Jamia Erickson’s resume is long: after moving to Minnesota in 2009, she’s racked up a list of accomplishments. Working for Thrivent Financial. A long career with Mayo Clinic, then Olmsted Medical Center’s sports medicine departments. And volunteer work at Bolder Options, the Diversity Council, FAITH!, Habitat for Humanity, and United Way.
Here, she discusses the overlap between her work specialties, the importance of support from her “pillars,” and how no one is ever really stuck.
You’re a financial representative and you work in sports and conditioning. How did you come to work at both Thrivent and OMC?
Mayo Clinic Sports Performance is what brought me to Rochester from my previous position in the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities Athletics Department. My role was to serve as a Sports Performance Coordinator for the new program offerings and community partnerships with the four area high schools. I enjoy coaching athletes, especially youth athletes. There is an opportunity to help them learn skills, build athleticism and confidence to compete, or just have fun being active.
I was exposed to Thrivent at church. I connected with a financial representative and had discussions about my family’s financial planning goals. He later became my mentor and colleague. The impact of the planning experience left me feeling relieved, confident and excited to execute the plan. That is when the match was lit. I recognized that this was something that I had a passion for that I didn’t even know existed within me. I wanted to be able to help others create a plan for the future that is achievable, sustainable and individualized to their particular needs and desires. When I made the transition to Thrivent Financial representative, OMC Athletic Performance provided an opportunity to still coach athletes in a limited capacity. I continue to coach athletes on an individual basis through my own business.
What speaks to you about these fields?
They are both a form of coaching and service-oriented professions. As a sports performance coach, I help athletes run faster, jump higher, and get stronger in addition to injury mitigation. As a financial advisor, I help clients get out of debt, save for a goal (or goals), and plan for the present and future, in addition to protection in the event of (a) worst-case scenario. I am a coach at heart and both of these fields allow me to do what I love, which is to help others achieve their goals by meeting them where they are.
Is there a point or points in your life that shaped your path to where you are today? If so, what?
There have been many points in my life that have directed, diverted, and derailed my path, that led me to today. Growing up in Florida, I never thought I would be a member of the USA Women’s Bobsled team and travel the world competing. I did not foresee the success I had in Olympic Weightlifting or believe that I would have lived in at least eight different states before turning 30. Luckily for me, my inner circle supported my drive, my adventures and dared me to aim for greatness wherever it took me and whatever it was. The pillars in my life, family, friends, faith and values feed my energy and (keep) me focused on what is really important. My priorities help guide the decisions that influence my path, what I pursue and how I spend my time. My passions are also expressed through my ties to local community organizations in which I serve, like the Diversity Council, Bolder Options and FAITH! Program. It has been more about the relationships and the constant breath of support and encouragement from my pillars that have shaped my path more than any particular point in time.
What lessons have you learned that you want to share with young people looking to go into similar careers?
Neither of my career choices are passive in nature. They require continued education, staying abreast to the world around us and building/sustaining relationships. Understand that you don’t know everything -- and that’s okay, no one does. Don’t be afraid to partner, collaborate, seek mentors and feedback. Advocate for yourself and know your value. Just because you start on one path doesn’t mean you are stuck and not allowed to make a change. You are never stuck. It was scary for me to change from one career path that I had spent my whole academic and professional life working towards to something that on paper was completely different. But I’m glad I didn’t let fear stop me and neither should you. Own your path.