District Manager Jen Kazarian has always refused to settle for average.
Jen grew up in Iran, where her parents and teachers instilled early on for her to “never take no for an answer” and “dream big.” When her family decided to move to the U.S. for more religious freedom, they were required to do it by way of Pakistan, where she first learned English at age 14. “I speak Assyrian, Farsi, and English…but English was the hardest, as I didn’t know anything when I started and that was the only way to communicate at school,” Jen says. Two years later, her family was able to move to the U.S., which presented even more obstacles. “When we moved to the States,” said Jen, “the school system made me start as a freshman in high school, even though I was already 16. I didn’t want to graduate later than others my age, so when I was a junior, I decided to home school. With a lot of hard work and focus, I finished my junior and senior year—and I graduated early with honors.” During that time, Jen learned Spanish, which she continues to hone, while now also learning Armenian. “My husband is Armenian and I’m a quarter Armenian. I’d like to know what he and my in-laws are saying when they talk to each other!” she says with a laugh.
Moving from Iran to Pakistan to the United States, graduating high school early, and learning three languages other than her own are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Jen’s determination.
At 17, she started working in sales and quickly became an award-winning salesperson. As she worked toward her Master’s, a friend offered her a part-time sales job with MarketSource. “I loved what I was doing and it didn’t take me long to get promoted to a lead,” says Jen. “I took that position very seriously. I was always ready to take on new challenges and help my district manager, my team, and even other districts anytime I was needed.” Her hard work paid off, as she now oversees 55 people as district manager.
While she’s incredibly proud of the many awards she has earned since then, her favorite part of her job is helping and motivating others—just as her previous leaders did for her. Lessons that she tries to instill in her team are professionalism, punctuality, staying focused on tasks until they’re completed, and “always do the right thing, even when no one is watching,” she says. “Also, whether it’s in your personal or professional life, communication, honesty and respect are of the utmost importance.”
Now, her husband motivates her to “never settle for average” and to “dream big”—lessons her parents and teachers taught her as that young girl in Iran. “Anything is possible if you believe in it,” she explains. “Change is inevitable, so be open and adapt to it. Also, be open to criticism, ask for help when needed…and never, ever give up.”