Past Newsworthy Dads

In this podcast, author Mike Aquilina talks with Fathers for Good editor Brian Caulfield about his new book on angels and how these heavenly beings intersect our lives.



A Career Change?

 To help you think about the process of forging a new career path, Fathers for Good spoke with Steven Fedewa, Vice President for Manpower Growth and Development, for the Knights of Columbus insurance program.

Steve Fedewa

Fathers for Good: Generally speaking, how can this be a time of hope and career development?

Fedewa: No matter what the economy takes away from you, always think about what you have left, not what you have lost. Now build from that point.

Most of us are creative when we need to be or when we want to be. There will be more new careers started in the next 20 years because of emerging technologies and services that are needed as a result of these changes. Look back to hard times in our history and you will see men thriving. Why? Because they found ways to fix something that was broken or solved a problem that needed attention.

FFG: What steps would you recommend for a man who has lost employment or is unhappy and wants to re-enter another field?

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Fedewa: First, keep a positive attitude. It sounds corny, but I have found your mind deals with positives better than negatives. Think about what you are good at and what you want to do for a living.

Then find people that are in that field of employment. Ask them to share how you could get started in their career field. Most people are happy to discuss their profession.

Keep in mind: you may not like their answer. The training and skills needed may require more work, money, discipline or study than you are willing to expend. However, you now know more about a profession you have an interest in. Be prepared to do some research for different ways you could acquire the knowledge and skills to start your new profession. Make sure you evaluate the pluses and minuses of this new career before you get started. If possible, try to job sample the career. This will help you decide if this is something you really what to do as new career.

FFG: What specific skills or background do you look for in a man who wants to move into sales?

Fedewa: Some of the background qualifications we seek in an agent candidate for a Knights of Columbus position are a person who is already a K of C member, or eligible and willing to become a member, has the physical ability to fulfill the job requirements, and preferably has some business experience.

In addition, we seek someone who is looking for a career, is financially responsible, and has high integrity. This person should have a solid work ethic along with a friendly and outgoing personality.

As a personal note, I started in this business because of the recession in the 1980s. I changed jobs and became a Knights of Columbus agent. I was a real estate broker at the time, and started a great career with the Knights of Columbus that has been very good to me and my family.

FFG: How does a sales job with the Knights of Columbus differ from a sales job with a more secular-minded company?

Fedewa: Our primary concern is serving our members’ life insurance needs. Our founder, Father Michael J. McGivney, originally started the KofC to protect the widows and orphans of his parish. He quickly realized that every Catholic family should have the same privileges as his parishioners and he went about trying to make that belief a reality.

These principles still stand at the core of our business model today. Over the years, we have added programs to help our members provide for their retirement needs as well. When we develop new programs, we stay with our core values. We do not develop products just to find new ways to make a profit. Our goal is to protect each member and his family.

With every downturn there is always an opportunity to refocus your thoughts about your career path and ask what are you really working for? I know there are many men today thinking how much they would like to be doing something to help their fellow man rather than just chasing after the almighty dollar.

FFG: Is this a good environment for life insurance sales?

Fedewa: The environment is very good for life insurance sales, now more so than when the economy is considered robust. The reason is that many people’s assets have lost value in this type of economy. Life insurance has built-in guarantees. Most people are looking for guarantees when their other assets are not performing well.

Our members know they can count on the Knights of Columbus as a solid and financially responsible advocate for their life insurance needs. If a family is struggling financially, just imagine how much worse things would be when a bread winner is lost. With proper planning, our members can make sure their family can survive the financial hardship of losing one of their primary sources of income. Besides, we have very competitively priced programs built for most any budget. We can help almost every member with the programs we offer.

FFG: Can people afford life insurance in a bad economy?

Fedewa: Let me rephrase that question, since we have a program for almost any budget. Can you afford not to protect your family with life insurance in a recession?

The Knights of Columbus has stood the test of time. We have paid our insurance as promised through depressions, recessions and in good times. We are a company that has life insurance designed by brother Knights for brother Knights. We are ready to help our members when they are ready to help their families.

For more information, visit the Knights of Columbus career website.