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Breaking bad: moving from a big broker to a startup


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Matt McKenna Scale Underwriting
Matt McKenna

Underwriting Manager

In this special post, one of our outstanding teammates discusses his experience moving from a big corporation to a startup. Less than a year later and this insurance guru is showing us that some bad habits aren’t all that hard to break. You can actually enjoy coming to work. 

Making a career change is never an easy decision. Making a change from a company of 28,000 to a company of 28 is even more difficult.

But, after less than a year at Founder Shield, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. Aside from obvious perks like ditching the suit and tie for a pair of jeans and sneakers (and the dreary grey cubicle for a video game room), the work we are doing at Founder Shield is much more fulfilling than life at a big broker.

It may not be for everyone, but the fast paced nature of working with young companies was a welcome change from spending weeks, or even months at a time working on a single renewal. Rather than battling the 2 or 3 other big brokers for the same Fortune 500 clients, each day at Founder Shield brings a new challenge and an entirely new business concept from young entrepreneurs looking to take their idea to the next level.

The culture and enthusiasm with which people attack their jobs is also entirely different in the Founder Shield environment. It’s a true team effort; everyone celebrates big wins.

Rather than being a small part in a massive machine and not receiving credit for the effort you put in, you’re recognized for a job well done. It’s refreshing to know that all of your hard work is actually being appreciated and not dismissed by the C-Suite because your counterparts in Japan missed their quarterly revenue goal by 2%.

And it’s pretty awesome to see and be part of a company expanding as rapidly as Founder Shield is. In the past 6 months, our team has grown by more than 30% and there is no sign of that stopping. While the days might be hectic and the hours may be long, there’s nothing better than when you enjoy coming to work. I think that’s the biggest difference between the employees at Founder Shield and those at the large traditional brokerages. People here enjoy coming to work.

If you can keep the team and your clients happy, you have a pretty good recipe for success. Things can get overwhelming at times but, as with any young company, you find the best way to operate. Some prefer a game of FIFA while others find one of the many dogs running around the office to play with.

You won’t find those options anywhere else.

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