Lincoln Financial Group | www.lfg.com |
Published in the January/February 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates. The companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $164 billion as of June 30, 2011. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers annuities; life, group life, disability, and dental insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. Lincoln has approximately 8,000 employees, and has revenue of $10.4 billion.
Senior Vice President Allison Green, the chief diversity officer for Lincoln Financial Group, has nearly 20 years of corporate and management consulting experience and an extensive background in human resources.
She said that veterans are a good fit for many positions. “Like any major corporation, Lincoln offers candidates a variety of roles to build their career,” Green said. “Major areas of concentration include sales, finance, customer service, technology, marketing, and human resources.”
There are also opportunities for veterans to enter one of the company’s leadership programs. “Lincoln offers recent graduates and discharged military the opportunity to apply for one of our three leadership programs: Leadership Preparation Program, Actuarial Development Program, and Group Protection Marketing Rep Development Program.”
Green said that the experience veterans receive in the military is valuable to Lincoln for many reasons, including diversity. “Military veterans represent diversity and inclusion in action,” she said. They’ve worked side-by-side with men and women of all backgrounds, understand how teamwork grows out of respect and a responsibility to colleagues, and have demonstrated commitment to their work. We want them in our workforce. Veterans consistently exhibit the same leadership qualities that it takes to succeed at Lincoln: teamwork, goal-setting, professionalism, collaboration, organizational agility, and execution.”
Green said veterans should make sure to take advantage of one of the biggest networking organizations in the world when they are looking for their next career step: the U.S. military. “Use the connections you have to learn about and pursue opportunities,” she urges.
As for working at Lincoln, Green said veterans shouldn’t pigeonhole themselves. “Consider a variety of roles,” she said. “Don’t limit yourself. For example, just because you are interested in finance, don’t dismiss a role in sales. We do sell financial products, after all.”
Lin Ingram, senior vice president of Lincoln Financial’s Life Customer Service and Claims Operations departments, is a veteran who didn’t limit himself. He retired as a colonel in 2002, after 30 years of service with the U.S. Army – including two years of active duty and 28 years in the Active Reserve. He continues to serve as an Ombudsman with Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
Ingram has spent the civilian side of his career in the life insurance industry, and believes that veterans will find no shortage of opportunities at Lincoln. “Whether a candidate’s interests are in accounting, investments, human resources, information technology, operations, service, marketing, or sales, we have roles for highly motivated and focused potential employees,” he said. “Lincoln has a presence in every major market in the United States. I encourage potential candidates to reach out to a Lincoln financial agent or planner in their community to learn firsthand about Lincoln’s opportunities and the company.”
He also said there are a lot of veterans working at Lincoln. “Many of these are prior active duty personnel,” Ingram said. “We also have employees currently deployed as members of the Reserve and National Guard in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, as well as Operation New Dawn in Iraq. Lincoln has an outstanding human resources policy in support of our employees that serve in the reserve components. Lincoln employees work very closely with military family support groups to support the families of our deployed employees.”
It’s not unusual for Lincoln employees to nominate the company for veteran-related awards. “Most recently one of our deployed National Guard employees nominated Lincoln for a Patriot Award given by the Department of Defense,” Ingram said. “This award recognizes Lincoln’s support for employees serving in the National Guard and Reserve. Lincoln has also received the Above and Beyond award from the Department of Defense.”
Standing out in a crowd is one thing Ingram believes will help veterans succeed in a career. “In the military, this might mean having attended specialized training courses or having been assigned to units such as Special Forces,” he said. “In the civilian world, you can differentiate yourself through educational accomplishments such as advanced degrees or specialized training required by your targeted employer. Demonstrated involvement in community and volunteer activities are highly valued by employers, especially employers such as Lincoln that place high value on corporate social responsibility. Your involvement in these types of activities speaks not only to your leadership but the level of your emotional intelligence, a highly valued commodity in the civilian workplace.”
Networking is also key. “Begin building your professional network now with individuals that you know in the civilian workplace,” Ingram urges. “Especially important will be veterans that have effectively made the transition from ACU’s to corporate gray. It is very important that you find a way to translate your military experiences into language that is understood by the civilian workplace. Start your transition planning early – no later than 12 months before you plan to leave active service.”
Ingram also believes that finding an inside source is key, especially at Lincoln. “If you have an internal contact, network with that contact or find someone that can introduce you internally to decision makers,” he said. “Instead of ‘shoot, move and communicate,’ your mantra should become ‘network, learn, and sell yourself.’”