Data Gurus


Career Planning and Expression Through Song: Sima Wanted to Mix Things Up! |Ep. 98

We’re very happy to have Adam Jolley joining us today.

Very soon, Adam will be starting with Survey Monkey, which will be a huge and exciting change for him.

Adam’s career path up to now has been an interesting one. He started in sales, for a small EMI market research company that had only six employees. After ten years in sales with EMI, he went into leadership and became the president of the company. That was a great achievement for Adam and it allowed him to learn a lot about all the other parts of the work that the company was doing.

What Adam loves about market research

As a market researcher, Adam was always very curious about everything that was going on. When he became the President of EMI, he was able to learn many new things, about the business side, how to communicate, how to manage employees, and even about the psychology of the business.

Throughout the time Adam spent at EMI, he continued to be driven by his insatiable curiosity about everything that was going on in the world.

What small businesses should be doing right now

Right now, as the pandemic is settling in, as the fear creeps in, and as people are starting to wonder what life will look like when it’s all finally over, Adam believes that entrepreneurs and small businesses need to be innovating.


The current situation with the global pandemic motivated Adam to pivot and start looking for something new. So he courageously went from being the president of an online sample company to a situation where almost all of his clients are full-service market research firms.

At Survey Monkey, a 400-million dollar publically-traded technology company, Adam is a salesperson selling market research, concept testing, ad testing, and automation, to brands.

Feeling fortunate

With all the change he’s been through, Adam still has the curiosity that came from market research. He is optimistic and he feels very lucky to have had a choice, so that he didn’t have to compromise himself or jump into any old job, just to get through the rest of the year.

Having been the president of a company was like a scarlet letter for Adam at job interviews. So he often didn’t even make it past the resume for many of the jobs he applied for. And the feedback that he got was always that those companies did not want a president coming in to shake things up at this time when everyone is unsure of what the future holds.

Now, he gets to fuel his passion, stimulate his curiosity, learn something new, and sell to a different group of people, during a time when many people are being laid off and some companies are not hiring anyone at all.

Adam’s goal

For Adam, what matters is having an end goal in sight, and planning for his career, even though he does know that it’s very easy to lose track of the journey when you’re focused on the destination.

It’s been a huge blessing for him to have had the opportunity to level and re-center himself around what he wants to do, and where his purpose lies.

Moving forward, Adam now feels that by innovating himself and having been set up for the rest of his career, he will be better suited to what life will be like at the end of the pandemic.

Living in the moment

Adam thinks that there are business lessons that we’re learning right now that can set us all up for a better future.

Although he likes to learn from the past and plan for the future, he lives in the present moment. And this moment is presenting a lot of opportunities for everyone to correct their course in both lifestyle and business. He points out that if we look into the past, or become nostalgic, we’re not going to grow, and that’s what is happening with the companies that are failing right now.

The song of the moment

Sima asked Adam to pick some songs that best describe for him a theme in our industry today.

The first song that Adam chose was I Just called To say I Love You by Stevie Wonder because it talks to him very directly about sales messaging and cold calling at this time.

His second song was Stronger Than Me by Amy Winehouse. He chose it because it reminds him of all the people in the industry who have been laid off at this time and how they all seen stronger than the leadership at this time.

The first song that Sima chose was Alright Alright by Darius Rucker because we’re all going through social distancing right now and the song reminds her that she has everything she needs, she feels fortunate to be okay at this time.

The second song Sima picked was one she listens to, to get her head together whenever she feels out of control, or if she needs a boost of energy. She chose This Is My Fight Song by Rachel Platten.

Some wonderful things

Some truly wonderful things have come out of this current pandemic situation. People have been kind and generous and they have been offering one another care and support. And business is no longer only about money-making.

And we’re also learning not to take essential workers, like teachers, for granted anymore.

Adam’s podcast

Adam’s podcast is called The Ride, and it is the research and innovation discussion exchange, focused on the innovative things that are happening in the world. It is with Adam, and Adam Dietrich, who has an analytical mind and is a genius with political polling.

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Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn, and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as her, subscribe on iTunes and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!

Adam’s podcast- The Ride