When we met, Jon worked at Northwestern Mutual where he ran the college program. He was the one who interviewed, hired, coached and mentored students who were interested in a financial services career. It is not an easy field to work in, he describes it as a “kill what you eat business.”
Despite the challenges and a 15% retention rate, Jon loves meeting people and networking, skills that allowed him to thrive in the position. But after 5 years he wanted a change for several reasons, one being his age. “As you and I approach 30 right, we’re getting to be old people!” Very recently Jon accepted a new position as an IT recruiter.
“I am the least musically talented person you will come across. Singing in the shower is about as far as it goes for me. It stops there.” I asked if he played any instruments. You can gleam from his answer, that he does not. But Jon does play volleyball and softball. It was through his participation in rec sports that he met his current girlfriend.
Occupational Therapy… with dolphins? Yes. Jon’s girlfriend is studying occupational therapy and just finished her clinical in Key Largo Florida doing OT with dolphins. Um, what? I had to ask, “What does that mean?” Laughing at my reaction Jon agreed, “Exactly. Ok, it sounds like a vacation. Swimming with the dolphins and have like margaritas and stuff on the side? Kind of sketchy. I don’t know that I believe this.” But, it’s legitimate. Called Island Dolphin Care, it’s primarily for children or young adults with physical disabilities, to help develop their self-esteem and motivation through swimming with dolphins.
Here are a few things I had never considered about working as a financial advisor until Jon enlightened me near the end of our conversation:
- It is difficult to maintain friendships because of the high turnover. “It’s a weird aspect of the job that I never really thought would bother me.”
- You learn a lot about body language and psychological triggers
- Doing sales makes you a lot more confident with women. “No becomes your second favorite answer.”
- “Whatever you go into, the relationship management, the networking skills, the learning how to talk to people, it’s going to transcend.”
Jon and I have a mutual interest in the brain and psychology. He recommended that I look into Simon Sinek and specifically recommended his TED talk called “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”. We are also both fans of Malcolm Gladwell. “He sees what everyone else sees but he puts a different spin or perspective on it.” I told him to look into Oliver Sacks and Dan H. Pink (I think I talk about them at almost every coffee meeting).
Never having had a conversation when we went to high school together, it was really great to get to know Jon a little better. But… now it’s your turn! Sign-up!!