Being a celebrity can be a challenging gig – and so can debt collection. That’s why so many businesses struggle with it, and turn to the experts on my team.
But would you be surprised if I told you the skill-sets overlap? Seriously, had Keanu Reeves not become a world-famous actor, he would have made a most excellent business debt collector.
Here is a list of 6 Canadian celebrities who should consider a collection agency career – in case the being famous thing doesn’t work out.
1. Seth Rogen
Vancouver native Seth Rogen gives us insight into a pair of attributes required to be a good debt collector: optimism and resilience. You need to remain positive and be mentally durable in order to succeed on the collection floor. While many of Rogen’s characters have highly quirky personalities, they often teach us the importance of being optimistic and lighthearted to achieving success.
2. Elisha Cuthbert
The Calgary-born actress famous for her roles in television’s “24” and “Happy Endings,” as well as an impressive list of movies, is a huge hockey fan. Elisha Cuthbert once authored a blog on NHL.com, and before she married Ottawa Senators’ Dion Phaneuf, she dated Sean Avery for two years. Having acted since she was 11, Elisha says she believes persistence is fundamental to every success. “I believe what you put in is what you get in return,” she once said.
In debt collection, consistency and persistence are fundamental to success. Those who achieve top results are individuals who immerse themselves in every file, keep their stick on the ice, and don’t easily give up.
3. Jim Carrey
This Canadian actor and comic, known for his high-energy slapstick performances, is quoted as saying; “Desperation is a necessary ingredient in everything,” which is right. When you want something badly enough you tend to get it.
There is an important parallel in debt collection. You must always have a strong sense of urgency, and it is important to be highly motivated. To see the affect of time on a debt, try our Debt Recovery Calculator. And if you aren’t driven to recover the customer’s hard-earned money, you won't be prepared to negotiate and take the steps necessary (within clearly defined ethical boundaries) to get what those customers are owed. Bonus tip from Jim Carrey: keep your personal life personal.
4. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
While emulating the focus of Jim Carrey or the lightheartedness of Seth Rogen are great, it’s important to be in control of your emotions. This is where the disposition of Dwayne Johnson, a professional wrestler/actor known as ‘The Rock’ (and former Calgary Stampeder with a Canadian-born father) can come in handy.
Although it can help to be upbeat when collecting, debtors should never get the impression your good humour can be taken advantage of. The Rock’s unique brand of softhearted persuasion is perfect for debt collection. Johnson is unlikely to rough you up – but will you push him?
5. Justin Beiber
One of the most important characteristics of a good debt collector is charisma: when people like you they are more likely to be cooperative.
Justin Beiber was born a small Ontario town and has become one of the most popular musicians in the world. He accomplished this with not only his God-given talent but also his charm and charisma. Say what you will about Bieber, but it’s indisputable that his fame grew out of those key attributes. Being likable and human, but not soft, is one of the most important skills for success in debt collection.
6. Keanu Reeves
Perhaps one of the most down-to-earth mega-stars in Hollywood, Keanu (who still identifies as Canadian) would probably enjoy a career in debt collection. A highly adaptable actor, he is known for his amazing attitude and ability to relate to virtually anyone. Empathy (not to be confused with sympathy) is among the most important traits for the problem-solving side of collecting debt. Don’t you think Keanu would convince you to pay up?
Obviously this list is intended more to amuse than to create an accurate portrayal of real-world debt collectors (and it’s doubtful I’d hire Justin Bieber), but every good joke is built around a grain of truth. A collection agency career brings daily challenges, and the right approach can make every job easier.
We are all fascinated with celebrities, and I genuinely believe many would in fact make excellent debt collectors should they opt to change careers. You don’t make it to the top in show business without confidence, motivation and persistence – characteristics we also look for in recruiting great candidates. I’ve had the pleasure of working with plenty of all-stars in my decades at MetCredit.
If you’ve got the right skills and are looking for a rewarding and challenging day job, check out our job board or our Call Centre Jobs website. If Hollywood calls along the way, we’ll understand – and you’ll always have something worthwhile to fall back on.