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Character

Introduction

“Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is one thing above all others: the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.”

― James C. Collins, Good to Great

From the time I began working I have been blessed with a respectable work ethic, moral compass, and agreeable attitude that allows me to learn, succeed, and progress in my job positions.

However, I do not expect you to take my word for it. I think the best way I can demonstrate positive character traits is to use what my superiors, coworkers, and clients have said about me over the years. Also, I may supplement those comments with a few anecdotes along the way. I hope that this timeline of my work life demonstrates a trend of positive interactions and successful work in all the teams I have been fortunate enough to be a part of.

From the Start

To start, this behavior dates back to my very first job—working at a golf course—where workers in the golf shop would radio me into the golf shop just to see me run from the driving range, across the parking lot, and up the rise of grass to the clubhouse. That level of effort was not common among the Outside Service workers.

Then, in college, I worked in a kitchen as part of the university dining services. My work in the dish room, prepping food, and interacting with other students allowed me to easily apply for, and later accept, an elevated position as a Student Supervisor. I left this position at the end of my junior year. The following comments are from my supervisor in a letter of recommendation.

"In addition, demonstrating his ability to think on his feet and make quick decisions, Jarret was able to take on additional duties like training students experiencing their very first job, with grace and patience. [...] Jarret has a lot of energy and a wonderful sense of humor. He has been a pleasure to know and work with. I wish him every success as he begins his career. He will be an asset to any employer who hires him."

― Barbara M., Manager 3, University Dining & Catering Services

Returning my senior year, I worked as an Assistant Sales Representative at the university newspaper. Our goal was to generate advertising revenue through spots in the paper. Our small team left a lasting impact on the newspaper's revenue by publishing the first housing guide as an additional edition to the traditional publishing cycle.

I finished my senior year a quarter early, but before graduating and leaving my position at the newspaper, my supervisor—and friend—said this about my time as an assistant:

"[...] I can state with confience that he is a team oriented, motivated, and respnobile person with a high degree of integrity. As such, I expect that he will be a very positive addition to your organization. [...] Jarrett takes the initiative to to identify problems and devise solutions. His role [...] requires strong communication skills, and he has shown that he not only has these skills, but that he also has the ability to inspire brainstorming and collaboration in colleagues."

― Colton J. Weiks, Advertising Manager, The Eaterner

Along the Way

Next, I returned to working on a golf course as an Outside Service attendant while I lived out the rest of my rent contract close to the university. Working feverishly, I impressed supervisors who were disappointed to hear that I would be leaving when my rent lease ended. Hoping not to lose me, they offered me a position in the golf shop as an Assitant Golf Professional the following spring. I accepted and returned in the spring.

After a successful season as an Assitant Golf Professional, I needed to find work for the winter. Therefore, I applied to a more luxurious and expensive golf course in southern California. I do not believe I would have been offered the position in California if not for the raving recommendation my current boss gave to the Director of Golf at the California golf club.

I worked at both golf courses in six-month increments for two years. In other words, they asked me to return on both occasions. Before leaving the golf course in Southern California for the last time, a co-worker pleaded, "Please do not leave". On my last day, another superior tearfully said goodbye thanking me for all my kind words and help throughout the prior two seasons.

Similarly, after returning to the Pacific Northwest to pursue a relationship with the woman that would become my wife—and to start my career change—my boss at the other course graciously offered me a back office position in another attempt to keep my services. Although I declined the offer, we have maintained a friendly business relationship ever since.

Switching careers posed new challenges. I spent more time working by myself and less time in constant motion as part of a team. In addition, I could no longer rely on pure 'hustle' to get my job done. My career change forced me to start from the ground up, in terms of technical knowledge, but even my shorter contracts yielded similar comments about my personability:

"Jarrett was a pleasure to work with. Great attention to detail and completed the job on time and on budget. Would highly recommend!"

― Adam L., SimonSEZIt
"It has been a wonderful experience working with Jerret. He is very good with communication, delivery on time and providing valuable suggestions."
"Amazing skills! Very analytical , knowledgeable, and able to communicate with a non-techie. Super rare find. [...]"

For a few years, I was lucky enough to work with clients for extended contracts that ended amicably, as the client transitioned to a new business phase or I pursued contracts with increased responsibility.

Today

Finally, in a recent position, I held a role that allowed me to interact with a team daily and rediscover some of the traits that were dormant for a time as I learned new skills. The feedback provided by my team leader is not only a collection of very kind compliments but also reflects my interest in the team and the work that I was doing:

"Jarrett was extremely easy to work with and completed tasks in a reasonable amount of time. I would work with him again!"

― Brian W., RapidAPI
"Jarrett was an excellent addition to our team. Did a great job on React development, self managed and very easy to work with."

― Danny C., iGrad
"[J]arrett is the best developer I have ever worked with. Since day one, he not only delivered high quality code, but improved everything about our application and overall team. He consistently exceeded our expectations by suggesting and then implementing improvements that enhanced user experience and backend efficiency. [...] His leadership skills were truly demonstrated when he interviewed and onboarded a junior developer in less than a week. This makes him a great addition to any team because he thrives as an independent contributor as well as an amazing team player who teaches everyone along the way."

― Natasha B., DDR

The people I worked with in the past help to define the quality of work I am capable of and reflect the type of team member I hope to be. This behavior is not selective. Instead, it is a trend that started at the beginning and has continued today.

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Elsewhere

Below are articles that I have written for other blogs. The majority are programming tutorials on how to use their services with various frameworks or other technologies. Please contact us at jarrett@retz.dev for more information or questions on writing services.

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