Podcast Transcript – Julian Placino

Today’s podcast features an interview with UNT alumnus Julian Placino. We asked him a few questions related to his program and to talk a little bit about his postgraduation career path. We hope you’ll stay tuned.  

My name is Julian Placino. I am a speaker, a podcaster, and I have a personal development consulting company called the Pathways to Success Training Company. I graduated with a business degree in December 2005 with an emphasis in marketing when you started at UNT.  

What were your plans for after graduation? Have these plans changed, if at all?  

I would say one hundred percent, yes. And you know, this was such a long time ago now. And I can remember all I really wanted to do was to graduate was to get a degree and enter into, quote unquote, corporate America. And what was so strange is I didn’t necessarily even have a specialty in mind. I guess I just wanted the quote unquote, perception of success working in a skyscraper in downtown, wearing a suit and tie. And the truth of the matter is, I got all that I’ve been recruiting and staffing for the past 12 years. That was my corporate base. But I started to realize that I was drawn to entrepreneurship and I wanted to do work that I loved and that I was passionate about. And as you can see, I started this podcast as a passion project and it has led to sponsorships. I got picked up by a talent agency. I became a keynote speaker. I’m professionally represented and now I do consulting for individuals and also corporations in terms of personal development. So absolutely, I thought I was going to work in the corporate world forever until I retired, but I was really drawn to entrepreneurship and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

What advice do you have for current students as they decide their next steps after graduation?  

OK, so I’m going to give you the best advice that I can possibly give you, having experienced what I have now. And again, my base is recruiting and staffing. I have personally hired over four hundred world-class professionals and I’ve coached thousands successfully into employment. And the best advice that I can give you is get to know who you are as early on as you can start to get to know your strengths and your weaknesses. There truly does exist this intersection of your natural strengths, your areas of interest, and what helps and creates value for other people. And as early on as you can in life, start to figure out what that is, start to get a sense of your strengths and potential opportunities that you want to pursue. Right. And then go find people who are already doing that because that person now represents a path, a trail they have blazed to produce that particular outcome, seek out mentors who are already doing what it is that you want to do, become their friends, interview them, ask them how they got to where they are. And that is the best advice that I could give you right now as early on as you can in life, start to gain as much self-awareness as you can, and go find mentors.  

How did your program at UNT help you feel prepared for this role?  

If I could be very honest with you, the biggest thing that I got from my college career was a platform to start figuring out who I was and becoming an adult. It gave me the ability or the opportunity to start something and then finish it. It was the entire experience. I can’t say if there’s one particular class that prepared me for this. It was the life experience. It was the four. Well, think five years for me to graduate right in squeezing in, going to class, developing relationships, working full time and all the adversity that comes with being a working student.  

So if anything, it gave me real experience of what it takes to succeed in the business world. And honestly, I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t have changed anything about what I’ve experienced. And I’m grateful to all of my professors, all of my friends and all the experiences of how did you and to you, how did you find your current role? As an entrepreneur now, it really was birth out of this passion project and it actually came from a pretty from a place I was actually kind of frustrated in my career. I’m grateful for everything I’ve experienced in recruiting and staffing, but I felt a yearning for some type of creative expression. And I’ve actually been very entrepreneurial since I entered into the corporate world, but never really achieved any kind of great success. So in 2016, I decided to start something entrepreneurial without tying. Classic measures of success to it, like making money, I just wanted to do something that was me and I’ve always loved interviewing interesting people and that’s when I started the podcast. One hundred and seventy two episodes later, eighty thousand downloads, thirty three countries in terms of regular downloads, sponsorships, and of course, being able to start a full time entrepreneur entrepreneurial career in terms of content creation, speaking personal development, it has been quite the incredible ride. But if I was to give specific advice on how to find your current role, it really would be start with your warm network. If I can give you a very evident statistic of my entire recruiting career and I can speak pretty broadly for all. Recruiting and hiring is nearly 50 percent of all the hires that I’ve ever made have come from referrals because people like to work with, buy from and hire people that they know, like and trust. So as early on as you can, especially since your early in your career, start to build that professional network.  

What was the toughest interview question they asked you?  

So I think the hardest interview question I’ve ever been posed with is probably why you and I remember David Goldstein.  

He was the VP of operations at the last company I worked for. I oversaw talent acquisition for Bottle Rocket Studios. Right. And we had this amazing conversation. And at the very end, they hit me with this last one, which is why you.  

So the reason why that’s difficult, because it forces you to think of all the reasons why you versus all the other candidates to think about your strengths and your weaknesses, your competitive advantages and why you specifically.  

That’s probably been the most challenging thing. And I think the way to prepare for that is to really know the role that you’re applying for, understand what are the pain points to that particular employer actually has and how has your experience lined up so that you can create value for that organization in this particular role? And if there’s another piece of advice that I can give you from a recruiting perspective is as early on as you can stop seeing yourself as a job seeker and more of a problem solver, if you really reorient your search that way, I guarantee you you will automatically separate yourself from your competition.  

How did you influence your career choice?  

So to be very honest with you, I had a broad sense of what it was that I wanted to do, and when I say broad, I mean no specificity. Like I mentioned, all I wanted to do was to go kind of have that perception of success, to work in a skyscraper in downtown, wear a suit and tie and just wanted to work in business. Right. Which ultimately that was kind of a mistake because I realized the world that doesn’t see generalization, it’s specialization. So what it did is it gave me a basis to build a career. Having that degree was the baseline for me to really figure out who I was personally and also professionally. And for that, I’m incredibly grateful for all my experiences that you went to.  

How did you learn to embrace your failures?  

How did you learn to embrace your failures? So check this out. Right. True story. I graduated from two thousand and five at that time. I actually had six years of management experience, five years of technical training and had a degree technical certifications. And I felt like as soon as I graduated, that was just the missing link for me to go get my my dream career right. But that did not happen. I thought that the market was going to roll out the red carpet for me, but it certainly didn’t. Within eight months, I was rejected thirty seven times in a row. And for me, I lost my identity because when I graduated from college, I was like the young successful kid who was supposed to go take over the world. And here I was charging out into the marketplace and no one wanted me right. But what I started to gain experience in was learning how to shake hands, how to make eye contact, how to introduce myself. I was learning this process of how to present myself in an interview. And then finally, the one company that decided to make me an offer was a company called Robert Half International, one of the oldest and largest recruiting firms in the world. So there I was. Instead of spending every waking hour of my day trying to find a job for myself, I was then building a career, not doing that for others. And that’s what I did for 12 years of my professional career. I was a recruiter, and I’m grateful to say I’ve helped hundreds of people directly find jobs and coach thousands into successful employment. So why do I say that? I say that embrace your adversities, understand what’s going on. And any time that you feel you’re facing a kind of an obstacle, remember that obstacle there is there to teach you something.  

What inspired you to actively pursue your current career?  

You know, for me, I feel that life is too short not to do work that you love, and something that I learned along the way is that there are way too many people out there who hate what they do. And I didn’t want to be one of those people. And it ultimately led me down the path of entrepreneurship for me. I see what I do in terms of creating content as a form of art. And when I saw that it could blend my personality and my creative pursuits and creating an enterprise in terms of personal and professional development, being able to receive sponsorships and interview incredible individuals on the podcast CEOs, company founders, New York Times best selling authors, TED Speakers, It’s completely transformed my life, becoming a content creator.  

So I guess what inspired me to do this is. I didn’t want to settle. I wanted to create a life for myself that I was truly in love with and I recommend everyone watching do the same.