THE SILVER LINING To Your Life & Health
L ift W hile Y ou C limb
Looking Beyond Someone’s Resume and Taking a Chance
In the worksphere, I’m a big believer in the “lift-while-you- climb” principle. That means that when you’re climbing the company ladder, you should always make sure that for every new step you reach, you extend a helping hand to someone below you. As a business owner, I always try my best to live out this principle because I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the helping hands that were extended to me. In fact, without my first employer’s help, I wouldn’t have even gotten hired at my first job. I had just graduated from the University of San Diego with my MBA, and I wanted to start a career in real estate. Now, anyone who has ever received a college degree, whether that be a bachelor’s, a master’s, or any other option, knows that the degree itself is rarely enough to get you hired. I had no previous work experience in my degree field and seemingly no reason to expect to get a job if it weren’t for a few of my professors and a guy named William Jones. Previously, while I was an undergraduate student, I told Dr. William Harden, one of my professors, that I planned on moving to San Diego, and that I wanted to pursue a career in real estate. I asked him if he knew
of any good MBA programs in the city for that. He told me to go to the University of San Diego and to connect with Dr. Mark Reidy, who at the time was the director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate (BMC). I followed his advice and began working on my MBA through the BMC. I was the only African American student in the entire program, and I was also the youngest. Dr. Reidy saw how hard I was working and how passionate I was about my career pursuits, and he really took to me. He told William Jones, who would later be my first boss, that I was the best student he had ever had. At that point, I had no way of knowing how that recommendation would impact my career. William Jones was a real “who’s who” in San Diego. He became the youngest city councilman in the city at age 24; he was a business partner of Sol Price, who pioneered the warehouse retail format (without Sol Price, there would be no Costco); and he was the president of CityLink Investment Corp. Because of Dr. Reidy’s recommendation, William Jones hired me at CityLink without a resume or even an interview. My business career had begun, and it was only possible because of the people who took a chance on me.
The favor that William Jones showed me has stuck with me throughout my career. It has continued to weigh heavily on me, in a good way, and that’s reflected in the way I hire my employees. I don’t do resumes or much of the traditional hiring process. My current assistant is the niece of one of my clients. I learned that she had been laid off from her job. So, I went over to her house, learned a little bit about her and her background, and, later, hired her. While no employee is perfect — and while I’m certainly not perfect in taking care of my employees — I think that sometimes you can find the best workers in the most unorthodox ways. Because someone took a risk on me, I try to look beyond a person’s resume and extend a helping
hand to the prospective employees who really need it and deserve it.
–Duane Hamilton 1 770-744-1855
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