Hello, I’m Gary Dumais…
I grew-up on a Christmas tree farm in Upstate New York as part of a small, hardworking, blue-collar family. In addition to growing evergreen trees, my father worked as an electrician. I was also fortunate enough to have a stay-at-home mother (the kind that insisted on baking cupcakes for my entire grade-school class each year for my birthday), even though we had little money.
Of course, my upbringing had a tremendous influence on who I am today. My father was raised in poverty on a farm in Canada along with a total of eight brothers and sisters. As a result, he knows the value of hard work, doing things right the first time, and persisting in overcoming obstacles. As a young adult, my father had the courage and spirit to leave the farm and immigrate to the United States to find work. Through his example, I learned at an early age that being responsible, committed, and always believing there was a way to solve any problem was key to success. At the same time, work on the Christmas tree farm taught me long-term thinking, perseverance, and patience. Every tree begins as a small seedling. It needs to be planted carefully and then tended to constantly (e.g., fertilizing, weed removal, pruning and shaping, etc.) for nearly ten years before a happy customer cuts it down and takes it away!
I applied the same sense of responsibility, perseverance, work ethic, and long-term thinking that I learned on the tree farm to my schooling and career. When I was just a child, my father explained that work was a necessity in life, and that I could pursue higher education and have a choice of what type of work I’d do. He encouraged me to pursue a career I was truly interested in, something that I would enjoy doing, give me purpose, and make me proud. After some thoughtful reflection, I realized that there is nothing more interesting than people, and I would most enjoy a career dedicated to understanding and helping people.
With all that in mind, I decided to become a psychologist. And while the focus of my graduate studies were on becoming a clinical psychologist, I quickly began to apply what I learned to the world of work and helping people in the workplace. Now I specialize in helping people find jobs and roles that fit their personality, skill-sets, and aptitudes. I also coach people to increase their effectiveness on the job, become better leaders, and shape their career advancement. Looking back to my early years growing-up on the tree farm and the influence of my hardworking parents, it seems like my career choice was destined.
Now I am happily working as a Business Psychologist and Human Resource consultant in Philadelphia, at a firm I began about nine years ago: Select Human Resources (www.selhr.com). If you would like to know more, please visit my LinkedIn page at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/garydumais