When Leah Dominy tells people not to give up on their dreams, she is speaking from experience.
Dominy put herself through college by working full-time as a personal lines insurance agent and by waiting tables. She earned an associate degree, but she wasn’t finished yet.
“I wanted more and went back to college to get the job I wanted,” she says of her reasons for earning a bachelor’s in business management.
Her plan paid off. After 14 years handling personal home, auto, health and life insurance policies, Dominy joined Argo Group’s environmental division in 2015, where she is now a senior underwriter in the Scottsdale office.
Give people a chance
Dominy took her first insurance job because she wanted full-time work. She ended up finding her passion.
“I fell in love with it,” she says of the industry. “There’s always something challenging, it’s always changing, and you’re helping people.”
The environmental niche in particular provides plenty of learning opportunities for Dominy, who enjoys researching new subjects.
But if her first agency hadn’t given Dominy a chance to prove herself – she didn’t score well on a pre-employment test – she might not have found her career fit. And in the process, the agency would have missed out on an employee praised by her clients for excellent customer service and expertise. Dominy seeks out ways to give chances to others, to pay forward the chance that she was given to shine.
“A lot of times it’s hard for people to get into different careers because they aren’t given the opportunity,” she says.
How to succeed in insurance? Treat others well and hold on to dreams
Dominy seeks out ways to make a positive difference in the lives of others, whether picking up lunch for a co-worker or watching a friend’s dog.
“You treat people the way you want to be treated, and you want them to remember you for something you did for them and not something you didn’t do for them,” she says. “If you go that extra mile, it goes a long way.”
Don’t be discouraged by setbacks and keep working toward goals, she says. That approach has worked for her.
“Never give up on your dreams,” she says. “I am from a small town in Georgia, and I am the youngest of four and the only one who moved away. Never did I think I would be living in Arizona and working for this large insurance company.”
A love of competition at work and at play
Dominy enjoys spending time with her chocolate lab, Brady, who at 12 years old still enjoys daily fetch sessions. Exercise is another no-fail method she uses to recharge, attending group workout sessions and lifting weights. Dominy can deadlift 270 lbs., down from her personal record of 300 lbs., and she has competed in local CrossFit team competitions.
That drive pays off at the office, where she is motivated to work hard by those around her.
“I have this competitive mentality that always pushes me to do better,” she says. “Whether the person beside me knows it or not, there is a competition.”
Learn more about Argo Environmental.