Always learning – that’s the reality of life, and in operating a business. A lesson learned many years ago happened when we hired a young woman as a research associate. She fit all of our hiring criteria for education, background, etc. She was attractive and well dressed. Her appearance was important to her as evidenced by her manicure. She didn’t work at Magnus long; she resigned, in part, because of the physical aspect of lugging our equipment around and setting it up. But, worse, she broke a fingernail when doing so! It occurred to us then that we needed to hire people who were accustomed to hard work, that is, physical work. So, we added a question to our interview protocol, “What is the hardest work you’ve ever done?” It has surprised me to hear a few candidates admit they have never done anything physically demanding. Most people have done something demanding, but the prize winner was the recent college graduate who told us she cleaned out the animal stalls at Busch Gardens to pay her way through college at the University of South Florida. Wow! We hired her! Jessica was a great part of the Magnus team and our work didn’t stink! She was a hard worker with us, and after she left, she took on more hard work as a high school teacher where she has excelled because working hard is part of her personality. What would you say if someone asked you the question, “What is the hardest work you’ve ever done?”
Hooray for Jessica! As David mentioned, after our experience with one of our former employees, who resigned over too many broken fingernails, we were delighted to hire Jessica Nurek (now Jessica Palomino) because, not only was she qualified for the research associate job, she was not afraid of performing hard work. Cleaning animal stalls is something to which I can relate. I worked at the Humane Society in Miami for several months between college and graduate school and I, too, have cleaned a lot of cages (but not those belonging to large animals like they have at Busch Gardens). I have also performed manual labor, having worked at a large wholesale palm nursery in The Redlands, the agricultural area south of Miami. In that I am not afraid of performing hard work, I expect the people who work at Magnus to be willing to do whatever it takes to perform the work we are hired to do for our clients. Whether this work takes the form of packing all of the video cameras and other equipment we need for the research day, then hauling the heavy cases to wherever we are working, to crawling around on the floor in a hotel conference facility while securing and taping power cords, there is a lot of hard work to be done. And, it must be done properly, efficiently, and with no whining or complaining. Word to the wise: If you are more worried about breaking a fingernail, breaking a sweat while lifting heavy equipment cases, or doing any of the things Magnus Research Consultants’ team members are required to do, please look elsewhere for a job. And, as a postscript regarding Jessica, it should come as no surprise that she has been successful in her teaching career since leaving Magnus. In fact, she was recently recognized as The Teacher of the Year at the high school where she worked for many years, prior to being promoted to a job with the local school board. Hard work does pay off!