Transitioning From Hospitality to Tech and Customer Success with Adam Parsch – JobStep Webinar Recap

JobStep CEO Eleanor Meegoda sat down with Adam Parsch to discuss the differences between tech and hospitality roles, what to expect in tech and customer success careers, how to transition careers, and Adam’s journey to get to where he is today.

 

Key Highlights and Takeaways:

  • Customer Success is about helping both the business and customer.
  • The difference between customer success and sales roles is customer success deals with retaining customers whereas sales roles aim to acquire customers.
  • Past experience can be applicable to multiple industries in different ways. Learn how individual skills learned from one experience can be useful in another role.
  • You don’t have to be an expert to get in tech or customer success.
  • There is no one linear career path, so don’t worry if you aren’t where you want to be.
  • It is not uncommon to change fields during your whole career.
  • Not all tech related jobs are the same. They tend to involve similar concepts, but they could be completely different.
  • Do your research on the company before your interview. It’s better to be over prepared when meeting an interviewer, as it is the company’s first impression of you.
  • Be curious and keep your options open. You never know what opportunities come your way.
  • Be willing to learn on the job. You don’t have to know everything that a role requires when you first step in the door.



Eleanor Meegoda:

I’m really excited for this JobStep conversation today with Adam Parsch. Adam and I met over LinkedIn as one does these days; a virtual Zoom coffee chat, and I just thought, “Wow, you’ve just got a lot to share with the world.” I would love to share your insights with job seekers everywhere. Let me introduce myself before we dig in. My name is Eleanor Meegoda. I’m the CEO and co-founder of JobStep. Our mission is to break down barriers into tech and other growing careers. One of the ways that we do this is by hosting events like this to raise awareness of some of the fastest growing roles in tech and, more importantly, how to get into them. A little bit about JobStep: we provide the fastest and easiest way to get a better job. We paired the expertise of great job coaches with technology that actually finds and applies to great jobs for you. And then if you are a fit for one of our roles where we’ve done extraordinary amounts of research in, we actually guarantee you a minimum of five interviews in six weeks. That’s enough about JobStep, though, and let’s talk about Adam. Today we’re going to talk about how Adam has transitioned from multiple industries, from hospitality into sales and into customer success. I’m excited to learn from you, Adam, and have others learn from you. You want to kick it off and share a few words about yourself?

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure, and thank you so much, Eleanor, for giving me the opportunity to be here today. I’m super pumped to be joining all of you on this call on a lovely Thursday afternoon here in Boston. In a nutshell about me: I’m originally a Midwest person, I’m from Michigan. As Eleanor said, I started my background in the hospitality field. That’s what I studied at school at Michigan State. Go Green! Go Spartans! I had parlayed that kind of core hospitality experience into property management, into some tech side of sales roles, and then back in the hospitality and and now into customer success. I’m super happy to elaborate on my experiences, and hopefully I can help people out there that are watching today.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Great, very, very cool. That was a really good overview. Let’s start with where you are now. I know that you’re at A Place for Mom. What does this company do? I know you’re a customer success manager, so what does that look like day to day, and for people who don’t know what customer success is, do you mind sharing a couple of words on what that is?

 

Adam Parsch:

I’ll give you two overviews, one of A Place for Mom, and then one of my role and A Place for Mom and customer success. So A Place for Mom is an internet listing service or site that helps families find care for their loved ones, whether that be independent living, assisted living, memory care living. We partner with local communities here in the Boston area, but we’re a nationwide company. On the same token, we have a team of advisors that work with families every step of the way to help people find care for their loved ones. My role as a customer success manager at A Place for Mom is working with my local portfolio business here in the New England area in their on site sales and marketing teams to work through the best practices, talk strategy on their sales practices to make sure they’re more or less winning, and when they’re winning, they’re helping people and families find a place to call home. So it’s a lot of fun for me because it purely is a support role and helping role and a lot of the sales aspects of it are removed. The stress level has gone way down from previous roles I’ve had, which is just super, super fun, and that’s the gist of it.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

That’s really cool. All right, so it sounds like you get to help businesses be more successful and, in turn, help their customers and their clients all day.

 

Adam Parsch:

Right. I’ll even break it down a little further. If we have a community like Waltham, Massachusetts has the senior living community, and they might, at any given week, get five to ten referrals, and of the family members looking into potentially placing their loved one there, I can sit down with the marketing director there and go through those leads referrals very specifically and compare notes on and what what’s happening with them. I can share what I might have internally on our site because we have an advisor team that will actually work with the family specifically. My job is to work more at the community level so I can put the focus more on them to share notes and help them capture more of a higher move-in percentage.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Very cool. Did you have to be a marketing expert, in order to jump into this role?

 

Adam Parsch:

Now that’s the beauty of it. Thinking back to my previous experiences and how they may not line up, but I think nowadays you get so focused on a company. The benefit of the job search nowadays is that you get to see a job description. When you look at a job description, you might think, “Tech Company A, I shouldn’t even apply,” or “I’ll apply half heartedly without even taking a step back.” Well, actually no, this experience and this experience does apply here. And then shifting not only your mindset, but just how you approach it and network and build your resume in that regard.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

So you didn’t have a marketing background and you were in sales before. What were some of the traits that you figured out that you could showcase and highlight about your previous experiences to break into this role?

 

Adam Parsch:

I actually could give you a career journey, if that helps. Initially, I started hospitality at Michigan State, (Go Green) And I thought I wanted to come out of school and get into hotel management. So that’s just what I thought I’d done. I had the restaurant experience, I worked in private golf clubs. And just like, “You know, hotels are something I haven’t touched yet,” so I started working for an extended stay hotel, Marriott Residence Inn by Marriott outside of Chicago, was only there a year, exactly a year to the day was the boiling point. I realized, “This is not for me, I need to get out of here.” But the unique part about it is that it wasn’t a traditional hotel that you see like a standard overnight, you’re in you’re out visit traveling and travelers and what have you, this is an extended say. So people are staying for weeks or months at a time maybe their homes being built, or whatever it might be, right. So that experience allowed me to get into the apartment industry as a leasing agent. So I started working for a local apartment management company outside of Chicago, where I would work on site at a few different apartment communities. And then kind of the same thing as like, while I worked at the front desk of the hotel, there were times I was giving tours of people that were maybe on a business contract, you’re going to be in town for three weeks or their their home burned down and they’re building another one they need to place for six months to say. So rather than doing that parlayed it into showing people around for an apartment, so which could potentially live there for six months a year. God knows how long but then got into some management roles there. You know, I’ve got we got married in Chicago is lovely and dandy. And then 2014 moved out to the greater Boston area, which is where my wife is from, and that a lot of me having the apartment community and property management experience to get into a company called for rent calm, which is have now been since been acquired by apartments calm, which I’m sure people have heard of so also an internet listing site designed around apartment communities and helping people find homes for an apartment community. So that experience alone really ties in nicely to what I do at A Place for Mom, it’s just kind of still learning that the senior living industry, the two years leading up to the place from I was with a small beverage startup out in New Hampshire called noble beverages, which was at the time just that was going to be you know, I went to it was a great experience. But just the pandemic, you know, allowed me to shift my mindset back to something a little more stable in that regard. So I kind of property management hospitality, but then back into kind of the, I guess, tech internet listing side of things with with the place from

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Wow, that’s, it’s really cool. I mean, just thinking about that. I you know, it’s funny, I was about to say like, what a unique transition. But then I realized it’s such a myth to think that we in this day and age, you start in one career and you stay in it, right? I don’t know, I know very few people who are in the same career that they were in five years ago, same industry, same role, just because things are changing so fast. When you first moved from property management to the first kind of online listing site, how did you make that leap? Was that the was that a hard leap? How did? How did you one find the job? And two? How did you What did it mean, in the interview? What skills Did you showcase to help convince them that Yeah, absolutely. You are, You could do this role?

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure, though, actually, in that job, it was it was a tough transition, not so much of the the expertise I guess in the field because it was so relatable but more in the full sales cycle of an account executive type role. That was more the adjustment because before Yes, you’re you’re in sales, being a leasing agent, you know, working on site, apparent communities, but it’s just a different level. It’s not you’re not going to be in a boardroom, you’re working with marketing directors that oversee 20 properties and you know, in pitching, why, why they should utilize your listing site. So as a lot of the, the practices of, you know, sales cycle, how you approach things, which I have learned is vastly different across many different industries of sales styles. I mean, you think about someone, the classic car salesman versus, you know, maybe a tech industry company or something else and the same thing applies to customer success. That’s something I discovered on my journey is I had a I had a perception of it’s definitely this, but through through researching and network and connecting and just looking at things just a little bit different perspective. It definitely changed.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah. Okay, I’d love to dig into that. Because I think especially for folks who are coming out of hospitality, they might not be as familiar with different types of sales cycles. And and, and, you know, and definitely people have, for people who aren’t in sales or have never done sales, they have a kind of a view of what sales is. And that’s very different than the sales you want to done as a kid running your lemonade stand or working in retail or something. What is what is sales at a tech company look like? And then and then kind of digging, you mentioned, like, before you were in a boardroom, you know, versus for rent calm, you’re probably at a desk calling or doing zoom calls. Yeah. What does it look like?

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure. Well, I guess I’ll break it down. on the agenda for rent outside for rent comm site, I guess, first more on like the tech side. So. And by the way, like the hospitality folks out there, I’d have a lot of friends in hospitality. There’s so much opportunity for people with experience. So keep your heads held high. We hired a ton of hospitality people ourselves. But as far as and I’m sorry, Eleanor, I just want to make sure I got no this is that’s the point of this call. So we can take that that direction.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

I think that’s a better question. So what were some of the elements from your hospitality experience that that you highlighted that you felt Okay, this this will this helps me really succeed in sales are really succeeding customers? Yes. Just like so if someone’s thinking about like, what is relevant, this, you know, what is what? How would you answer that question for them?

 

Adam Parsch:

This is a good question. So when I add them and share a little bit of a story, so when I went to school, the college I went in and decided I wasn’t sure what I wanted to study. And I just had in the back pocket, I wanted to do business I come from a small town, dad, as a business owner, everyone’s kind of the town you grow up and you stand you worked at one job for your 40 years ago worked out at Ford or GM in Detroit, like what you do then you retire. That was kind of the mindset I always had. But growing up and then go into school, and then decide in the hospitality business, I remember opening the academic, you know, book, whatever, of all the majors and it just saying, like, oh, enjoys connecting with people chatting with people, you know, puts on a smile, like engaging genuine, like, all these buzzwords really started sticking out to me as like, oh, like, this is what I’m gonna do. I’m going to tell you hospitality business like this is I love engaging with people. I love trying to make people smile, just having a time. In a nutshell, customer service. The, the backbone of I feel like my professional life has been customer service, and just being a good person. That I think in and of itself, of just trying to do the right thing, trying to do the most genuinely and sincerely right thing. Whether it’s customer success, sales, any type of roles. I mean, I can tell you that the salespeople that are most successful are the people that are at least salesy. They just know how to connect with people.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

One of the things that we talked about in our first conversation is actually that one of the biggest learning curves for you was is not actually like learning the sales piece, because you had that that backbone and customer service and just connecting with people. But it was actually the like, the tech infrastructure and learning the lingo and figuring out all these pieces. Could you talk a little bit about that as well?

 

Adam Parsch:

Yeah, absolutely. So in, and I’ll speak to what I know and had experienced, and with a forum to comment out A Place for Mom as is more designed to an internet listing site. But even I can relate it easily to something like Salesforce just because the CRM it is before. And while we have components on the backend of our sites that we need to train and help people on, I never saw it as a overly challenging, especially being someone that grew up in the age of computers, and then evolving and being just super familiar with it. But I think that’s how a lot of us operate, that are in this, you know, maybe 30 to 40, age range 25 to 45, like, not not super young, but we have that familiarity and kind of the mindset of, well, we’ll figure it out. And for me, it was, it was a little challenging, but once you kind of got it down, I’m just taking the time to learn either of the software because there’s especially like Salesforce is a great example like the components there. And then just being able to train and coach someone on that is super rewarding, but I think patience is probably to answer your question. It was like yes, like, I’m just someone that thinks like, I’ll figure it out just having that mentality, but then the patient student too and just making sure I’m giving myself time and not you know, putting too much pressure on myself to in the same token.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah, did you have any familiarity with the kind of CRMs that you used in different kind of in previous experiences? was it? Was it necessary to have that experience to jump in?

 

Adam Parsch:

So no, I did not actually. So that’s, that’s another great question. So between so there’s different CRM software’s that are used, just to kind of paint a little bit of a picture, but there might be so a chain of restaurants might use a one certain type of particular CRM, like a golf club might use a different type. But then like for rent, they could use more of a commonality type, right, like, and I was Salesforce, but it could have easily had been maybe like a HubSpot or a different type of CRM, but that the experience wasn’t necessary. It’s, it’s not like it’s an overly Yes, it’s a very powerful tool. But it’s very learnable, too, if you’re, if you’re willing to kind of put in the legwork and be open to that. And then in addition, like we are in things like Tableau and Power BI, as some of the some of the tools as well, you know, in addition to Google Sheets, which are all probably have a lot of familiarity with at this stage in the game, but it wasn’t a requirement. And just thinking back and even just thinking back now to my last kind of transition to A Place for Mom that was now more than ever, with the past 18 months we’ve gone through as a society is just really wanting to connect with good people. And build just, you know, I can only say it enough, just genuine connections and surround yourself and the team that that kind of that positive attitude and the rest of the rest, you can train. So I don’t want to say if you’re a bad person on this call, you might get a new job, but but it’s just like, you know, just do the right thing. You know what I mean?

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

So you make it down, you make it sound really simple. And I guess in some ways, it really is. So I guess to kind of summarize, right? So you have started out in hospitality moved into property management and real estate and then transitioned that into for rent, which is a tech company that leveraged your real estate background, you were not super technically savvy, you weren’t what someone would call techie. And and what you leveraged was kind of this background in customer success and customer service in in really connecting with people being curious. And then also a patience and and you didn’t use this word, the word I hear is is just a willingness to learn new technology. And so yeah, okay, this, I haven’t used this particular CRM contact relationship management software, but I’ve used something similar at marryat. Or I’ve seen something similar or I can I can go on the internet and Google it, I trust in my ability to learn it. It might. And, you know, I don’t know what today I don’t know what on day one. I don’t know what during the interview. But there’s a confidence in yourself that Okay, yeah, I can learn this. This is not rocket science. And you weren’t. And it’s like you were, were you ever were you intimidated by the amount of tools you listed a bunch you listed like Google Sheets and Power BI and Salesforce. And, you know, when you when you got to your first job, whether it’s A Place for Mom, or for rent calm, and you saw and someone was onboarding, you said, Yeah, they’re like, we have these 11 different tools that we use to do our day to day work. And they’re totally different from what you were doing before. You know, what was the How did you? How did you approach that?

 

Adam Parsch:

I guess I was fortunate in both jobs, just to have, you know, training, there was training set up to help help learn them along the way too. And at the time, I probably was intimidated. I just honestly can’t remember. But to your point on kind of not necessarily having the experience with those tools. I think what helped me through kind of that interview process was no, you know, knowing or not knowing going into the interview, I was going to be asked about it. But I remember speaking to the real relatable as experiences that I could get to, while I might not have experienced and figuring out a software, I do have experience and you know, setting up my homework well for Wi Fi router going into over to my in laws to set up all their technologies devices, or, or whatever it might be related to technology. You’re writing HTML for a website back in college or something like that. And kind of playing that up as a strong strength of one year of tech tech savvy and you willingness to learn, like you said.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah, I think that’s a really good point. I think a lot of people when they get to the interview, especially if they’re thinking about career transitions, they’re kind of mind hooks down they only think about their last job and not what we are so much more than our jobs. We like you said you kind of helped her in laws, you helped your parents with kind of technology or setting up the Wi Fi or, you know, in college, you might have, you know, played around with HTML, as you said. And and just like different ways of showing scrappiness or showing your ability to learn or your commitment or your interest in and kind of technology related things that even if you didn’t have that opportunity in in previous jobs, I think that’s a really, really good point. Um, so we talked about the transition that first transition from kind of hospitality property man went into that first role in tech. I’d love to spend the kind of the next half of our session talking about how you transition from sales to customer success. And so. So before we kind of do this for sales, right, so people get worried about sales for a couple different reasons. One is there, as you said, there’s like a salesy, like, Oh, I don’t want to be a salesy person. And then the other one that people talk to me about is, you know, I don’t I don’t know if I can handle quotas, and I don’t know if I can handle that grind, right? But the first couple jobs and sales can can be a little bit of a grind. What do you say to people from other industries? Who are thinking, Well, you know, should I should I do? Should I consider sales? And what kind of what do I need to do to be successful in a sales role?

Adam Parsch:

Sure. loaded question. Doug, thank you for the question. I saw it come through as well. And I would say sales, and I, no expert, and just job types and whatever. But I can speak from my experience in sales and customer success. If you have two different buckets, right? You can have you know, those little things, you know, little Asian thing, or you ever happened to one happen to one happen to one and create like a big old toy? Yeah. Yeah, trying to remember that the name of them. So yeah, sales and customer success one. But as you start to open them up, you start to go down these different paths. And what and what you might think one is, or one is one is not. So on the sales side, I would say I would say to folks who are considering sales or want to know more about sales, is yes, you’re going to have more separate from Customer Success is yes, it is a sales job, your job is going to be to generate sales, don’t let them intimidate you, if I got into sales, because I had, I was tired of people telling me, Hey, you should get into sales, I think you’d be good at sales. I think, yeah, the personality to be in sales, yada, yada, yada, you’re going to have the quotas. And as long as you’re comfortable with the product you’re pitching, you’re passionate about it, you have the confidence to work hard and achieve that quota. And your person hiring, you know, if you hit every single quota that they throw at you, they’re either one gonna have to throw a ton of money at you. Or they’re, you’re probably going to look for bigger and better opportunities, because you’re perfecting, you’re rolling your pipe. If you’re that ambitious, you’re vying for something else. But in that regard, though, having the last train of thought, but

 

Eleanor Meegoda

you’re talking about being successful in sales.

 

Adam Parsch:

Yes, and being passionate about the product you’re speaking to. So having the confidence to one speak to it and develop relationships, liking the folks on your team that you’re going to be a part of, and then once again, is being passionate about what you’re what you’re selling. If you’re going to go out and sell, you know, walking sticks for people, and you don’t like walking six, like you’re not going to be very successful. And it seems like common sense. But and then on the customer success side, Doug, just to kind of hit on your question here, the difference. And this is how I approached it. In the customer success in the same token has a lot of different definitions, right? There’s a lot of there’s some Customer Success roles out there, that there’s still a sales element to it. Like, for example, I still have like a quota, a sales quota. They’re not in like a base like salary with where I’m at now. But it’s not as it’s not like the you’re not dealing with the upfront sales cycle stuff, you’re purely dealing as once the customer is on boarded, and is already a client of yours, maintaining and managing and nurturing that relationship as it goes. Rather than full sales cycle. I just think like kind of hunting, signing up negotiating contracts, onboarding, and then also part of the account management piece as well. Yeah,

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

I think that’s a really that’s a really good explanation. So if you’re dividing sales and customer success, the Russian doll perspective is that there’s a lot of similarities between them and kind of unveil them as sort of different in every company, but sales is bringing the customer in for the first time. And then Customer Success is, as you said, kind of working with the customer handling that relationship and then figuring out ways that you can if there’s other products or features to sell them on, or kind of getting them to renew their relationship, getting to getting them to do that.

 

Adam Parsch:

Exactly. And Doug just put a great comment in the chat kind of acquisition versus retention. And that’s really exactly it. And like I said, I can’t speak for every company out there because I truly think every company does have its set up and structured a little little differently. But and there’s a great book on customer success out there. And I’m blanking on the name of it should have wrote it down for the call sorry on our but it tells that story though, because so oftentimes, especially with e commerce in the late 90s, early 2000s, everyone’s like great sale, sale, sale, sale sales and sales force is actually an example of this in that book, is that it really took taken off, but then it got to a point where the sales plateaued. They started losing customers that no one is paying attention. Because they signed them up and hence blossom customer success, like, oh, wow, like it, it costs us more money to sign on a new client. Rather the same thing in an apartment community cost more money to turn a unit rather than renew the person you have at a decent rate of customer success and someone to really nurture, build on relationships, sell add ons, if you can, and that sort of thing.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

That brings me to another thing. So you mentioned right, you know, knowing the cost of converting of bringing out a new customer versus renewing a customer, help business savvy, do you need to be and you know, is it something that you knew from college and then you just kind of had these instincts for numbers? Or is this something that you learned as you kind of grew in your career and so you were able to kind of speak this lingo?

 

Adam Parsch:

I think it’s definitely something I learned. As I went through things seeing it and then I’m sure there’s there’s some textbook knowledge I walked away from college with that was just an A dark portion of my brain, but you know, working in the hotel, in seeing, you know, people check in and out and housekeeping function, and, you know, working on doing the invoicing, and the AR and the AP and seeing how the cash flow is happening, and then relating that to the apartment side, and I saw that a lot more firsthand of when someone moves out an apartment, it’s like, great, do you need to replace the carpet, you got to repaint it maintenance has got to do all their check. And at times, it could be an easy, you know, flip, but at other times, it could be at the very pricey term.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah, so it sounds like just, you know, being curious about the role and then like thinking about it and saying, Oh, wait, like, ya know, I’m seeing how these things add up together, I think that probably makes you a really successful Customer Success Rep. Where you’re, you’re thinking about the customers business and how, how different costs add up or and how they’re or you know, what their goals are? How do you in your current role as a customer success? rep, how do you figure out that information so that you can, you know, build these relationships and, and really help your customers succeed?

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure. So I treat like to treat like my book of businesses, you know, my book of business, like not, it’s not a place for minds, it’s mine. And, and I want it to be successful. Yes, on behalf of the company that’s paying me to, to do this work. But I just want to I started just started this role in January. And when I really started to introduce myself to to customers, I wanted to have as much as a connected conversation via zoom that I could let folks know that hey, like, not only tell me, tell me about the community, the ins and outs of you, but tell me about you. Tell me about other people on your team. Like I want to know, not saying I want to know your kids names or anything like that. But you want to you want to understand all those finer details about the people, the people on their team, their lives, how that specific community operates. So you can understand what makes them tick, or is important to them. And in turn shift how I might approach one customer versus another customer. You know, same thing when it comes to management styles of employees, like you try the method of treating everyone the same, like you might like serve some people but on the other hand, there’s everyone’s different Everyone has different personalities, and you got to add a shift and mold and be willing a willingness to learn and adapt as you go.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah. Okay. So this is different. This is definitely a theme in your career and a theme in customer success. Being able to learn and listen and adapt. And the way that you connect with people is really key but it and it’s what’s allowed you to figure out okay, how do I solve this problem for my for my customers? nimble is a symbol that’s coined this slogan today. Yeah, nimble is a thimble let’s let will Yeah, definitely. I think it’s a good time to pause. Is anyone have any other questions on customer success? sales transitions, we’ve covered a lot of topics, feel free to jump into the chat, and then we’ll we’ll chat about those questions. I’ll give it a give it a couple seconds if someone wants to add questions.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Okay, well, I have a question on so you’re talking about, you know, you’ve been in this role for a couple months. What were some of the surprises, you know, you read this book, this book, and probably many others you networked with lots of people before you made this switch into customer success. You’ve had, as you said, an expectation of what it was going to be like, what was different from what you thought was going to be what’s going to happen in a customer success role versus what you’re doing today?

 

Adam Parsch:

Yeah, sure. Sorry, I got thrown off. I’ve read this question in the chat, but sorry, on our one more time, if you don’t mind.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Let’s do Brenda’s question, then we can get to my question next.

 

Adam Parsch:

Sounds good. So let’s see what it brings. I have to say. How did you learn the vernacular of the industry for the interview? Yes, great question. So the It’s actually kind of speaks to just a little bit of kind of the interview process and looking at the job search as a whole. So anytime with A Place for Mom, I wanted to I was familiar with the company before I even applied and went through the interview process. It’s just from my previous role. But taking the time to research the website, do a little more legwork, trying to just learn some basics of the senior living industry, which is who we cater to. But I was just putting in the time to do a little homework, even before a lot of cases even before you apply for the job. I mean, it’s so, so time consuming. I feel like a lot of times, if you have, especially if you have a job and you’re looking at the end of the workday, you’re usually fried. And if you have a family and kids for you, you just got to carve out time at night, at 6789 o’clock, 10 o’clock at night to sit down and, and kind of go all in and do your homework for input put your best foot forward. And I think that’s that’s a part of it is, you know, if you’re going to do something, do it, try and do it at your best that you can do. And now that was part of me branded answer your question. It’s just doing what I can on my own kind of research through, you know, Google, and then LinkedIn was huge, just networking with folks inside and outside of the industry. And I can leave you anyone with that alley with anything today. I just feed network network network, don’t be afraid to network.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

This wasn’t a question I asked earlier. But kind of jumping on that. Did you make any, like big foe paws when you know you because you didn’t have a background in senior living? Did you use an industry term wrong in an interview and then learn later on? Or were you like, you know, for things where you’re like, I’m not exactly sure what this is? How did you? How did you approach that in the interview?

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure. So I was extremely fortunate to interview with a ton of awesome and lovely people. That is one of the huge reasons why I worked with a place for a while now. And I have always designed my human interactions. That sounds weird. But my interactions with folks just around mirroring, honestly, is I just naturally, just from growing up, I’ve always had it in me. So I, I always try to be mindful of my words, and take from the conversation before I give an overshare and speak to something I’m not necessarily knowledgeable about. But I’m sure I didn’t answer your question. I’m sure there was something I may have slipped up on or said wrong, or what have you in the interview process. And I think as long as you you know, continue, I’m like nothing happened. And don’t dwell on it. And it’s usually when we find it no matter the industry or, or the role.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah, it’s it’s funny, right? I think mirroring is something I only learned about a couple years ago. But it’s it’s one of these really subconscious or unconscious ways to flatter someone and show kind of in group is, if you if you notice someone on zoom kind of leaning in, and you also lean in like I think I did this kind of subconsciously, you were leaning in, so I leaned in, right. And it just, it just shows like a mutual interest and a mutual kind of connection. Even if you’re not saying anything. Sometimes it’s these implicit things that signal, not more than what you’re saying, but they add to the conversation and they and they can override. Especially if you’re nervous about your words, you’re outside the industry can probably smooth some of those things out, because you’re still signaling that you are listening and connecting

 

Adam Parsch:

there. So it is so huge. And it’s you can say a lot more without saying anything at all. Just a tidbit on that? Well,

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

there’s another good question. When you’re looking to switch industries, and you’re not as familiar with the new industry. What are some red flags to watch out for for the companies that you could be potentially interviewing with?

 

Adam Parsch:

The company you could potentially been interviewing left? Um, good question, Doug. I think for me, it was, I when I made this last change, I wanted to make sure I was getting into an industry I knew I could be behind and be passionate about. And while it may not necessarily be a red flag for there’s a manager out there that just whatever is just not a good person. It was me I knew I didn’t want to get sucked down the hole of getting into something that could have been painted as beautiful and great. But no, everyone’s there till 10 o’clock at night just because it’s all in mentality. And we’re here to win and I’m not at that stage of my life anymore to be doing that. I have a family and I mean nothing against those people. I mean, do what you need to do to be successful sort of thing, but those are kind of the red flags I looked for. like okay, is it designed? Is that a company that says show up at nine leave a vibe is that a company that says hey, I, I want you to perform as high you know, as highly as you can To be productive, and however you do that, that’s completely up to you. Like things like that have that kind of culture of, Hey, don’t you know, work a day a week? But you know, I mean, it’s it’s you know what work a full week but kind of do you can do it in your own time or do it during normal normal work hours that those that was a big red flag for me of is that someone that’s going to have the expectation of 12 hour days compared to like, no, but like, Hey, you know, 4050 hours, it’s kind of the norm year and that way, everyone kind of keeps some sanity?

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

What were some questions that you asked to, to suss that out politely in the interview?

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure. Yeah. It was. It was unique, just being in the middle of the pandemic, because everything was zoom. But even pre pandemic, thinking back to last roles, it was just a common question of like, great, like, what know what, what’s your expectation of, you know, working in the office versus you know, working working from home or working remotely, is probably the new word people are going to use rather than from home? Because I think we’ve we’ve learned anything, we can really work from anywhere. If it’s, if you don’t have a physical product, and you’re selling or what have you. But that’s how I positioning. Well, what’s the expectation for this role versus in office work time versus remote work time? Yeah,

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

I like that question. What is your expectation, leaving the as an open ended question whether rather than a yes or no question to give them a chance to extract? And, yeah, um, I mean, these are, these are good questions. I’m, I’m an open book. Keep them coming. So I want to go back to another question. So my question earlier was, so you’ve done all this research on customer access, you talk to you network, you’d read that book, you’ve probably read many other articles. How is your it’s now June, your first six months in customer success compared to all the things that you learned about what what customer success was actually supposed to be?

 

Adam Parsch:

And I’m gonna look up this book, while we’re talking about this, too, because I want to make sure I leave the name of it with everyone. It’s a great picture. But so it’s actually turned out to be different than what I thought in a very good way. I had been in in a sales role and having the the full sales cycle, like I said, and then the account management piece, I learned, yes, I could do the sales piece of that role. But I really enjoyed the account management and retention piece a lot more. And I think that is what defines Customer Success more closely than anything else. So I have that in my mindset of like, great, I’m going to have a book of business that I might be selling products on and nurturing and maintaining, and there’s still the, I guess, some sort of sales element to it. And there still is, but in different ways, because it’s not tangible products. It’s the way our company is set up. It’s just you, you’re on the site. And there’s there’s no different factors or bells and whistles yet, and we’re getting there. And I’m sure my role will it will evolve and change. But that’s how I was able to, I guess, parlay into that of it wasn’t it wasn’t made out to be what exactly I thought just through seeing other different types of customer success roles, but it’s turned out to be very fruitful, and something I thoroughly enjoy.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Do you have any specific examples of things you thought? For sure, okay, this is this is gonna be like my day to day everyday, I’m going to do X, Y, or x task based on what I thought of customer success. And it’s not at all the case or it’s, you know, you know, now that you are in it, you’re like, Oh, yeah, I could see how you could describe it this way. But actually, it’s, you know,

 

Adam Parsch:

I think that that was actually something I think that was consistent, at least for this company, and I can’t stress it enough. I truly think every company out there has it has that set up differently. So yeah, I’m not allowing myself to get television that if done the same way across the board, but it really, when it comes down to it, it’s really engaging with as many of your customers you can on a daily basis to strengthen your business relationship. Whether that’s via zoom, or phone calls, or face to face, depending on how the role is set up. But in speaking to, yeah, and obviously leverage leveraging everything you can about your business in your power to get them to be more engaged, and turned because the stronger that relationship is in this book, which I’m going to type in the chat, they have a good example on theirs. When you have a business kind of, you know, business partner business vendor relationship, right, it’s like you have two boats out on the water. And a lot of times there’s businesses out there that have contracted relationship with someone, and then it never really flourishes. There might be friends and Lake, but you really want to get next to each other and paddle together with one another to really maximize kind of the effort there. And I thought that was a great analogy.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

I like that too. As you’re going customer successes, get everyone paddling in the same direction next to each other and kind of really working in a partnership. One thing I want to double check Click on that you said earlier is, you know, today you don’t necessarily have the bells and whistles in your current role, but it’s something that they’re building. I think this is one of the biggest differences of working in tech versus in a larger company, especially in different industries is, is that your product that you’re representing the processes that you’re working in, often change, you know, every quarter, definitely every year, and so that that affects your role. So two questions on that. One, how do you keep up to speed with all the changes? And then to when you switched from property management slash hospitality into your first tech role? I guess kind of, yeah. What was their? How did this this kind of constantly changing process? How did that compare to previous jobs? You know, was there something a new skill set or character trait that you had to kind of build to adapt to it? Or were you already? You know, did were there things from hospitality and property management that had prepared you for this adaptability?

 

Adam Parsch:

And I think I can answer both of those questions the same way. Because it comes down to, I think, an eagerness and a willingness to learn and be extremely flexible. When, when you might, you might have a job description day one of what the role is going to be, and this can be for any company you work for, but think things change. If a pandemic has taught us anything, it’s cheap, things can change, and the staff have a dime. And, and yeah, you must be willing to adapt and evolve as a part of that. And in the same sense to is, I try to be someone and I wish I would have learned this earlier in my career, because I think you can get very content and complacent in a role as well. And that’s a very suffering and dangerous thing. And you don’t even realize it until it’s, you know, your years in most likely. And you say to someone hits you with like, Hey, are you? Is this what you want to do forever type of question like, well, I don’t know, I haven’t thought about that. It’s how, how much time has passed. And, you know, in keeping that constant momentum of trying to learn more, do more, you know, be a master in your craft and kind of having that mindset. And so it’s really kind of helped me in the recent years, especially,

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

I mean, Adam, I think this is one of the things that really struck me when we first met is just how humble and open and curious you are. Do you all because I think this is as much of practice as it is a personality trait. Do you have any tips for cultivating that either, you know, professionally, like how do you you know, because there are definitely hard days where you’re like, Okay, I had a plan, these are the things I wanted to do and now engineering has thrown in and totally new, new technology or my customer, you what, what are some practices for especially for people who are coming out of industries where they have done more of the same thing over and over again, they are looking for growth, but not Nestle haven’t been as, as, as dynamic of an environment.

 

Adam Parsch:

Sure, for me, it’s always come back to, like, coin, like a self quote, probably like 20 years ago, just one of the teenagers like, you know what, I think if I can make people smile, I’m doing my job in life. So I always just try to live live every day with a smile with a positive attitude, that you know, I some personal things in my life that I practice that help with that I’m just trying to be very faith based and positive at all times, like yes, like, I’m not gonna sit here and say I don’t have rough days or, or get upset at times, because I you know, obviously do I’m human, just like anyone else. But just coming back to I know I’m a better person. And a more productive and more exciting to be around when I’m in when I’m in a better mood or a happy place. So I just strive to just maintain that mindset on a daily basis. And it’s tough and I think it also to it, I started you know, reading listen to, you know, audiobooks, kind of during the pandemic as well just about, you know, whether customer success or even like, just like motivating books, there’s a I helped myself as a country music fan, but there’s a gentleman by the name of Bobby bones, he hosts the largest like country music radio station in the US. He’s a one on one seven in Boston, but he does. He’s on American Idol, like he does see the new TV show, but he wrote a couple books. There’s a lot of just about your mindset and how you approach things on a day to day. He’s someone I really resonate with.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah, I think it’s, it’s really interesting, right? I think they’re worried about that, guys. And I, where was I going with this, um, is when you’re thinking about your skills, right for a job. I think a lot of times there’s a lot of emphasis on, like hard skills, right, like your ability to code or do you know HubSpot or Google Analytics or all these kind of new software’s that are coming out or, you know, can you need us Statistics are all these things, right? But I think, given how we talk, one of the themes that comes up a lot is one, you know, the changes you’ve made in your career, but even in specific jobs in specific companies, how quickly the roles have changed, and how the you know, even the title has to stay the same, the role of what you’re doing day to day has changed. And it’s not just your, your, your quote unquote, technical or hard skills that matter, but it’s also these kind of self. I don’t like the word self management, right, but kind of your personality traits, the, like, what, you know, how you approach problems. And, and how you whether you are more flexible person, or you’re more methodical, it’s these these types of things that really determine your success, because of how quickly the technologies change. I think in this call alone, we probably mentioned probably 11 different technology tools. And, you know, some of them are still in use, and some of them aren’t. And, and I think it’s, I think it’s a I think one of the things that I’m definitely taking away from this conversation is part of your success. And I think what others can learn is, you know, don’t don’t self filter yourself, because you don’t have the technology skill to hard skill. If you have this openness, and this curiosity and willingness to learn, and, and a willingness to, you know, there is some hard obviously, there’s hard work in it. But there’s kind of this, this drive that can get you that can get you far farther along, even if maybe, on paper, the first time you write your resume, it’s it’s not there.

 

Adam Parsch:

Right. And to add on to your point, I saw Michael typed in a question too, and it’s good to see you, Michael, I don’t think we officially see each other face to face. So thank you for the question. But he and I had just gone into a couple of roles I’ve had I’m like, okay, like I’m going to go in this is the role, just tunnel vision like this is what the my role is going to be until I get the next role with this company is it’s going to be a growth like this kind of a straight staircase and that like, Well, no, I should be open to things changing and you know, climbing the stairs this way or that way, as I grow and develop as well. But having that Yeah, like the backbone of like being open to that. And because I would get upset at the fact, at times things were changing that were out of my control. But why should I be upset about it? Because it’s out of my control? And there’s nothing I can do. But Michaels question. Yeah, are there specific groups, forums, networking places that you use in your search for Customer Success role? So yeah, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, beat this thing with a dead horse. I just absolutely love LinkedIn, what I started to do was, I started to eyeball companies. In my latest search, I, what was most important to me from my own kind of mental state of mind, and wellbeing was to make sure I’m doing something with a sense of purpose, and passion. And I get to help families and senior living communities, like just truly help people find a place for a loved one. And although my answers to my question I just had, it could have been different things. It could have been different companies. But this is where I landed. And I started to seek out companies with like minded missions, what I would do is get on LinkedIn and look up at that company. Now it started just looking at the employees that work there. And first, I defaulted. If there was anyone that was an alumnus of Michigan State, someone that I could reach out to if there is people I was connected with, and maybe I shared a connection with Eleanor or someone, then I would help ask that person and leverage to see if I can get an introduction. And yeah, it works 10% of the time, and less probably like 2% of the time. But it’s it’s what I it’s what I had to do. And I just think in big pictures i wanted to i wanted to do well, I want to I wanted to, I wanted to find work and create a better environment for not only my professional life, but my family. So that was always the motivating factor behind Android I’ve gone on.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

That’s very cool. Yeah, it is. It’s actually one of the things that we Silva jumps up is, how do you simplify the job search? Because if you do it on your own, like you said, right, it’s, it’s after you come back from work and and then and then during this networking, I mean, the the amount of work that you did, Adam is is incredible, right? Like you’re saying it’s 10% of the time that it converts, but you’re you know, on LinkedIn, in your free time, try to try to find someone doing the research on companies. It’s, that is, it is a lot.

 

Adam Parsch:

But I mean, when in the same token to me, there’s people out there, I was so so fortunate and blessed to actually you know, have a job while I was looking to give in this past year, I feel like I’m in the minority in that group. And for the folks out there looking and still evaluating where they want to head to stone. It’s a cliche, but don’t give up. I mean, it’s, it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna pop. You know, there’s people out there that are willing to help and I’m very much a believer, and I know Eleanor is too. It’s just, you know, things come full circle in life and you know, just try and help one another and do the right thing and you’ll you’ll eventually talk to enough people to land that new job, that new job.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Absolutely, absolutely. Perfect. So we’re kind of coming up on time. Any last questions from the group before we close out?

 

Adam Parsch:

And that book, just if everyone is curious, and if you are curious, reach out to me on LinkedIn, I can get you the exact title, and all that. But it literally is named customer success, how innovative companies are reducing churn and growing recurring revenue. And it was written by three different people about, again, it came out in the mid to the 2010s. And there but I can get you the exact name and a link for anyone interested.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

Yeah. Great. And we’ll also we’ll also send that we’ll put that in the blog post and the follow up recap on this conversation. Perfect. Cool. Um, yeah. And then Michael, I think another, I’m just for the group, other some other Customer Success groups, there’s a couple of customer success forums, if you just Google customer success, they’re very active. And then I also recommend a couple of customer success, slack groups. Actually, we mentioned it in another webinar we had on customer success. So I’ll try to dig that up and put that in our blog recap as well. So I think to close out, Adam, I think one question that I would end with, is, and I think you’ve definitely shared this theme, right? So it’s being curious, being active. What is what is, if you can, if you could tell your, your you know, that first year, maybe the 360/4 day, in your marriage job, and you were really burnt out, you’re like, this is not for me. And you can tell that person, you know, now given the Who were you about, you know, your career what, what’s the a piece of advice or encouragement, you would give that person as they’re thinking about? What where do they go next?

 

Adam Parsch:

I would tell that person, it’s going to be okay. Your career path is not going where you think it is, be open and be flexible, and strengthen your worth work ethic at that time. I came out of college, just you know, right, it ready to roll and blazing at least thinking thinking, I was like, Oh, I’m working hard, I’m doing this and there’s so much, you’re 2122 23 years old, 24 years older than you come out of school. Like, there’s so much potential to grow and develop. I mean, this is the beautiful thing about being human. And like, you know, working, you know, it’s just you get to learn so much outside of life. But whatever, how to play golf, like certain things you can just learn and take away so much as just this hand, just learn, just be open to flexibility, and just different career options and paths. And as long as you’re truly given everything you given it everything you have, like you’re gonna come out, okay. Perfect.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

That’s a great way to close. So, Adam, thank you so much for taking an hour to chat, I’m going to share my screen really quickly, just to share some resources. If you want to follow the conversation, follow adam on LinkedIn, follow JobStep. Here is our social as, as we mentioned, our mission is to break down barriers into tech and growing careers and make career transitions as easy and simple as possible. And so if you’re interested in learning more about job search, check us out on our website, what we do, which is really unique is that we actually want to simplify the process for you. And so we find and apply to jobs for you guaranteeing you interviews, and then we pair you with great job coaches who help you with interview prep, and the resume writing and a lot of the things that Adam talked about today of figuring out what your translatable skills are, and really, and really leaning into them. We’ve got a number of other at least one other event planned for this summer. And so stay tuned on Eventbrite, follow us on the socials and then definitely follow adam. I mean, as you can see, Adam is incredibly positive person, if you are ever feeling down, definitely following him on LinkedIn is a great way to you know, be positive or just remember the good things or kind of be inspired I’ve definitely come away from this conversation really inspired by everything you have to say I mean, just talking about flexibility and adaptability and being curious and actually, you know, a lot of people say these things, but to see someone in your career and as that that’s actually something that has helped you be successful and, and and change direction so many times and and and be so happy. I think it is really inspirational. Because it’s not it’s not necessarily a it’s not necessarily something you see every day. So thank you so much for your time. Today, Adam. Thank you, Doug, and Michael and Christine and Brenda and an Adrian and all these other folks on the call for taking the time to learn from Adam, to join us today. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are we are always happy to help and to chat and help you along your career journey.

 

Adam Parsch:

Perfect. All right. Thank you Eleanor for the opportunity. This is a lot of fun. Yeah, and thank you so much and what you’re doing is awesome. So keep up the great work. I know you’re building something great with JobStep.

 

Eleanor Meegoda:

 

Thanks, Adam. I couldn’t do it without supporters like you and you know, who helped us get smarter and smarter every day.