When Jim Dougherty graduated from law school, he thought he would follow his dad into his law practice. But as he waited on his bar exam results, he noticed his friends who were already practicing law were working long hours. He knew it was not for him.
A friend who did a clerkship at a law firm that was part of an insurance carrier suggested Jim look at opportunities in claims with insurance companies. He applied for a claims adjuster position at Infinity Insurance.
After a couple years in claims, he was talking to a marketing representative about how he worked with independent insurance agents and brokers. Jim was intrigued and knew he wanted to work in that role so when the position opened up he jumped at the chance. Now, almost 20 years later, Jim knows he made the right decision by sticking with insurance instead of practicing law.
I talked with Jim about his more than 20 years at Infinity what he likes about the industry (“the entrepreneurship and not being afraid to try new things”), and more. This is the way Jim Dougherty works.
AVP Business Development
One word that describes how you like to work.
Using my brain and experiences.
Current mobile device:
For work I have an iPhone 6. Personally I prefer Android, so I have a Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.
Work-Dell Latitude; Home-Microsoft Surface Pro 3
Project(s) you’re currently working on:
A few projects involving cost reduction and technology enhancements.
Accomplishments you’re proud of:
Finishing university and finishing law school. I love learning, but it was hard to go to class.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Professionally, help Infinity grow our book of business at a profitable position. Personally, want to finish my French Rosetta Stone course.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Getting through to the independent agents about changes they should be making within their business. It is really an industry challenge.
What do you like most about your job?
Meeting and helping people. Be it people who I work for, people who work for me, or our agents and brokers, I am here to serve them in whatever way I can.
Aside from your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?
I really love gadgets, and I’m usually one of the first to get them, but surprisingly I don’t have a gadget I can’t live without.
What are the top three apps you use on your phone?
Google Play Music, Gmail, Google Calendar.
Describe your workspace.
Private office with neat piles of projects on my desk. Dual monitors, coffee mug, rolodex (yes I still have one because it is faster to look up than logging into phone contacts or computer contacts), land line phone, charging pad for cell phone, laptop computer with docking station, globe, occupying rest of my desk space.
How do you manage your to-do list?
I work the most important (most impactful) first. Then I check them off and move the ones I have not completed to the next day’s to-do list.
What’s your best time-saving tip or hack?
Because I work with people in different time zones (almost all two to three hours ahead), I try to send emails or voice messages to them late in the afternoon so that when I get into the office in the morning, many of my issues, questions, etc. have been tackled, chased down, and answered.
What’s the first thing you do when you get in the office?
I look at my to-do list from day before, check if I have any voicemails, plug in my laptop.
What is your best everyday habit?
I drink a lot of water and try to take 15 minutes to walk around our building.
What do you listen to while working?
I like to listen to music (classical to stimulate my brain when I am brainstorming, chill-out music when I am stressed) but it is hard too when I am on the phone a lot. Right now I am listening to the traffic on the freeway next to our building.
What are you currently reading?
I was reading Thomas Piketty’s book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” (I think a must for everyone), but it is a heady book and more than 600 pages of economics so I have set that down and am reading “SEO 2017.”
Favorite social network?
Coffee or tea?
What are you watching on Netflix right now?
I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do have Netflix. My sister is a director and a lot of her work is for the titles on Netflix shows, so I tend to watch the series she worked on. The last full series I watched was Stranger Things, since she did the titles for that series. It was a good series.
How do you decompress?
I like listening to music. I also like to cook for friends and family.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Usually the sound of the birds chirping outside my window or the sunlight cracking through the window shades.
What does a typical day look like for you?
That’s just it. Most days are atypical, and I love it.
Who are your business idols and why?
Within my company, my boss Glen Godwin and our CEO Jim Gober. Both have been instrumental in my career development and have trusted me in what I do to help bring value to our company. I am amazed in what they have seen, predicted, and practiced. They also are not afraid to take risks to move the company along, especially in an industry that is about risk aversion. Lastly, they are very humble individuals and will never take credit for the accomplishments by their team at Infinity. I try to manage by the same principles.
What is your motto or personal mantra?
Less talking, more listening to people.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
Elon Musk. He just seems to be doing all the coolest things: Tesla, Space-X, Hyperloop, battery technology.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
I would love to see more women leaders interviewed and any younger people making a difference in the insurance industry. Both are lacking in our industry.
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.