Is it possible to get ahead without living near Wall Street?
James M. Housler, the newest partner and senior advisor at Telemus Capital, has worked hard to find out. Born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Housler knew that he was far from the world’s leading financial hubs. But he was determined to get ahead regardless.
“That’s really one of the biggest things — the fork-in-the-road moment that everybody has in their career, and you always gotta weigh that balance between family, career, children, etc.,” Housler told StreetID.
While he had left home temporarily, Housler eventually made his way back to Michigan. He worked for a number of big organizations and served as a VP at both PNC and J.P. Morgan Private Bank. He strived to advance his career and get ahead before his first child started school, hoping that he wouldn’t have to move her around after she started the first grade.
“[I] said for the next five or six years, I’m gonna just work as hard as I can and take every promotional opportunity that further advances my career,” said Housler. “From that aspect it made it really, really easy because I knew I didn’t have an infinite amount of time to do what I needed to do.”
Housler has been fortunate enough to get ahead without applying to any institution. He credits his success with his results, which provided him with the opportunity to continue moving forward.
“When I was at PNC, I just really worked my tail off, built my network out, was able to put out solid, consistent numbers for that firm,” he said. “Then it came time to discuss a promotion, and they wanted me to move to Atlanta. That kind of references [the point] point that if you really want to take the next step in your career in the financial sector, it’s either New York, down south, [or] Connecticut [for the] hedge fund space.”
For better or worse, Housler said that job seekers need to be prepared to relocate — at least temporarily — to advance their careers.
“I saw that at the earlier parts of my career,” said Housler. “I was two years with Wachovia, right of college, and if I wanted to take that next step, I had to go to North Carolina. And they don’t really give you a whole lot of time to think about it.”
Housler said that the most important advice he could give is that “your career path is solely yours to control.”
“Nobody is gonna have as much of a vested interest as you do in the path you take,” he added. “I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of mentors. I still crave mentorship. That was one of the biggest aspects of coming here [to Telemus].”
In the end, Housler said that it was one of those cases where he “wanted to build leverage and equity in myself — at all those respected firms — so that when an opportunity came, I would be able to leverage my accomplishments for the next opportunity.”
Searching For More Talent
Housler is Telemus Capital’s newest hire, but the company isn’t stopping there
“We’re like the army: we’re looking for a few good men or women,” Gary Ran, founder, Chairman and Managing Partner of Telemus Capital, told StreetID. “We’re looking for people like James. We’re looking to add young people with some experience who are hungry for success.”
Get Hired Now
These days, job seekers have a million options, but we know where they should turn: StreetID. We built StreetID (a financial career matchmaking website) from the ground up to accommodate Wall Street’s growing community of financial professionals. In good times and in bad, current job seekers and those looking to move on in the future can turn to StreetID and sign up for a free account and make a direct connection with relevant candidates and employers.