It is great thing to find a gem, actually, a pearl, of an employee. Our most recent hire came as a referral from a trusted source, her father. I’ve known him for well over 20 years as our business and personal accountant and friend. Along the way, Melissa and I met his family, including his daughter, about whom I heard periodic updates. About a year and a half ago, he emailed that his daughter was job hunting having recently graduated college. We have hired many recent graduates, all with degrees in psychology. In recent years though, we have been adding some part time staff with more technical backgrounds in video production and her degree is in film. So, we really didn’t have an opening other than for the part time position. She was willing to try that role and we quickly realized we had a real find on our hands. She caught on fast and, within a couple of months, there was an opening for a full time position and she decided to take our offer to try that. This was her first post college job and our first non psychology hire. Like Emeril says, “Bam.” That Bam was us realizing, in short order, that she “got it” and, not only was she easily trained to do the tasks pertinent to the job, she had a natural curiosity that resulted in her asking questions about why things were done in certain ways. And, even more important, she understood the answer! We have had many good employees in our 20+ years; this one is our current “star”! And, despite us taking a chance on someone whose background did not fit our model, we have been richly rewarded by having her work with us. One of the qualities that makes her unique is that she willingly tackles tasks that require her to learn. She knows how to dig in, sometimes with a little direction, to learn new things. And, even better, she comes up with ideas independently and acts on them, sometimes not revealing them to us until she has made some progress so that we will “get it” when she explains the idea. She came up with an idea for some videos for our website as well as various plans to enhance our social media. In the past it was often challenging to get employees to focus on the bigger picture and to help me with business development. She is a pleasure to work with; we know this ourselves, but it is wonderful when we hear it from clients as well. Some of our posts have focused on frustrations with employees, but our work life is not all frustrations when someone like our pearl is around!
The title of this post is “The Pearl” because pearl is the meaning of our wonderful employee’s name. In every way possible, she fits her name; she is truly a pearl, a gem, of a person! Interestingly, as with another of our best employees, she applied for a job with Magnus at a time we had no openings. And, just as in the previous case, soon after we received her application, someone resigned, resulting in an opening. Due to David’s and my long term relationship with this young woman’s father (he is our business and personal accountant), we interviewed her in spite of the fact she does not have a psychology or social science background. We offered her a job as Research Associate because we needed to hire someone quickly, due to the unexpected resignation of another employee, however, because of our mutual uncertainty about her long term role in our company, we all agreed her employment would be on a “trial basis.” It became apparent, almost immediately, that having a college degree in psychology is of far less importance to overall success in our work environment that possessing high intelligence, strong initiative, and a commitment to excellence in job performance. Without a doubt, this employee is a star among all of the employees we have ever had at Magnus. Her parents, although wealthy by most people’s standards, have never coddled her, such that, when there is work to be done, she does it, willingly and accurately. She was a Girl Scout, she has traveled in many places throughout the world, and she is well versed in knowing how to get things done, even when faced with challenges. When I explain social psychological principles to her, she often understands what I am talking about, and if she doesn’t, she asks a few questions and soon absorbs the new information, in ways many clients, employees, and others have never fully grasped. The office environment is more positive than it has been in many years, thanks to the presence of our employee. She is a pearl, in every sense of the word!