Jesse T. Welsch
34, Marketing & Operations Director at Wolcott Rivers Gates Attorneys at Law
What do you look for in a job/company?
Culture. Plain and simple. I always look at what type of people will I be working with. Does the company invest in its people and the environment those people will work in? Is it a team-oriented atmosphere or a place where everyone is out for themselves? I want to admire and be inspired by company leaders and coworkers. I want to feel like the organization cares about my wellbeing on both a professional and personal level. Finally, I want to be a part of something bigger than myself where everyone works together toward common goals. These are big questions for me when considering a potential employer, and I could not be more fortunate than to be working for a great organization like the one I am currently a part of.
What kinds of digital platforms do you feel you have benefited from in your career?
The most influential digital platform that has benefited my career has to be social media. I’m sure many of my fellow Millennials on the Move will have the same answer to this question. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, I don’t think anyone can dispute that social media has had a tremendous impact on our lives and our society. This is especially true when it comes to making connections with people who have personally helped me either directly in achieving the level of success I have attained in my career. Social media has provided me with opportunities to start and grow relationships with a great number of people that I would not have known without the connectivity these platforms can provide. Online networks and social media are also extremely useful tools to me in my role as marketing director at the law firm I work for.
What do you feel are some of the biggest perks of living in Coastal Virginia? What changes do you think the region should implement to continue to be a draw for millennials?
It certainly does not hurt that Virginia Beach was just recognized in a study by WalletHub as the best big city to live, work and play in. I think Virginia Beach as a city, and the Coastal Virginia region, is only growing and becoming an even better place to call home. The beach and ocean are practically my backyard, and at the same time, the mountains and major metropolitan areas like D.C. are a reasonable drive away. We have low crime rates, low unemployment, and overall a great community around each and every one of us. I consider myself extremely lucky to have been born and raised in the Coastal Virginia area and honestly would not want to live anywhere else.
Tell us about some of your favorite ways to do worthwhile networking.
My favorite way to do what I consider to be ‘worthwhile networking’ is to build strong and lasting relationships with people who have either accomplished, or are seeking to accomplish, the same things as I am. If you surround yourself with motivated and successful people it will drive and inspire you to also be motivated and successful.
I also like to use what is known as the ‘3-foot rule’ which is a way of forcefully taking yourself out of your comfort zone. If you spend your life living within the boundaries of what you are comfortable with, you are never going to grow. The rule basically says that anytime someone comes within 3 feet of you that you should take a moment to introduce yourself and get to know that person if you aren’t otherwise engaged. If they seem like someone who you want to surround yourself with, or that they can help you accomplish a goal you have set for yourself, make sure that you set a clear and agreed upon follow-up activity with that person.
How are you contributing to life/community outside of the workplace?
I volunteer my time with several organizations that seek to further the causes that I have a personal interest in. One of those organizations is Generation MOCA, a dynamic group of my peers who all want to see our local arts and culture scene grow into something that is truly valued and enjoyed by the entire Coastal Virginia region. As a group, we raise funds and awareness for the arts in Virginia Beach, and we strive to engage the rest of our community in actively supporting and promoting those who are pursuing creativity as a career path.
I also spend a great deal of time with another young professionals’ organization, the CBDX. The mission of the CBDX is to support initiatives that will help grow the Town Center/Pembroke SGA and ultimately the entire city of Virginia Beach and the Hampton Roads region.
What advice would you offer to other millennials or recent graduates about getting their careers to take off?
Don’t be afraid to fail, and always be ready to take on any challenge that comes your way. I know for many who are just graduating from college finding the right job, or sometimes any job, can be extremely difficult. There is normally a fair amount of rejection or failure that comes with a job search and getting started in a career that you are passionate about. There is a quote that I am personally fond of from Nelson Mandela that says, “I never lose. I either win or learn.” I think that many people don’t realize that they can learn just as much, if not more, from their failures as they can their successes. You may not land the job you really want on your first attempt, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up trying. Learn from your mistakes, and use that knowledge in your subsequent attempts to overcome your missteps and finally realize whatever goal you set out to achieve.