If I could talk to my younger self… with Jason Therrien

15 minutes with Jason Therrien (LC ’17)
President of thunder::tech
and CLC Board Member


What were your goals at the beginning of your career?
I didn’t have a singular “big goal” at the beginning of my career. My beliefs then are the same as they are now – I want to make sure I’m continually learning and challenging myself and working with interesting people doing interesting things. These broad principles helped me keep my mind open to a lot of situations but grounded me to not chase numbers or money as my primary goal.

How has your career shifted throughout the years? Are you doing today what you thought you would be doing early  in your career?
I have been able to change my job as my interests and skills have evolved every couple of years, but have been able to do this at the same company for 20 years now. This is definitely a benefit of being a part of growing organization.  I’ve been able to watch marketing, technology and consumer behavior change over the past two decades and I feel very fortunate to have had a front row seat to it.  I’ve not set detailed career plans more than a few years out into the future because things change too much, but have stuck to my early professional principles as my career evolves and this has served me well over the long haul.

What was a failure that taught you an important work  lesson?
The old adage of “get everything in writing” didn’t take long to set in once I got burned at a young age by someone who took advantage of my trust. Ever since then, we commit a lot of time upfront to making sure new relationships start off well and we keep old relationships happy by sweating the details and putting them in writing so everyone knows what to expect. It still amazes me how many reputable professionals skip this step and suffer the consequences later.

How do you incorporate a work life balance?
This is a phrase that bothers me. The usual interpretation I hear about is one of equal balance. In my opinion, this is a completely relative frame of mind that is up to the individual. Work and personal life is more blended than it’s been in the past. For example, I’m typing this answer in my car while my wife is driving my family from a long weekend where I took a couple of calls and answered some emails, but was able to cut out of physically being at work for a few of days. This blending approach works for me. I don’t believe that to be successful it has to be all work all the time, however we all have the same 168 hours in a week, so how are you going to use that time to accomplish your short and long term goals?

Cleveland is and Why?
Cleveland is dynamic and gritty. We have an incredibly diverse range of positive traits as a region matched with a community spirit and work ethic that is second to none. It’s time to stop being so humble about these points and get comfortable promoting our region better to tell the world our story.