Being an actuary can be a force for good. But it can also be fashionable, suggests Deepak Jobanputra
The actuarial profession, I'm sure most, if not all, of you will agree, is special and perhaps even unique. Not only is an actuarial career deemed to be an aspiring choice but it is also one that can make a genuine difference to society. It is frequently cited as being complex and 'geeky'. Although, I understand from the next generation that the label represented by 'geek' nowadays is rather fashionable.
I am, however, still surprised at the variety of explanations of what it is an actuary does. We have an article this month on soft skills with a focus on communication, and my take on the advice from this is that we should not just say 'I'm an actuary' when asked what we do. This is likely to impress and raise an eyebrow, but may not accurately convey the reality of the role.
The impact that actuaries have on society is positive. Personally, I am pleased to be able to say that I work in health insurance and I strongly promote the benefits of leading a healthy life, with support in achieving this. The effect of this, through my employer, is far-reaching and I am sure that many of you will have stories of how you and your employer make a beneficial contribution to the lives of many people.
Our lead article on industrial deafness is another great example of how actuaries look to provide support to an individual's wellbeing, in this case those whose hearing has been affected through their working lives. It is a topic that is receiving considerable attention, given the rise in the number of claims, and is cited in the article as being the new 'whiplash'.
I believe it is very important that we portray our profession as one that really has a positive effect on people and society in general as we extend our reach into industries beyond our traditional fields.
In years to come we may even see 'trendy' T-shirts with an iconic actuary logo - that's if they don't already exist.