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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Work-Life Balance

I Chose a Job That Let Me Be a Great Dad and a Great Sales Leader

There was a point in time when Tim Dearborn, The Muse’s West Coast Sales Manager, traveled more than he was home. Dearborn has worked for such reputable companies as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Hearst (of which, he says “the people who work at those companies are amongst the best around”). But, it was at Hearst that Dearborn realized that he couldn’t keep traveling the way he had been since 2013.

You see, the rigorous travel schedule posed a problem: It stopped him from spending as much time with his young son as he wanted to. Because he shares custody of his son with his ex-wife, every weekend truly counts—and he didn’t want to sacrifice their time together so he could run to the airport to make a flight.

This decision to prioritize his child over his job is what ultimately landed him at The Muse. While he still cares very much about his career, he chose to find a role that allowed him to both be an amazing father and an influential sales leader.

To learn more about what Dearborn does and, more importantly, why, keep reading.

How Did You End Up at The Muse?

It was a no-brainer. I sent the head of sales an InMail [on LinkedIn], and he got back to me right away. Having worked in this space for close to 10 years, I was excited to join a team that was still very much in the building stages. Knowing we’re in a place here where we can build something great motivates me.

If There Was One Thing You Wish People Understood About Working in Sales, What Would it Be?

You need to be able to hear the prospect you’re meeting with, not just listen. People, especially those in sales, are often thinking about what to say or ask next when someone is speaking with them, especially on an initial call. The good sales people are the ones who speak less than 50% of the time. The best are the ones that speak less than 30%.

My favorite way to explain this is from the movie White Men Can’t Jump, when Sidney Dean’s speaking to Billy Hoyle about hearing the music of Jimi Hendrix, “You can listen to Jimi, but you can’t hear him. There’s a difference man. Just because you’re listening to him doesn’t mean you’re hearing him.”

The same applies to sales: Just because you’re listening to someone doesn’t mean you’re hearing them.

What Motivates You to Keep Going Each Day?

Everything I do is for my son. Every single thing. My family and I moved homes a lot since I was a kid, and I’ve always known I didn’t want to hop homes as an adult. I wanted stability. My goal is to maintain a lifestyle for my son that feels stable and secure, and while people say “home is where the heart is,” which it is, I also know that having to move so many times has motivated me to do things differently for my son.

Also, I always want to learn and get better—and I love a good challenge. I care about the people I work with, and I want to push them to be the best version of themselves. I want that in return as well.

Years ago, at LinkedIn, we had this saying “Good job doing your job,” which basically meant that if you hit your target that’s good, but I expected you to do that. What else can you do?

How Do You Deal With a Particularly Stressful Day at Work?

I reflect a lot on life and that helps balance stress. When I was a teenager, my older siblings and I took care of my mother when she was battling cancer. After she passed away when I was 16 I didn’t think about the future and the lessons she taught me in those moments of taking care of her. I just thought about making her smile. 

Now when I’m challenged with something stressful, I remind myself that my mom was suffering greatly, yet she was still able to be my mom and teach me about life, whether it was with her words or her actions.  Having gone through that puts everything else into perspective, so when a truly stressful moment is happening, I remind myself that it’s just time, and a moment that will pass.  

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