I know what it ’s like...
... to feel stuck.
That you’re not in the right place. In your career, company, and life.
Dreading the alarm clock ringing in the morning, the people you don’t want to talk to, and the meetings you don’t want to take. I was exactly 100% there.
A few different times, actually. Rewind back to my first role out of college:
I was working in Sales for a luxury hospitality company and selling memberships to the wealthy.
Talk about a juxtaposition–a recent college grad with no money, selling to folks with loads of cash!
My job was to convince people that a membership for one of the properties was going to solve all of their problems…and that we were the best. Tours, phone calls, endless follow up emails.
Getting rejected 80% of the time. It was suppppeerrr fun. NOT.
Here was the real problem though…
I wasn’t passionate about it. I would worry every month about making my quota for the month and it caused me severe anxiety. I would lose sleep ALL the time. I DREADED going into the office. But you know what?
I crushed it. I exceeded EVERY sales target or number that I was given because I knew I was trying to prove myself. And I had to show this first company that I could CRUSH ANY job they would give me.
…which led me to an interesting next step…
There was an Assistant General Manager role open about 6 months into my sales role at this Company. And it was exactly what I wanted:
I had a breakthrough...
I knew I had a long shot at it because I literally had ZERO experience in leading a team of this size, but I decided that I was going to try…and try my absolute. Freaking. Hardest.
I worked hours and hours to put together a presentation for the VP/General Manager of the property that helped describe what my vision was for the role. How I would be a huge asset to her and the leadership team, and how I could contribute to the bottom line of the organization. I took a HUGE swing.
Some of my ideas were crazy. Not what she was used to.
But guess what?
She LOVED it!
I got the job by the end of the next week, 2X’d my salary, and was ENORMOUSLY happy at this new opportunity!! I was literally floating on air as I commuted back home!
I started in the new role and knew I had to secure some quick wins immediately…
After working hard to create new programming (which generated thousands and thousands of dollars in revenue), turned around an entire service organization (which received GLOWING Customer Satisfaction scores) and after becoming THE operating standard for the company…I was asked to do something else…
I was asked to travel to the other 7 properties on the western seaboard and TEACH the other property leadership about my methods to turning around my property, how I retained, taught, motivated, and attracted talent to my property…
…and my career really started to take off.
You see, it was about proving myself again…and then creating a legacy that others wanted to emulate. And guess what…
...this was kind of by accident!
The rest snowballed
Other than wanting to do a great job and prove myself–I knew I wanted to just create a jaw-dropping work product. And ya know?
The rest just followed me.
It led to my next jump as a Managing Director for a Recruiting Firm in San Francisco where I recruited for some of the biggest names in Tech…
...interviewing thousands and thousands of people
...getting to understand what makes employers tick
...coaching Candidates on EXACTLY how to sell themselves and talk about their experience
...and working with Candidates who for one reason or another, needed to take a few stepping stones before they would land their dream job...and HOW TO DO IT!
...and then WATCHING & HELPING THEM GET PAID MORE, GET PROMOTED, AND CRUSH IT!! It was incredible.
This led me to the role of VP of People for a SaaS company (it was actually one of my clients at the Recruiting firm) where I led people teams for an organization north of 1,400 people.
Crafting the company’s recruitment brand (which completely changed the game of our recruitment strategy), building the people team (which received incredible quantitative feedback scores), developing our people engagement and learning strategy, onboarding strategy, etc…
…and this led me to my role at Facebook where I supported a Global team as a Senior HR Leader to 3,000 people for almost 4 years.
So why leave all of that? WAS I CRAZY!?!?
Job in Learning and Development teaching managers how to motivate, engage, and train front line staff over 8 properties on the western seaboard. This is where I got my love for teaching—and really teaching others how to get results through the methods that I implemented when I ran my own property.
Managing Director – Recruiting Firm. I really learned how Silicon Valley and the most prestigious companies hire their talent–what they look for, how to prepare someone to interview, negotiate jaw-dropping salaries, and land dream careers.
VP of People – SaaS company. I led a people team for a company that grew from 700 employees to over 1,400…internationally. I tackled Employee Engagement, Learning, Talent Selection, Onboarding, Manager Development and more…
Facebook – HR Senior Leader – Supported a group of 3,000 people globally and launched a Global Leadership Development Program, Career Growth Accelerator, many learning programs, multiple complex reorganizations and re-brandings, Coaching and Development, increased Employee Engagement scores across the organization through multiple avenues, and more….
Here’s the thing:
All throughout my career...people seek me out for advice.
Whether it was what to do about their resume and LinkedIn, or how to prepare for an interview…
…how to lead and support teams, or approach leading a big change…
…how to solve tricky and complex “people” issues/organizational challenges…
I’ve always been that go-to person for one reason or another.
What I realized is this…
...I LOVE building. I love creating. And I love seeing the people I work with get RESULTS. REAL RESULTS that are meaningful and impactful in their lives and business.
...which led me to start my company: The Human Reach.
I believe that everyone needs a coach. All the top athletes, musicians, artists in the world have coaches and teachers…
WHY do we not AUTOMATICALLY think to get a coach in the professional world?
At the Human Reach, our aim is to make coaching the norm.
To REACH for what you want.
To KNOW that it’s possible.
To UNDERSTAND how to get there.
After coaching thousands of people in my career, I know I can help YOU get there, too.
I can’t wait to meet you and work with you!
“To say I love, and value AJ is an understatement! AJ has been my coach. He has been a sounding board. He will challenge me, push me to go out of my comfort zone, and will often have me step back and take an objective view. He has helped me to be my own independent leader, authentic to myself. AJ is someone people trust! He is approachable, easy to speak with, and people trust him immensely and feel 100% comfortable telling him anything. With AJ, I feel like I always have a partner who has my best interest in mind all the time, I have support, he will be honest with me, and he will be there. Period.”
– Lisa N., Director
get to know aj
Founder & CEO, The Human Reach
stuff I love:
Seafood (crab especially)
Theatre (Favorite show is Wicked)
Music (I was a vocalist in another life!)
Traveling (Favorite trip: Africa. Close second: Honeymoon to Bora Bora)
Getting stuck on a good YouTube binge (there are so many black holes!! ahh!)
stuff I loathe:
Excel spreadsheets (I am really good at them—they just bore the hell out of me!)
Furniture shopping (OMG—this is torture)
The legroom on planes
…everything else I’ll try once!
I used to work on The Ellen Degeneres Show
I sang backup for Incubus at a concert (and am on their Look Alive DVD! If you can even find DVDs anymore…)
“AJ helped me land a permanent role at a startup based out of San Francisco. I worked with AJ for the past 6 months while he did everything in his power to help me land a position at the company. AJ was fantastic at finding a role that I could see myself grow into, at a smaller company with a culture that fit perfectly with my goals and aspirations. He was always available for discussion and feedback, and never had a problem with sharing honest and helpful opinions. AJ is somebody with a great level of detail and attention to his associates, I would never hesitate to utilize AJ again in helping me find a job.”
– Michael, Reliability Engineer