Featured on CHG Pulse Website

My first few months at CHG has been flying by and so much fun. I feel like I have gotten off to a great start, found so many new friends, built great relationships and fit in well with the culture. I was asked to share my views for a blog entry on the CHG website, here is the article:

After eight years of running his own business, Simon Parsons joined CompHealth locum tenens in Salt Lake City, Utah as a physician recruiter and appreciates the people-centric culture as well as the support and coaching he’s received since starting here.

“There are so many great things about my experience here that has led me to believe it is pretty close to a perfect fit for me and my personality,” Simon shares.

Read more about Simon’s First Impressions below!

What do you do at CHG, and what do you like about your job? I am a physician recruiter on the CompHealth locum tenens general surgery team in Salt Lake City, Utah — and what don’t I like about my job? There are so many great things about my experience here that has led me to believe it is pretty close to a perfect fit for me and my personality. If I had to pick one thing I love most, I enjoy being in a very positive environment, around pleasant people who strive to do their best and work on personal development both in and out of the work place.

When did you come to CHG? I started in November 2013.

How did you hear about CHG, and what made you want to apply? My wife was looking for a job in early 2013, I was helping her look over some of the best companies in Utah that really strive to take care of their employees. CHG was one of these companies, and I thought to myself “now that is a company that could inspire me to make a change in my career.” I checked back from time to time on the website, read articles and watched videos and learned more about the company. I was very impressed that CHG was ranked No. 3 on Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.

In May 2013, I inquired more about CHG from a friend that worked there (Bielle Crump), and she was so busy she didn’t get back to me immediately. I was wrapped up in my busy season of my business, so I didn’t have too much time to think about it. After Labor Day when business slowed down, I asked Bielle again about her experience with CHG, and she said she absolutely loved working there. I hadn’t applied for a job since I was in my teens, but after talking with Bielle, I put together a resume and got it off to her.

Where were you working before you came to CHG? For the last eight years I was running a small business that I started in 2003. Prior to that I was working as a manager at the Salt Lake Country Club, where I was lucky to be mentored by some very inspiring people.

How has working at CHG compared to your other working experience? CHG is the best of both worlds (employee and business owner). I have the ability to use the resources and tools of a great company, but also use my drive and motivation to create my own business within a business. Working as a small business owner can be great at times, but I felt like I was responsible for so many things. I learned a lot about all aspects of business, but now at CHG I can focus all of my efforts in one place. I really enjoy being part of a team and getting feedback, coaching and support.

What can you tell me about your first day? The staff was so welcoming and friendly. Everything was very well planned out with an itinerary of the first week so we knew what to expect.

What has been your most memorable experience so far? The day I graduated from training and started on general surgery was my most memorable experience. For the previous eight weeks, I went through training with five other great individuals, and we all shared different types of success through that time. Our trainers gave us a great sendoff and then we went over to our teams. The first few hours on the team felt a bit strange, but a few hours later my team gave me a mini welcoming party. They also busted out some dance music and made me dance to celebrate the days that I had booked so far.

How have you seen CHG’s core value of Growth in action? I work on the same floor as the CORE training area and every two weeks get to see a new group of people starting a new career at CHG. My training group consisted of six people; the group that came right after us had over 20 people. I have also seen growth on my own general surgery team and am working hard to do my part to expand our share of the market.

How do you know that your work at CHG matters? I get a lot of great feedback from my team, other co-workers and my leaders. Our division also has a weekly meeting called “Making a difference” where we all get to share stories of the people that we or the doctors we work with help. I have had the chance to share a few stories myself, and I imagine as time goes on there will be many more. I also work hard to make sure that I am making a contribution and being the best consultant and teammate that I can be.

Do you have any advice for new or potential CHG employees? During my first week of training, we were able to ask for some advice from a few reps that had been there for a while. I asked this same question to them, and one of them told me that when you start building momentum, make sure you keep running with it. I was lucky enough to be able to get some good momentum during the first few weeks of training, and things have been going well ever since. I always think back to this advice and make sure I am working hard, putting in a solid effort and being consistent.

Graduation Day from Core training

Wow, I cannot believe how fast my 2 months of training at CHG went. Today after 8 weeks, I graduated from CORE and joined the rest of my team in General Surgery. I have to say I have had an amazing first two months there, so many great days that makes me so happy and excited to be there. This week CHG cracked the top Fortune Magazine’s top 100 places to work for the 5th year in a row and I am so excited.

This week went well, I had a great time making phone calls, being excited to go to work, building presents and prospecting to find new doctors to work with. Another exciting part of this week is I got 3 confirmations, something that apparently is very rare. One of the jobs had falloff within a day because of some strange issue with transferring a DEA, but I had another job that ended up to be a perfect fit. It is so strange how a job can come up and get filled so fast. I was actually calling on a particular job, not even thinking about one of the doctors I was working with. I tried presenting him to a separate Illinois job, which fell through, then another urgent job came up, one that I had already worked on, and we were able to put a deal together at the last moment.

This made for an amazing graduation week for me. Coming into CORE, we were told that we needed to get at least 1 present during that time. I was able to get one within the first week, and within 2 weeks I had racked up a five day streak. During the first couple of weeks, there was another guy that was close to graduation, I heard him on the phone and he sounded great. I saw him book some days right before he left CORE and this really motivated me to do the same. As the weeks went by, I got present after present, they started to come so easy to me. I think I left core with about 30+ presents and felt great about that. But the best feeling was not just booking days for the first time, but doing it again before I left.

I have immense pride in doing a good job, and work so hard to do what I need to do to be the best that I can be. To me it is more motivating to be recognized for going above and beyond then financially. I also take pride in being a team player and keeping it real. Today we had a test in the morning then went upstairs for a mini graduation ceremony, and after that we went over to our teams. It was a fun time, we each were honored for a specific strength that we had, and mine was “MVP” which felt great to me!

The first hour on my team felt so weird, but once I got all of my stuff set up, I started getting some calls in and talking with some doctors. I started getting some momentum and found a couple really good leads, as well as got a few deals lined up and ready to go. Towards the end of the day, the team took some time out and gave me a card and had me do my ‘dance’ to get on the team, this is a tradition when you book your first days. It was great and I feel really at home with my team. A lot of people said that it was a hard transition going from CORE onto the team, and I anticipated it might be like that for me, but so far it felt really good, I had a lot of nice people come up and talk with me today. The last part of the day was the best because I was able to have some great conversation with some of the management, they came and congratulated me on my successes so far, and I was even asked to speak next week at the “Making a difference meeting” to tell my story.

Tonight I have been working on different ideas to put myself as far ahead as possible and really keep the momentum going. I realize a lot of this could be beginners luck, but at the same time I have had some good consistency. I am building a database of Grade “A” doctors to work with, and thinking of ways that I can use LinkdIn and other tools to build my business.

 

Happy New Years 2014

I am happy to turn the page on 2013, it was a pretty rough year for me both financially and struggling with my race fitness. All things considered there are many great things going on so it is hard for me to complain. I guess the best way to describe it is “2013 kicked my ass” but I am thankful for that, and will use that to make my 2014 much much better. I have a hard time complaining when there are so many others that are less fortunate than me, but I will say it was very frustrating and stressful, and not something I enjoyed, but will make me a better and stronger person in 2014.

The best parts of the year was my wedding to the most amazing woman in the world, as well as getting a job at CHG, which has caused me to grow in so many ways, and my early season racing where I was able to be on the podium 4 times. The hardest parts were going through the stress of watching my business slide down hill no matter how hard I worked at it, the time and energy I spent working on ACN only to see it fall apart and lastly watching my fitness on the bike decline after putting so much into it over last winter. But these will be the catalyst for a much better 2014 and I will work my hardest to make sure that happens.

I have now been at CHG for just over a month, and it has been both great and hard for me to adjust to. There is no doubt that I am very thankful for this opportunity and I plan on working my hardest over the next few years to become a top sales person and use all that I have learnt over the years to be the best I can possibly be. In a way this is a really great thing, I give up some of my old freedoms but gain a lot more in the way of opportunity. I still have the chance for ‘building my business’ and being rewarded for my own personal effort. I need to remember to always be working my hardest, I have done that so many times in the past and now I need to work harder than ever and use everything to my advantage.

The holidays were great, and a perfect time to start my new job at CHG. With Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, it allowed for some holidays to break things up, get into the swing of things and give me the time to decompress and soak in the new gig. As usual, January is the time where I work the hardest, so now I plan to take my fitness, diet and work to a new level. Tomorrow is the first day back so I plan to make more phone calls, do more, work harder, be more coachable and do my best.

Angie and I certainly enjoyed our holidays. For Thanksgiving, I got up very early and went on a big ride, about 80 miles, before I came home at 1pm and took a shower and then went over to my aunt and uncles house for dinner and met my parents and grandmother there. We had a delicious dinner but my dad hasn’t been doing so well, he has been so stressed out and having a hard time sleeping. I can relate to that in a big way, I have had much of the same for myself. After that we went over to Angie’s aunt and uncles house for some gluten free goodies for Ang to eat. After that we just came home and enjoyed a movie.

During the holidays we had three parties over here, we had our annual “Parsons” party with a bunch of our friends, then we had a little get together with Angies family on Christmas eve, then we had a little private get together with some close friends on Friday the 27th. Our friend party was a blast, Alexa and Damian came out as with most of our close friends, that went pretty late into the night. On Christmas eve, Angie and I did mostly family things, I worked for half of the day then came home and we had a late lunch, then went over to her fathers house and then came home and watched some movies. The next morning I got up and worked out and then Angie and I exchanged presents, then just relaxed and then went over to my parents house and hung out with them. We were planning on going to a movie but instead came home and just enjoyed being together here at home. Last night was New Years Eve and we just stayed in and had Cafe Rio and watched a few movies and went to bed. What a perfect way to end the year, with my love Angie!

Turning the page on Bodykitz

It has been a rough couple of years for my business. I’ve worked my hardest to turn this around and get it back to the pre-2008 levels as far as income but it has been a slow bleed for quite a while. This year has been spent working my hardest to start up a new business, and ultimately nothing has worked out in that regards. This year my income has dropped below what I need it to be at and trying out new projects such as ACN just has not worked, but I am grateful for the lessons that I have learned. I am proud that I put everything I could into both my current business and trying to start something new, but I have been unsuccessful and it finally came to the point of deciding it was time to get a job.

Back in January, Angie had a similar bad situation with her old job at AT&T and she had to find a new place to work. I remember back at the time she looked at a few different places and one of them was a place called CHG Healthcare that focuses on physician placement. I was impressed by what I read and although at the time I wasn’t ready to get a job, I kept it on my mind and made sure to check on the site often. This company was ranked #3 on Fortune magazines top 100 places to work, they have some great benefits but what attracts me the most is the work ethic and culture, the core values of constant improvement and pushing yourself further.

The time finally came for me to start my job search, it was a hard thing to get my head around at first but I was ready for a change, so in the later part of October I completed my resume and got it out to CHG. I had a phone interview the following week and felt like I did great, then got invited back for a ‘Job Fair’ and then a couple of interviews. I also had to complete an email and phone semi-interview before the job fair. During the interview process, we had two different interviews, one was a ‘cultural’ theme and the other a ‘sales’ theme. I felt pretty good about the group and cultural interviews, but the sales interview didn’t seem to be as fluid. On top of that, of about the 20 interviewees, I was the only one not wearing a tie!

I didn’t hear back from CHG until later in the week (Thursday October 24), I missed a call while I was at another interview with Independence University. By the time I got back it was too late to call in but then the next morning I called and just got an answering message. Later in the afternoon I called again and was able to get ahold of my recruiter, she said they wanted to have me back for yet another interview.

The last interview came on a Monday afternoon with one of the recruiters that I met on the team interview, she was great to talk with. It was so nice to have an interview where I could express my views and thoughts a lot better than I did in the Sales interview, and everything seemed to come together very well. The next day I got a call from my initial contact saying that they were ready to extend an offer, my start date is November 19, 2013, it will be the first time I have had a job since 2005.

I am very excited for this new path in my life and plan to work very hard and learn as much as I can. I ham honored that I was selected from quite a big pool of candidates and will use this to gain more experience in a variety of ways. I will do my best to be coachable, contribute positive energy and make a difference on the team.

Had Enough Junk Food For Your Brain?

“TV News is McDonalds for your brain” said a friend of mine, Art O’Connor, in a recent Facebook post after the school shooting in CT that took the lives of 20 beautiful young children. These days we are constantly bombarded with negative news, politics of fear, drama from friends & family, vitriolic comments from people in our social media connections and many other distractions that can build up over time like a plaque in our brains instead of our veins. Over time all of this can start putting us on edge, making us feel cynical or bitchy, but there are some great ways to do some mental house cleaning and keep us in a better frame of mind. And just like a diet of junk food, all this negativity and drama can be addicting without us even realizing it. Here are some of my tips on how to make a conscious decision to limit the intake of mental garbage fed to us, and some ideas on how to take in a healthier fare for your brain.

The beginning of the year is always the perfect time for me to reboot both my body and mind for the year to come by doing both a mental and physical detox/cleanse. The first year I did this, I realized how useful it would be to not only give my body a break from the toxins we that we absorb from our daily life in our diet & environmental exposures, but to also give my brain a break from the constant stream of media and political nonsense and negativity that we are fed. Perhaps the hardest part of eliminating mental junk is first identifying where it is and how it gets into our lives.

The first time I started to really take notice of media sensationalism was during the whole ‘Elian Gonzales’ affair back in 2000. The thing I noticed is how the media was so able to evoke so much emotion in people. I remember in that particular situation, the second the news found something new and juicy to focus on, the previous story just disappeared overnight. Since then I have started to notice this all of the time, we get all hyped up on something and then it is forgotten he second something else is there to distract us.

You often hear people say that ‘everyone wants to look when there is an accident’ and the media knows this and thrives on it. The job of the ‘news’ is designed to conjure up emotion and sell a juicy story to get high ratings and dollars from advertisers. We feed into this and get distracted from more important things, we get polarized against our fellow Americans, we get on edge about things we can often do little or nothing about. Perhaps the best way we can help some of these causes is to let the media take less of a hold on our lives in the way that they do.

While there are so many varieties of mental junk food, mine came in the form of financial and political commentary (CNBC and MSNBC). Over the last few years as I have done my yearly mental and physical detoxing, I would take a few weeks to just shut off all of the ‘noise’ coming into my life from these so called news outlets. On CNBC every day the sky is either falling or there is a rally, we are on a financial cliff or another ‘meltdown’. As a long time investor I know the market naturally ebbs and flows, so perhaps my first realization that I needed to unplug my mind came at times where the market was down and I had no other choice but to just sit back and let it take its course. Over the more recent years, when I would take a big hit on my portfolio, the easiest thing to do was just not pay attention, and in a few months or years everything would be back to normal (or better). Why did I used to put myself through such stress all the time?

The political channels are even worse, because they are so polarizing. Everyone has a point of view, which is quite different from a fact, and these new political channels such as Fox and MSNBC know how to hit at the heart of your emotions. Whether you are liberal or conservatives, there are political channels designed specifically to cater to your point of view and tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to know. We take far too little responsibility in the news we digest and we allow our emotions to let us vindicate our own politicians for doing the same things we vilify in the other side. Her is an example of this: A few months ago during the run-up to the Presidential elections, from time to time I would notice all the rhetoric about gas prices and how the President was responsible for this. From a financial perspective, as someone who has studied gas and oil prices for years, I know that the POTUS has very little to do with the price of gas. Yet people, when politically convenient, will blame the President (part of this may truly be lack of knowledge) but when gas prices come down….crickets from the same people. In July of 2008 (deep in election season) the price of oil hit an all-time high $145 per barrel (and gas prices were over $4 per gallon) 6 months later due to the market crash and recession, gas prices were shaved in half and oil had dropped into the $30’s. So if you blame Bush for the run-up of oil and gas, shouldn’t you also give him credit for the drop in prices? Same with the current president, if you are so willing to blame him for high gas prices, shouldn’t you also praise him for supposedly bringing them down? Of course not, because gas prices are just a way to vent your frustration, and the political channels know they have a good story to get you riled up and mad. I feel this is incredibly irresponsible for not just the media but for us to use selective ignorance to back up our own beliefs.

This is just one of the many juicy subjects that are tailor made to enable us to feel the way we do. The reason why news stations are so polarized is because by picking sides, it is a guaranteed stream of customers willing to listen to whatever suits their position, but we don’t have to support this. In the past few years I merely took a few weeks off each year from this rhetoric, but after a while (since I work at home and often times have the TV on as background noise) I would fall back into my routines of CNBC and MSNBC. This past February, I could feel myself getting irritable, and during all the hype around “Kony” I must have been on auto pilot and felt myself engaging in useless debates and speculation over a subject I honestly know nothing about. I knew it was time for a mental cleanse, but a longer one, time to go on a permanent diet from this mental junk food.

Habits are usually hard to drop, but I can say for the most part, since February I have hardly paid attention to the news and all the fanaticism surrounding it. Since then we have had the rise and fall of Kony hype, two major mass shootings, a looming financial cliff and a presidential election, who knows what else but nothing really comes to mind that has had a real effect on my life. I am pretty sure that I still have a good bearing of what has been going on in the world, and nothing in the news that I know (or don’t know of) has changed anything in my life. Well, with the exception that my brain is a lot less cluttered, with lots of space and time to fill with more productive and healthy mental food.  I have more time to enjoy being around those I love and time to spend on more productive and healthy pursuits. I am less reactionary, less contrarian, less argumentative, less irritable. It feels great!

Of course mental junk food can come in so many other varieties, what are some vices that your brain craves? Is it useless arguments with conservatives or liberals that don’t and never will share your same beliefs? Is it the latest reality series like Jersey Shore or Real House Wives of Beverly Hills that has you ensnared and watching in on someone else’s train wreck of a life? Is it the useless gossip going around at work or school that keeps you focused on someone else’s business and not your own? Maybe there are a few useless horror flicks that you might be able to swap out for something a bit more rewarding. The list is long but so are the options of direction your attention into a more fulfilling way.

I am sure you have heard the ‘conspiracy theories’ of a new world order that keeps people distracted and in debt. Sometimes it feels like more than just a conspiracy, we are very distracted and in debt. Not only are we fed such enormous amounts of garbage, but we are bombarded with advertising and live a lifestyle of trying to keep up with the Jones, in a rat race always needing to get the latest and greatest I-phone or whatever. Time to unplug a bit.

During the last mass shooting which occurred only a few months ago, I posed a question about gun control, which in retrospect was a big time sucker and of course didn’t change anything. I was curious why we can’t at least have a decent discussion about gun control without everyone getting all upset or divided, or feeling like rights were being taken away. What a can of worms it is and always will be. It always boils down to the question of if it is guns or if it is the people. I tend to think the problem goes so much deeper than just access to guns, it is our society which is constantly feed a diet of mental junk food. I can’t control guns or gun rights or change other people’s minds, but at least I can limit what comes into my own life.

A few weeks from now we turn the page on another year, most people like to have a list of ‘resolutions’. I seem to feel like there is no reason to wait for a new year to start on a new project or personal change, but nevertheless it is a great time to try out new things. Would you like to join me on a mental cleanse? Maybe even take it further and hit up my fiancé Angela for a full body detox (of course no pressure, just throwing it out there). It feels great to renew ourselves, it is what we are built to do naturally, of course there are ways for us to facilitate this process and help us to be the best that we can be.

Have a great holiday season!

Simon