Gen Y thinks our industry is lame.

That was the vibe in last Thursday afternoon’s standing room only “State of the Industry” breakout workshop session at NAILBA 30 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

So that’s why young people aren’t pursuing careers in the life insurance industry. It’s too boring. It’s too complicated. It’s generally perceived as a lame profession by the hip, cool Gen Y crowd.

ING’s Butch Britton, one of the panelists for the session, pointed out that the average producer is 56 years old and is focused on the affluent market. We all know not enough young people are entering the business, and meanwhile, nobody’s hitting up the middle market to buy life insurance.

Britton lamented that life insurance “is the greatest business in the world,” and we still can’t get anybody to make it a career choice because they either don’t know about it or they don’t understand it. Or they think it’s lame and dismiss it without ever giving it proper consideration.

We’ve got to find a way to bring greenhorns in and get them started. There are plenty of recent college grads without jobs who are great candidates for this business. If they only knew what a great career choice they could be making. Or, in this time when school districts are laying off teachers right and left because voters shoot down bond issues, the life insurance industry should be reaching out to these orphaned professionals.

How can the industry rebrand the image of the life insurance professional to correct these misconceptions among young people searching for fulfilling careers that aren’t lame? How can we get the message across that selling life insurance is extremely fulfilling, you can make an above-average living, and have the kind of flexibility in your schedule that most workers dream of?

If Gen Y only knew.

If your organization is effectively recruiting young people and helping them make it past those dangerous first years, I’d love to hear how you are doing it via the comment box below.