My name is Jason and I own a recruiting company. For the past 17 years, I’ve been spending my days helping people find work. More specifically, helping them find work that will propel their careers. And help them find the type of work/life balance they’re specifically looking for.
I’ve been doing this for a long time, but I’ve only recently realized why this work is so important to me. And, for the first time ever, I feel like the recruiter finally feels like the recruitee.
A Little Bit About Myself…
To say I come from a humble background would be the understatement of the century. My family lived on a meager budget held together by sporadic pay, and food stamps. To help out I started working at the tender age of 12. At 10 years old, my dad walked out on my mother, my 6 month old sister, and me, making me the man of the house. I had to grow up that day – and fast.
As I got older, I focused on working hard, smart, and making as many connections as I could to get me and my family out of our dire situation. I don’t know where or when the lesson clicked, but I knew that the only way out would be through community, connection, and compassion.
While some in similar circumstances would (understandably) be held back by a scarcity mindset, I had so little to lose that I could only see up. Every person I met represented an opportunity. An opportunity to grow my network, to show that I could work hard and add value to that person’s life. I saw each person as another connection that could lead me to bigger and better things. I made sure to never leave an opportunity to waste.
Similar to my childhood, I often found myself in situations that pegged me as the outsider even as I grew older: first in the military and then in a fraternity.
I joined the Army National Guard to help pay for school and learned indispensable life and professional skills. I’ve never been one to march to anyone else’s drum – so being forced to fall in line day in and day out wasn’t easy. However, these experiences helped make me who I am today and they are dues I was happy to pay.
In college, I made time to join a fraternity so I could both build my network and learn how the other half lives. It just so happened that the fraternity I joined was made up of some of the wealthiest kids on campus. This reality was really driven home the day I leased a brand new Honda Accord. It was my first new car and was hard-earned (I had to work two jobs averaging 60-80 hours a week all summer long to make it happen). When I got back to school and my fraternity brothers were driving up in their parent-bought Land Rovers, my brand new Honda suddenly felt pathetic.
Luckily, my fraternity brothers helped me see a perspective I didn’t expect: awe of the fact that I worked for every single thing I had. So, while I was feeling envious of them, it turns out, they were feeling the same about me. This lesson took me nearly 15 years to truly understand.
What’s the point of telling you all of this? To show you that the place you start doesn’t have to be the place you end up. If you’re willing to make connections, work your rear end off, and see the world from another point of view (even if that requires putting yourself in uncomfortable situations like being an outsider), then you too can reach that place you really want to be. Not just the place that feels attainable.
After college, I obtained work through a temporary staffing firm – but I quickly turned that opportunity into something else. I enjoyed working for the staffing firm because it placed me in many positions with many different types of companies. This allowed me to learn a lot along the way. However, I also had a lot of friends who also needed similar opportunities – so I started to refer them to the staffing firm. As I did, I met more and more people who would benefit from this connection and I shifted my focus to helping as many people as I could.
I began to see the value my networking gave to my friends (connections to post-college work), the value it brought to the staffing firm (much-needed candidates/temps) and the value it brought to me (commission for every recruit I sent), I realized that I could earn a living from doing something I love and that I’m good at. That’s how I got to where I am now.
I was able to succeed by combining what I was naturally suited for with my passion to help others. Yes, there were bumps along the road (including an economic crash that had me rebuilding all over again) but I kept going. As time went on, I stopped viewing “doing well” as something that amounts to a certain paycheck. Instead, I learned that to truly do well, I must do good.
By changing my outlook, I was able to truly soar. In 2006, I opened up Sound Advice, a boutique recruiting, bookkeeping, coaching, and management consulting firm that has enabled me to achieve the financial independence that I so longed for as a child. Now that I am no longer chasing the money, my resources (time, energy, and money) are being devoted to helping others. While there are a variety of ways in which I could help, as I have always told the candidates with whom I’ve worked – leverage your assets, skills, and experience. Yes, I could have gone out to do something totally different. But then I wouldn’t be walking the walk.
In starting this new journey I am able to leverage over 15 years of tremendous recruiting, staffing experience. Allowing me to help people like you find your dream job and happiness.
And that’s why I’m here today, talking to you.
Moving Into a New Chapter in Life
I believe that there are many chapters in our lives and with them come different priorities and focuses. I’ve gone from having nothing to having everything and I’m on a new chapter that’s entirely focused on giving back.
I don’t want to just help people find a job that pays well. What I want to help people find is a career that will get them where they want to go in life.
I don’t want to work all the time just to earn as much as I can. What I want is to build a business that fulfills me and allows me time with my family.
I don’t want to build a transactional business. I want to build a business focused on relationships, growth, helping people and helping to make a better community.
Most importantly, I want to help you achieve the life of your dreams.
I’ve now told you more about me than perhaps you care to know. Now I want to know more about you. What brought you here? Where do you want to go from here? What chapter in your life are you in right now?
You never have to end up where you began. You never have to settle for anything less than your biggest hopes and dreams. I want to help you pave the path to making those dreams a reality. But now it’s your turn. Tell me more about yourself. Tell me how I can help you.
Image Credit: Jon Ottosson