you do so, you shouldn’t turn up your nose at any assignment.

And if your interest is restricted to daily claims then you’ve already hampered yourself considerably in finding work as an independent. Most daily adjusters got their start where? You guessed it, as a CAT adjuster.

Now, this isn’t to say that you shouldn’t exercise due diligence. You must and if red flags are raised concerning the credibility and legitimacy of the prospective employer, then err on the side of caution. But if in your heart of hearts you know that your hesitation comes rather from the prospect of having to step well outside your comfort zone then my friend you must steel your nerves and accept the challenge! Don’t wait for next time because often enough in this industry, next time may not come for a while.

One of T. Harv Ecker’s “secrets” in his outstanding book, “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” is that successful people focus on opportunities while unsuccessful people focus on obstacles. That really gets to the heart of the matter. People who are flexible and adaptable focus on the opportunity in a new situation while those who are inflexible focus on the obstacles. Flexibility means seeing inconvenience in its best light or as G.K. Chesterton said “An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.” Embrace your new career as an adventure with all of its wonderful inconveniences and you’ll find yourself in demand and well paid.

– Daniel Kerr

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