Insurance representatives often find themselves in a tricky situation. While they're needed, they often have a bad reputation. One man who does his colleagues proud is Sebastian Gerygk.
Sebastian Gerygk from Rhineland-Palatinate works in the insurance business. He offers financial products and sells insurance policies. As a trained lawyer, he pays special attention to the legal side of such transactions.
He starts a normal working day by checking his email, and then seeing what's been happening on the international financial markets. His day is divided: in the morning, Gerygk prepares himself for his talks with customers, and in the afternoon, he visits them.
A good listener
Gerygk has worked to gain the trust of his clients. "It's not like they buy the product and that's it," he says. "We stay in touch. My customers come to me and ask for my advice when there's a problem or if they have questions. That's a service I offer for free."
Sebastian's most important tool - a notebook
His customers spread the word when they feel well advised, says Gerygk, adding that it's the best form of advertising.
Most of Gerygk's customers are around 30 years old. The reason? That's the age when most customers start to earn decent money, and think about how they want to invest it: buy property, get life insurance, build a house, or start their own business. That's when they need Gerygk's advice.
"People that are working and earning a good salary for the first time in their lives need a concept, a plan for their financial investments. I help them to manage their money – both in the medium and long term. I advise them on their investment strategy, tell when at which bank they can get the best interest rates, how much they have to pay back, and in what time period."
A whole new role
The husband and father has been on a lucky streak as of late. His family has grown – now, they are four. Gerygk took paternal leave and is currently at home with his two small children while his wife finishes her medical degree.
He's learned from the experience, and become a real multi-tasker in the household. In the kitchen, he proudly shows off two loaves of whole wheat bread still warm from the oven, as well as the smaller rolls that his older daughter likes to eat.
Sebastian is a family man
"It's a really nice experience for me, because I really love being with my kids," he says. "I make breakfast in the morning, then I change diapers, get my older daughter dressed, and help her pack her snack box to take to kindergarten." After that, laundry is the order of the day. His wife pops in now and then, as she's still breastfeeding the baby.
Shakespeare and Mozart
Gerygk loves classical music, and is an enthusiastic reader of philosophical texts. He's also a big fan of Shakespeare, and makes an effort to find time to read passages aloud to his wife.
Ever since he's had a family, his attitudes toward the country's health and education systems has changed. For him, they're now the basis upon which the next generation can build a fulfilling life.
Gerygk is also aware of how good most people in Germany have it. "It's really not as bad here as many people say," he says. "So my advice is, keep your chin up and be grateful for what you've got!"
Auhtor: Thelma Mwadzaya (dc)
Editor: Rina Goldenberg