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A Day in the Life of a Job Hopper Who Finally Found His Place: Meet Alan from Shield GEO

Each month we share one of our teams’ stories in the hope you’ll get to know them a little bit better. Our clients and partners will perhaps already know their faces or be privy to their excellent work, but this is a chance to get to know what their days look like, who makes up their family or even who their favorite musician is. 

This month we’re profiling Alan Crush, one of our Account Managers who is based out of Louisville, Kentucky in the US.

Meet Alan 

Alan started working with Shield in January this year after a chance meeting with our Project Analyst, Jake, at a friend’s housewarming party. 

“It was the first time I had ever met Jake,” Alan says. “As we were talking, he mentioned how much he loved his job and what he was doing.”

At the time, Alan was in the midst of a job search and had recently started sending out resumes. 

“[Jake] was telling me about Shield and what he did, and I was kind of understanding but not fully,” Alan says. “But I was like, you know what, if he’s so happy doing what he does, I’m going to apply to this company and just try to figure it out!”

Jake and Alan meet up!

In the end, the role was a perfect fit for Alan, and he joined our team in the next round of GM associates. He soon began managing his own clients and officially took on his current role of Account Manager in June. 

“I feel like this is the first time that I’ve found something that I can be in long term,” Alan says. 

Before this role, Alan had moved through several different positions. He worked for a non-profit organization teaching a human dignity class, was a substitute teacher at an all-girls catholic high school, worked as a retail assistant, as a support worker for elderly patients and finally for private health insurance covering the US military. 

But amongst such disparate industries, there was one common thread. 

“They were all so different,” Alan says. “But they all did sit around helping people.”  

Each new role taught Alan more about the kind of work he ultimately wanted to do. 

“It taught me how I fit in the world of customer service, and where I best belong,” he says. “That’s one of the reasons why I appreciate Shield so much is because this is the first time that I feel like I can do customer service and it also benefits me. The two of us kind of go together, you know?”

This is Alan’s first fully remote position, which he says suits his personality better than working in an office. 

“I’m the most extroverted introvert,” he says. “I love to be talking to people and getting to meet new people, but then at the same time, I just want to be cosy so I love working from home!” 

The nature of the AM position incorporates both sides so well. Alan gets to meet with new clients and develop long-term relationships with them, but there’s also some downtime for more administration focussed tasks.

“I love to talk to people, to meet new people,” he says. “With the nature of what we do, the focus is to help the client. I like that we’re working with the local team and the client and building the bridge for both of them to understand. We’re the thing that’s connecting the two.”

Training in a remote environment 

As an associate, Alan was paired with different account managers (AMs) at various stages of his training. During the associate program, AMs mentor associates until they’re ready to take on their own clients and are promoted to the AM position themselves. 

Alan’s home office

“Gabby really helped me understand the ‘why’ behind everything, she really gets the why. And Stephanie was really good about giving processes, Marcia is great about giving processes too. So when I got the training from the three combined, that really helped me to become me,” Alan says. 

And while Alan hadn’t worked remotely before joining Shield, he says training virtually was a relatively seamless process. 

“I don’t think [training virtually] was more difficult. It was one of those things that I had to be attentive and really make sure that I was doing the background work too,” he says. “Because they could only video call for so long, there was a lot of background work. I had to make sure that I had my processes set up to really look at the training documents and piece it together within Salesforce matching up what I’m doing with what I’m reading. But it ended up working out great.”

The Global Mobility team Skype chat has also been a source of help for Alan along his journey and continues to be today. 

“When I first started, I was actually intimidated by our Skype chat, because I didn’t want to seem silly for not knowing something. But really that Skype chat is there for that reason,” Alan says. “We are always communicating to each other in that Skype chat, and as you read, you are learning because you’re understanding ‘Okay when this happens, do this.'”

Structuring his day while working from home

Despite the flexibility available to him, Alan prefers to stick to a more standard working day. 

“One of my favorite singers is Dolly Parton,” Alan says. “Nine to five! That’s me!” 

He’ll typically try to work hard during the day so that work doesn’t bleed into his evenings, which is sometimes an issue for remote workers. 

Alan’s pup, Roxi

“I don’t want to be someone who’s working into the evenings, I want to be able to spend time with my family and friends or whoever,” Alan says. “Obviously, if anything’s super important, I would stay on, but during the day I really do dedicate my hours to my work, and I work hard. So, if I’ve done my hours and I’ve worked hard in those hours, then I’m going to be respectful to myself to say, ‘Okay, five o’clock is time to go, you need to stop now.'”

This year Alan’s partner began working from home as well, so they will often break for lunch around the same time. 

“One of the nice things about COVID is that we get to have lunch together now versus me being home by myself,” Alan says. 

Thankfully, that was one of the only changes COVID brought to Alan’s work life. 

“I was really lucky that I already worked from home, so it’s kind of not much has changed there. But with my partner at home all the time, that was a big change,’ he says. 

“I got kicked out of my office, that’s pretty much it!” 

A day in the life of Alan

7:30amIf I am feeling ambitious, wake up and go workout before starting work. Otherwise, I sleep in until around 8am
8:00amShower and get ready for the day, take my vitamins/eat some breakfast. This is where I will open my laptop and beginning peaking in my inbox and start looking over things.
9:00amStart really actioning items from my inbox and scheduling how my day will look work wise.
9:00am– 5:00pmDepending on the day there will always be a meeting at least once a day. Most days it is typically 2-3 meetings.
12:00pmI typically will stop and take a little break for some food. Otherwise I am pretty much glued to my laptop all day.
5:00p.mI am very diligent throughout my day and ensure that I finish working by 5pm. Unless there is an emergency.
5:00pm–7:00pmDepending on the day, I am either seeing family, playing cards, at a park, or mosey around a peddler’s mall or shops. I enjoy finding little gems that people would look at as junk and restoring them/providing a second life to the object. Sidenote I am very minimalistic, so I do not often buy things, but it is fun to rummage through. Dinner is also sometime around here.
8:30pmThis is when I will take time to watch tv and wind down my day. Catch up on any shows, which is anything that can make me laugh but never anything scary or dark.
10:30pmAim to be in bed around this time. Definitely wind down the day.

Taking advantage of the flexible work policy 

One of the more common benefits of working remotely is the ability to work and travel. Our team often takes advantage of this perk, and in fact, we strongly encourage it through our workation allowance. Of course, this year those opportunities to do so have all but vanished.

Alan and his partner

“I was so excited for Bali,” Alan says of our cancelled team retreat. “I want to meet everybody in person and really get to develop a relationship with everyone so that when we do have calls, we just feel more connected.”

But for now, Alan has no plans to travel far. 

“It’s something I look forward to being able to do more of, but right now, I don’t really plan on going anywhere.

Instead, his focus is closer to home with his family. His parents and sisters all live nearby and regularly come together for Sunday dinner. 

“We’re really close,” he says. “My sister just welcomed a new baby, and she really feels so connected to all of us too.” 

— Bree Caggiati, December 2020

 

Want to know more about Alan? Visit his profile on Our Team page!

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