For someone who only applied for a job because he liked the hours, Tony Diaz has come pretty far in the ARM industry. Named last year to be PFC’s first-ever manager of the company’s training and development department, Tony’s success is a testament to his dedication and the enthusiasm he brings to the office every day. Read on to learn more about Tony, how even his guilty pleasure sounds like a lot of work, and why you should never try to convince him to do something because it’s cheaper.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I was looking for a part time job while getting my teaching degree at the local university. In the local newspaper, there was an ad for the position (this is how you looked for current opening years ago), the hours got my attention more than the job itself. I had never done anything like this before but needed money! The moment I took that first call I knew that this job was for me, from that day forward I excelled and continued to work my way up with the company to where I am today.
What is your career highlight so far?
Being promoted to PFC|USA’s first Manager of Training and Development! In the history of our company, we have had trainers for each of our divisions but prior to me being promoted, PFC never had someone manage the department. Knowing that our Senior Leaders had the faith in me to lead our department meant a lot.
When or how are you most productive?
I am most productive early morning before employees started showing up and working from the office. We can work remote, but for me to get the best work done, is at the office and early in the morning!
Which industry professional do you admire most?
Throughout my years at PFC I’ve had the opportunity to work with amazing Senior Leaders and Supervisors. They’ve helped me develop, grow and have led by example; through those experiences they have shaped me to who I am today. I use those experiences to help my team and new hires grow and become industry experts!
What is one thing you do better than everyone else?
Keeping level-headed, calm, and understanding. In our industry nothing is simple, rules/regulations/policies are always changing, we must be able to adapt quickly.
What do you like most about this industry?
Nothing is stagnant, which makes are jobs a little more difficult but makes for a new challenge every day!
What is one thing you wish you could change about this industry?
The negative stereotype of collection agencies and their employees. The industry has done a great job in recent years to help get the word out about the good that we do. We play a vital role in maintaining cost for consumers by resolving past due accounts.
If you weren’t in this industry, what would you be doing?
I would be putting my teaching degree to use in History at some high school and coaching sports!
Describe a typical work day
Um, most days don’t go the same but look somewhat like this: Come in a little early, review emails and calendar to see what meetings or important emails have come in since I last checked. If I have meetings that day, I make sure to prepare myself for those meetings by looking at previous meeting notes, deadlines, actions items, etc. After that I will check in with my team to see how training classes are going and if anything is needed from me to assist them or the class. At the point, if I don’t have webinars, trainings, 1-1’s, etc. I will spend some time working/reviewing our speech analytics platform to see where we have opportunities for coaching and development of our reps or building new content. In between all this, making sure to put out any fires that pop up throughout the day!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Playing golf and going to the gym. Both activities allow me to free my mind and enjoy that moment while blocking out everything else.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Cheaper is not always better!”
What are you currently reading?
Michael Connelly’s “The Black Echo”, the series that involves his main character, Harry Bosch.. I’ve read a lot of his books but never in order, so I decided to start from the beginning.
What is one fact you’d like everyone in the industry to know about you?
Anything that I do, I give it my all.