Leap of faith leads to fulfilling career for new mom

How a career change changed my life

3 min read

October 2021

Leaping off boat into open water

Rebecca was feeling unfulfilled in her career. She was successful, for sure, but had reached an advancement cap as a leader in retail. With a three-month-old son at home, and a global pandemic wreaking havoc in her industry, she decided it was time to take a risk and make a career change.

Having lived in Ohio where Progressive is headquartered, Rebecca had often heard about the company’s generous benefits package, flexible hours, career advancement opportunities, and work/life balance. She decided to take a leap and apply, hoping to find the work/life balance she needed as she cared for her newborn child.

Her leap of faith worked out, and she soon accepted an offer to work an overnight shift at Progressive in the Claims department. Her training began in the office, but a little over a week into it, everyone was sent to work from home as the pandemic peaked. With so much uncertainty swirling around COVID-19, Rebecca was worried she could lose her job after making a huge career change. She soon learned she had nothing to worry about. Progressive pivoted quickly to transition her training to virtual and accommodate company plans for most of their employees to work from home. While she experienced a few hiccups trying to set up her computer from home, she was thankful for her job and Progressive for prioritizing the health of their employees.

Settling into her position as a claims customer service representative was seamless for Rebecca thanks to her training. Her job included taking calls from Progressive customers who experienced an auto accident. Her main responsibilities include gathering accounts surrounding the accident and initiating calls for a tow truck, if needed. Oftentimes, Rebecca was the first contact that customers encountered after an incredibly stressful and scary experience. While the job can be a bit stressful, Rebecca understood that first impressions are everything and she always took the time to make sure the customer was okay and reassure them Progressive is here to help.

As she became more comfortable in her role, Rebecca still felt like something was missing. She loved to help her peers be successful but felt like she could do more. She became the go-to person on her team whenever there was a problem. Happy to lend her support, Rebecca would go beyond providing solutions her team members could use. It was then she realized that she was ready to take the next steps in her career. She was eyeing a role in leadership.

Rebecca set her plan in motion by letting her supervisor know she was ready to take on a role with more responsibility—and she was met with a lot of support. She began taking advantage of the myriad of development resources available to employees. For her, that included using OWN IT, an internal site with tools for employees to get professional development and guidance on growing their Progressive career. She attended Employee Resource Group events and used her networking skills to meet with other supervisors in the company. She also took time to prepare for interviews by doing mock interviews with her own supervisor and gathering feedback. She was prepared. And after 13 months with Progressive, she interviewed for and was offered a supervisor role in the Claims department, guiding representatives in the same position she started out in.

The future is bright for Rebecca as she settles into her new leadership role. She no longer works an overnight shift, but her work/life balance is still, well, balanced. Even with the increase in duties, Rebecca is still able to have dinner with her family every night. She has her sights set on a future career in Human Resources. For now, she’s happy that Progressive doesn’t make her choose between being a mom and having a successful career—she’s doing both.

Rebecca Miller works in Progressive’s Claims department as a Central Response Supervisor. She has a passion for helping others develop and reach their goals. She's a member of Progressive's Employee Resource Groups and makes it a priority to incorporate a focus on diversity and inclusion into her leadership. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her son, husband, and their three cats.

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