A Millennial Marketer and his “Zoomed-Out” Perspective
“Too many aging services organizations don’t attend to people’s wants, just their needs,” says Daniel Carr, Parker’s assistant marketing manager. Referencing psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs—which places basic physiological needs such as food, water, warmth, and rest on the bottom of a pyramid and self-actualization in the form of achieving one’s full potential and engaging in creative activities at the very top—Daniel continues: “Some places just fill that first bucket, without paying attention to those more emotional needs.”
While “millennial” might not be the first word that springs to mind when one says “career in aging services,” Daniel is a pathfinding exemplar of how a young, ambitious, and compassionate person can find a satisfying professional life working in this space. “In college, when people would ask what kind of job I wanted to do, I’d say I want to find something I can inject my personality into,” Daniel recalls. “But what I really wanted is a job where I am personally affecting the lives of others.”
A technical writing and interactive media major at the University of Delaware, Daniel was drawn to writing as a way of being able to express himself, and delights in language’s mutability. “There’s never a right answer; nothing is 100% right or wrong; and you’re able to think outside the box and break the rules,” he says about the joys of writing, drawing a parallel to his work at Parker. “I like working for an organization that appreciates expression and interpretation. For example, at Parker, we have a free Parkinson’s support group that meets once-a-month. And the thinking behind that was to look outward and say, what can we do, and how can we better serve people who may not even be our clients?”
It was Daniel’s best friend since childhood, Robert McCall, captain of dining services at Parker at Stonegate, who suggested he apply for a job after graduating school. At first, Daniel admits, he was uncertain if aging services was the right career path for him and whether Parker was an organization to which he could really contribute. Starting in the kitchen at Parker at Landing Lane , within a few months Daniel was the subject of a “Parker Moment” when he began playing piano for the residents during lunch. Thanks to the organization’s tradition of recognizing talent and leadership ability and promoting from within, Daniel was soon plucked from the kitchen and made assistant marketing manager. Since then, he’s been able to apply his people skills, natural sense of empathy, and writing chops to the realm of communications and marketing, and with the encouragement of his Parker mentors is now considering pursuing higher education.