Josh Hunter, director of site operations in Milton-Freewater, doesn’t like to be the center of attention. Despite being a former singer in a band, he’s more of a producer than the next American Idol. He loves helping solve problems and seeing others thrive. Josh is one of those rare individuals who enjoys pressure. He’s a man not afraid to be out of his element.
Josh’s ability to cultivate opportunity was inspired by Jim Carey in the movie “Yes Man.” Carey’s character turns his life around by saying “yes” to everything that comes his way.
“I sometimes think it’s stupid that my current outlook on life started because of a movie,” Josh jokes. “But I saw myself being closed up to situations I wasn’t comfortable with; I thought, okay, if I’ve never done something before, and I can’t think of a compelling reason not to try it, then I should say ‘yes.’ And then if I decide I don’t want to do it anymore or do it again, I can at least say I gave it a shot.”
Following this path of yes has allowed Josh to grow in remarkable ways. It helped him overcome his fear of public speaking, learn how to connect with people, and eventually find his first job in Arizona as a paralegal.
After working as a paralegal for about a year, Josh moved back to Kentucky to be closer to his family and friends. Searching for a new line of work, he secured his first call center job with a company based out of the Kentucky Technical Community College.
To his surprise, Josh found that the variety of opportunities at call centers were seemingly endless.
“At first I was bored, but then something happened. It got interesting. I enjoyed some of the calls. It wasn’t the ones you might think, but the upset ones. Oftentimes in your work life, or even our home life, it’s hard to know if you ‘won’ or not. But when you take a call with someone who is lashing out and end it with them being happy, you have just won. And I realized that, and I got the call center bug.”
He soon found that there were ample opportunities for him to advance, because of the company’s startup-like culture which encouraged people to take on various roles, regardless of their years of experience.
“At first I was taking calls. Then it was IT, and eventually I helped buildout new sites. One of the coolest things that happened early on was actually being able to design a buildout of a 500-seat contact center. I did everything from finalizing, working with architects, laying out the network, and actually installing ladder racks.”
Moving up in the industry, Josh found he enjoyed working with people and helping them grow.
“You can’t fix people,” Josh says “But you can help them — develop them. People are always a challenge. Whenever I found that I got bored, there was another aspect of the job or task at hand that I could focus my time on and get rewarded for. Every call was the same until it wasn’t. It clicked for me that I wasn’t just making a difference in numbers, I was making a difference in people’s lives.”
One day after Josh helped build a workforce team over four states he fell asleep at his office for about 45 minutes. “I’ve never done that before or since; it’s not me. But I fell asleep in my office and no one noticed. And that bugged me.”
Josh thought if he could fall asleep in his office for 45 minutes unnoticed, then he wasn’t making the kind of difference he wanted. A day later Josh got a call from someone who had referred him to a job at SYKES. At that moment, he realized to reach his next level of growth he’d have to say “yes.”
On May 14th, 2012 Josh started working at SYKES. Today he’s been with company for half a decade.
When Josh arrived at SYKES, he knew he wanted to create a team culture of trust and empowerment. Over time Josh learned that if you’re not authentic, people will see through it quickly.
“Everybody’s a little strange, and everyone is a little weird. And everyone is a lot more comfortable, if everyone can be themselves around each other.”
When asked about the secret to embracing the yes mentality, Josh has a bit of advice. “Be humble. Leave your ego at the door. And look for opportunities when you can support and help other people at the right time. I have learned that call centers do not have to be a dirty word. Every type of person ends up at a call center, and every type of person can make a career of it if they find something to love.”