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It’s benefits enrollment season! It's important that young professionals can enroll with confidence. As a young professional, are you confident that you can identify the right health care benefits for your lifestyle? Or does the thought of choosing your benefits completely overwhelm you? If the latter is the case, you’re not alone. More than half of young workers will be choosing their health care benefits for the first time this enrollment season, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report First-Time Enrollee Survey.* However, only 19% of the young adults surveyed said they felt confident when it came to selecting health care benefits, and only 31% said they felt prepared.* In fact, a whopping 76% of American workers make decisions about their health care plans without complete knowledge of the overall benefits, according to the 2017 Aflac WorkForces Report.** As a result, workers enrolling in benefits plans for the first time may not select the option that best suits their lifestyles. This lack of knowledge often results in hundreds of dollars down the drain. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said they waste up to $750 as a result of mistakes made during open enrollment.** If you want to make sure you get the best coverage possible without spending obscene amounts of money each month, it’s essential that you educate yourself before committing to a benefits plan so you can avoid costly mistakes. With that in mind, here’s an easy checklist to follow so you can enroll with confidence:

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Have you ever dreamed of being your own boss, but were too afraid to make the leap? Maybe you didn’t feel you had the business knowledge. Or, you heard the dismal statistics that 2 out of 3 startups fail in the first 5 years? Well, there is a way you can become an Instant Entrepreneur and minimize the risk of failure. It’s called, becoming an Independent Contractor.

Upsides Of Being An "IC"

Independent Contractors, or “ICs” as they are called, don’t work directly for a company. Instead they partner with a company to deliver their services. Did you know it’s predicted as much as 40% of the American workforce will be ICs in the next decade? Companies can’t offer the kind of job stability they did in the past. In fact, today, every job is temporary. That’s why people are taking the situation in their own hands and becoming ICs - so they can learn how to have more control over their professional destiny in an uncertain labor market. Plus, they love being their own bosses! Now, some people are “freelance” ICs, meaning they go out and find companies and try to sell them their expertise. Like software engineers or digital marketing consultants. This can be harder to be successful at because you are all on your own. But, what if you could work for yourself, but not by yourself?

Independent Agents = Instant Entrepreneur

There is another kind of IC that many people don’t know about. They are independent agents of a business. For example, Aflac*, the insurance company, hires Independent Contractors as their insurance agents. One of the best things about being this type of IC is that it works very similarly to franchise businesses. You get all the training, support, and brand recognition of the company, which increases your ability to be successful. For example, with Aflac:
  • They provide extensive training, and they offer it in various formats to support your preferred way of learning. Whether you like a classroom setting, or online tools and materials, they provide hands-on support to help their insurance agents get up-to-speed to grow and prosper.
  • Additionally, Aflac is a Fortune 500 company and has been on the list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies** for 10 consecutive years. Having a reputation like that behind you as an insurance agent makes it much easier to prove to customers they are working with a good company.
  • And, being an insurance agent with Aflac has financial perks too. Besides unlimited earning power, there are trips, awards and even stock bonus contributions for top performers.
In short, choosing to become an insurance agent with Aflac is just one example of how being this type of Independent Contractor can make you an “Instant Entrepreneur” - and succeed at it too! Want more information about becoming an Aflac agent, please visit www.aflac.com/agents. NOTE: Aflac is a content partner of this website and sponsor of this post. *Aflac herein means American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus and American Family Life Assurance Company of New York. Aflac agents are independent agents and are not employees of Aflac. **FORTUNE Worlds Most Ethical Companies is a registered trademark of Time Inc. and are used under License. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Aflac.