Meet the speakers at this year’s Continuity Insights Management Conference, then click here to learn more about the 2023 event.
Jay Johnson, Ed. D
When did you know you wanted this job?
I am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, but my passion for Emergency Management/Business Continuity is most influenced by the opportunity to work with highly skilled and dedicated people.
How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?
My adult life has been spent in public safety, in career Fire Service, Law Enforcement, and for the last 15 years in healthcare. Experience has taught me that the time and resources invested in planning, training, and education determine the ability of any individual, group, or organization to respond to emergencies or crisis. Being able to engage in work that helps others prepare and respond has been my life’s work and is both personally and professionally rewarding.
What career mistake has given you the biggest lesson?
I have worked outside of public safety, while that work was financially rewarding it was not personally rewarding. That experience taught me that the financial rewards are secondary to the personal and emotional rewards of more broadly meaningful work.
What research did you do to prepare for this role?
My move into Emergency Management and Business Continuity has been organic. I have researched as my role expanded and changed. Understanding what my colleagues and contemporaries do and how they do it has helped my grow and improve. Any success I have enjoyed has been the direct result of the willingness of other to teach and mentor.
What was your first “win” that made you confident that you were doing the right thing
Early in my career I worked for a Fire Department that had very aggressive public education program. All of us worked as educators. Providing information and resources for adults and kids was a task I found enjoyable and rewarding. One call that influenced me greatly took place when I was the Officer on an Engine arriving first at a residential structure fire. Upon arrival we were sizing up a scene of a fully involved structure fire and I made contact with the occupants of the residence in the front yard. Everyone was out of the house (two adults and two children) and the adult male told me “we are all safe because he (pointing to the 10 year old) made us to fire drills like you guys taught him in school”. What we learned afterword is that the kids attended the city schools and had been in our fire safety presentations every year since starting school…
How do you avoid being complacent in your role?
Working with the people who are directly impacted by my efforts has been the best path for me. Understanding how my work affects others keeps me grounded.
What is the biggest risk that you’ve taken?
No question…moving from Uniformed Public Safety to healthcare.
What did you do at work yesterday?
- Started the day with a 1:1 meeting with a team member
- Attended a huddle meeting with my Business Resilience and Technology Resilience counterparts.
- Lead a committee meeting with our Healthcare Incident Command Coordinating Committee.
- Attended a retirement coffee for a colleague
- Met with teams responsible for High Consequence Infectious Disease response in the region to update them on current operational status of the teams.
- Led a regional program integration initiative meeting.
- Attended a National Healthcare Emergency Management Consortium monthly meeting
How did you set yourself apart from others who wanted the same job?
By building relationships and experience across the domains of the profession. Those efforts allow me to establish a reputation and become a known entity with colleagues and peers.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
You do not master your craft until you teach your craft.
What advice would you give to your younger self at the start of your career?
Regret has a lasting sting, if it needs to be said…say it.
What impresses you the most when you are considering hiring someone?
Learning orientation and systems thinking ability.
How do you, your team or company define success?
What is the biggest challenge to achieving that success?
To learn more about Aaron’s session and to view the full conference agenda, click here.