A Perfect Pivot: Jim's Pacific Life Career Story
schedule 5 MINUTES

Jim is a Regional Vice President for the Structured Settlements team who began his career at Pacific Life in 2014.

schedule 5 MINUTES
How Jim, Regional Vice President for the Structured Settlements team, swiveled from one career at Pacific Life to another

When Jim was a child, he had no idea what he wanted to be when he grew up; but he was pretty sure it wasn’t to be a manager at an insurance company. Little did he know that he would eventually find himself on that exact path, albeit a circuitous one, with a 180-degree shift from his original plan.

Jim started his tenure at Pacific Life in 2014 in the Compliance department, but after being in the compliance field for nearly eight years, he was ready for a change. He loved Pacific Life and wanted to find another position within the organization – leading him to apply for several openings in various fields and eventually interview for a position as a credit analyst.

“I didn’t get the position, and I was pretty bummed about that,” he said. “But the beat goes on.”

Jim continued to network and grow his reach within the organization, and eventually was connected to Geoff, VP Structured Settlements, who he met while playing on opposing teams for the Pacific Life volleyball league.

Jim, who was curious to learn more about structured settlements, invited Geoff to coffee in hopes to glean some insight into what the Structured Settlements team did and see if it might be the career change that he’d been looking for.  

“Eventually, Geoff let me know that he had an opening on his team. So, I applied, and I was fortunate enough to get the job! And so, I started on the Structured Settlements team as an analyst.” Jim said.

Now Jim recalls back to that time of job hunting with a new outlook.

“I think not getting that position was a good thing,” he said. “As disappointing as it was at the time, it turned out to be the best thing for me.”

His positive perspective is a trademark of his personality and integral to his success. Instead of dwelling on missed opportunities, he resolved to create his own.

Since joining the Structured Settlements team, Jim has grown into a leader on the team, and was promoted to Manager, Structured Settlements Sales & Quoting in 2021.

“Becoming a first-time people leader is a big change from being a subject matter expert,” he said of becoming a manager. “It requires a different set of skills that you’re not always exposed to. I had to recognize that now I’m not just responsible for a project, but I’m also responsible for people’s wellbeing, and responsible for ensuring the team and everyone on it is thriving in their roles.”

Jim takes his position as a leader very seriously and makes it a priority to invest in his own leadership development. He’s participated in several Talent Development programs at Pacific Life, including Decision Making Champions, and the Leader as Coach course, which he credits as an essential component in his leadership training.

But Jim also credits a lot of his success as a leader to having a great leader himself.

“I would say one of the greatest things about Geoff is he is open to letting me try new things, especially if it’s something I’m interested in, he’ll give me the freedom to explore it.”

And so, what’s next for Jim? He hopes to continue refining his leadership skills and keep growing at Pacific Life.

“I hope to continue on the path of leadership, and I would love to one day be in a senior leadership position for the Structured team,” he said.

In August 2023, Jim was promoted to Regional Vice President for the Structured Settlements team.

Jim is awarded the Salute to Excellence award from the National Structured Settlement Trade Association.

Q&A with Jim

What do you do when you’re not working?

I have two young daughters and spend a lot of time playing with them. I also enjoy playing soccer and surfing.

Jim with his surfboard
What was the last book you read?

Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins, and I’m currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear which was given to me by my coworker Jane.

What gives you joy?

My family, friends, community, travel, trying new foods, drinks, and activities, playing sports, surfing, snorkeling, and the ocean in general.

What’s your favorite word and why?

"Change." I heard early on in my life that people don’t change; they just get older. I thought that was true at the time but have since learned that it’s absolutely not true. I think we all have it in us to change, learn, and grow. 

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