Meet Dean, one of our first dedicated Work From Home Deaf Lottery staff, and our first Contact Centre Officer based in NSW!
With the recent merger of Queensland-based Deaf Services and the Deaf Society from New South Wales, many staff members have been getting to know each other from across the border and working together to achieve great things.
One of our newest recruits is Dean Jacobs, from Sydney, who is the very first Deaf Services and the Deaf Society Contact Centre Officer employed outside of Queensland, working primarily as a point of contact for The Deaf Lottery, which raises funds for the organisation’s range of programs and services benefiting the Deaf community.
Dean’s work supports many programs and services supporting Deaf Australians of all ages.
Dean began work as a Contact Centre Officer in July 2020, in the height of COVID lockdown. He had just moved back in with his parents (and six other family members!) after the apartment he was renting was sold by its owner.
“I was certainly in a lively house when I started,” Dean says. “It was pretty challenging setting up and operating a new remote job with my five-year-old niece constantly knocking on my door!”
Luckily for Dean (but perhaps unluckily for his niece), he soon found a new apartment in Darlinghurst in inner-city Sydney. With a view of the harbour bridge and a new job he loves, Dean says he is in a very good place, in more ways than one.
Dean is our first Contact Centre Officer based in New South Wales.
Starting a new role with the entirety of your workforce in another state may have deterred many, but Dean tells us the opposite was true.
With a background in finance and insurance, including work in bankruptcy and liquidation firms during the mid-2000s “credit crunch”, Dean admits to being ready for a job with more purpose, and one that fitted with his personal goals.
“The job couldn’t have come at a better time,” Dean says. “I’d always wanted to try working remotely to allow me more time to work on my own projects out of hours. I certainly never got that commuting for an hour and a half every day!”
Although Dean hadn’t heard of Deaf Services and the Deaf Society when he applied for the role, he soon realised the cause one close to him.
“My sister-in-law actually has hearing loss and uses a hearing aid,” says Dean. “I really enjoy learning more about the cause I’m representing and researching the programs and services we offer the Deaf community.”
Deaf Services and the Deaf Society runs regular community courses and accredited training in Auslan (Australian Sign Language).
It’s this authenticity that Dean says is most important when communicating with existing and prospective Deaf Lottery supporters.
“When I started, I think I was a bit robotic when talking to people,” Dean says, “but I’ve found that if I’m genuine and actively positive, if I can talk about what I’m selling authentically, I find it more enjoyable, and so does the person on the other end of the line.”
Contact Centre Team Leader Andrew Young says Dean has been an essential part of his team, especially considering the challenges of remote working.
“Dean is always great to work with,” Andrew says. “He’s engaged, enthusiastic and a very good salesperson. Most importantly, he doesn’t take himself too seriously and works as part of our team.”
In only his fifth week, Dean sold a $500 ticket book, and is especially popular with Deaf Lottery VIPs.
The Deaf Lottery lets you win $800,000 to spend your way!
Outside of work hours, Dean runs his own website, and regularly invests time in developing his sales and marketing skills. He says that in whatever he does, he wants to know he is making a difference.
“I’ve always looked for roles where I’m hopefully helping people,” he says. “I’ve worked as a lifeguard and a nursing assistant, and a number of charities. I’ve worked in very high-paying roles, but often they never satisfied me. I’ve made a number of financial sacrifices to satisfy my hunger for what I want from a job.”
Dean says he sees remote work as a sustainable model for many businesses going forward, as we all begin to reassess the way we work post-COVID.
“I made sure not to let this opportunity slip,” he says. “I think many people with high skill sets and unique circumstances will take the opportunity to perform well while working remotely and I think businesses are really going to see the ongoing value in this.”