Pauline Perreault

Top 40 Under 40 2012

Photography Pedersen

Age: 32

Job Title: Owner, Jump Outta Bed

Why She’s Top 40: She’s helped non-profits retain prized employees while making jobs enjoyable for those who stay.

Key To Success: “I look for things that make me scared and I do them because I know that’s how people grow.”

Most people in the service sector have calendars on their desks or computers. Most get happier as Friday approaches. But there are also people, according to Pauline Perreault, who aren’t just counting the days to their next holidays, they’re counting down to retirement – years in advance. “I know it’s usually meant to be a joke,” she says, “but there’s a lot of truth in it.”

But Perreault has made it her job to make Mondays less of a curse word.

Having worked for companies where she felt disengaged, Perreault left the workforce during the height of the recession in 2008 and started Jump Outta Bed (JOB) Workplace Strategies, melding her passions for human resources with her desire to help improve workplace environments.

Perreault’s passion for non-profits is evident in her own community work, which includes putting in about 350 hours annually to the Rotary Youth Exchange Program, helping to select, interview and prepare Canadian high-school students who will spend a year abroad.

Perreault herself spent a year in Germany during high school through Rotary International. She’s now certified to teach German as a second language. “And,” she adds, “I still dream in German.”

The year abroad sparked a sense of adventure that hasn’t waned. She went to the University of British Columbia to study international business and marketing, spent a summer in Ottawa, lived in Quebec and went back to Germany for her last year of university. She mentored a girl from first to sixth grade through Big Brothers, Big Sisters. And through her volunteer work with the Rotary, she’s had a chance to speak in five continents about the skills she learned through her volunteerism.

Perreault says she loves giving non-profits the chance to attract and retain good people. She’s had employees cry throughout sessions and individuals afraid she’d been hired to fire them. But ultimately, she says, it’s about getting communication away from the water cooler and into the boardrooms so she can find out the true stories behind their calendars.

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