Gauteng Women in Insurance (GWII) recently chatted to Annelot Schrijver, Past President (2013-2014) of the GWII, about her life after insurance… she tells us about her newly acquired Resonance Repatterning skills, as well as her new role as career counselor, having worked 30 years in the insurance industry.
A Q&A session
Q. Life after insurance… tell us a little about your exit from the insurance industry and where you are currently at in your life.
A. I worked in insurance for almost 30 years, and I had a great career between my time working in London and working in South Africa. I met a lot of wonderful people, many of whom I now call my friends. I worked with some interesting (and some demanding) clients, learned an awful lot and traveled the world. At the beginning of 2020, I was still in Australia and Indonesia for work. When COVID-19 hit, and the world went into lockdown, things obviously changed. The travel I loved so much fell away, I spent long stressful days on teams calls and my health started taking its toll. I took the time to reflect and sort out my finances and, at the end of December 2020, I was in a position to leave my full-time job in insurance.
Some of my clients asked me to stay involved and I now consult one day a week to Willis Towers Watson to help on three clients only. The rest of my week I am busy with things I want to do and make me feel good. I have a personal trainer; I take sewing lessons (I have since I was a little girl been passionate about evening dresses so now, I can sew my own) and I recently completed a five-month course in Resonance Repatterning.
Q. Can you share with us more on your newly acquired Resonance Repatterning skills, as well as your new role as career counselor?
A. Everything is vibrating with energy: every created thing has its own pulsation at which it naturally vibrates, called its resonant frequency. Hair, bones, teeth, eyes, an oak tree or a daffodil, a successful business or a loving relationship - all have their own resonant frequency, their own fingerprint. Resonance Repatterning (RR) is about bringing our out-of-sync frequencies back into sync with what is positive, so we once more resonate with physical and mental well-being. It uses a muscle checking tool (and this can be done virtual on a Zoom call as well as in person) to identify and transform these out-of-sync, disordered frequencies causing you to resonate with stress of whatever problem you are experiencing. It is a gentle, non-invasive tool which is highly effective. I have had RR sessions done (as a client) over the past 20 years and they have helped me enormously to transform my life. I am very excited to now be able to do RR sessions for other people and anyone who is interested in experiencing a session can email me on email@example.com. I can also combine this with or offer separate career counseling sessions using my 30 years of experience in the corporate world to guide you if you are feeling stuck and don't know what to do next.
Q. This is the opposite of insurance, how did you land up here, has it always been a dream?
A. My sewing and my RR skills are very different from insurance. I have always been a very creative person but never had the time to explore any of it, between raising two children and a hectic job with lots of travel. I didn't end up here so much by logical choice, I rather think my body knew that the stress of working in insurance was no longer doing me any good and as I said it started affecting my health. In the end I decided that my health and wellbeing was more important. Sewing evening dresses has always been a dream, to train to become a Resonance Repatterning practitioner was never on my radar. However, I was told about the course being run by a South African teacher, and after some consideration, I decided to take the opportunity. It was a tough five month course, and certainly required me to look at myself in many ways, but it was worth it in the end and I am very proud of my newly acquired RR skills.
Q. You worked in the insurance industry for 30 years, name one defining moment in your career which changed the world for you and why?
A. I worked for Willis Towers Watson in London for seven years, and then left England and my job, to have my two babies. I got divorced soon after having my daughter and needed to start working again. Willis had just bought a company in South Africa and the Managing Director at the time gave me a job when I needed it most. I was able not only to have a wonderful career for the next 20 years, but also to grow myself into a financially independent woman and give my two children a good upbringing.
Q. Give us a short brief of your success story. What would you say is a success story?
A. My success story is my own development and my two children who are doing well. Success to me is not about a job title or a salary, it is about personal fulfilment and how you feel about yourself and life. It's about doing what makes you feel good and standing up for yourself. This is especially important to me in an industry where women tend to be overlooked and held back on many occasions.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
A. My plans are to sell my property and to be able to work wherever in the world I am, and whenever I want to work. I would like to earn a more substantial income again, but only doing what I love to do, and hopefully, I can make a difference in this world in some way.
Q. Lastly, what advice do you have for other women entering the industry?
A. My advice for women entering the industry is to work hard but not too hard, learn a lot in insurance because you never stop learning, whether it’s technical stuff or about your clients - and most importantly, believe in yourself. Stand up for yourself and speak up! Get yourself a mentor and don't be afraid to ask for what it is you want.