Jordan Berman (‘95) Conquers the Coffee Break
If you have ever worked a 9 to 5 job, you know that 2pm is a drag. You check your phone, pour another cup of coffee, and wonder when the day will be done. At college, this is prime nap time in the libraries or, if you’re lucky, in a semi-quiet dorm room.
ILR alumnus Jordan Berman (‘95) knows this struggle well and has creatively capitalized on it. To turn employee restlessness into engagement, he launched Office Channel (OFC). Originally, OFC focused on creating content to fill employees’ 2pm breaks. Now, OFC is a consulting firm that creates humorous training videos for companies like Pepsico, Unilever, Olive Garden, and more. While funny and aided by popular culture, the videos deliver important human resource content to employees in memorable ways.
Berman shared his story with students earlier this month during ILR’s Student-Alumni Career Pathways: Endless Opportunities celebration. He shared these main ideas:
Sometimes you need to be “pushed against the wall” for you to start a company.
Berman started OFC after working for a number of other firms. It was not until the recession that Berman launched his company. “A company taking care of you is no longer expected,” Berman explained. Sometimes, it takes layoffs or other life circumstances to push you to act.
Doing what you love creates flow.
Flow is the concept that if you are fully engaged in your work – when you are not struggling but also not bored – time moves quickly. It is a concept Berman explains further in his blog. Although startups do not initially pay what typical office jobs offer, they provide entrepreneurs and team members the chance to work in environments where 2pm comes and goes without a second thought.
Consider building some experience before launching.
Before OFC, Berman worked at Black and Decker, Showtime, and AT&T. He believes these experiences and the connections he made in ILR allowed him to launch successfully. Not only does some years of experience allow you to network, but you can also watch firms try different strategies and get paid to learn what works. This allows you to avoid mistakes in your own firm.
To keep up with Berman and OFC, follow his blog.