In this economy, finding a job is hard enough. Finding a job that suits your strengths, interests and passions is even more difficult. That’s why the employees of DIRECTV know they are truly a lucky bunch.

“I have my dream job at DIRECTV,” said Tim Huffman, who works as a case manager at the Missoula DIRECTV call center. “They have recognized the skills that I have, and I have been promoted quickly.”

Huffman — who owned Crystal Video in Missoula for several years before the business closed its doors for good in 2010 — said DIRECTV has a lot to offer its employees. Besides higher-than-average wages and an emphasis on promoting from within, the company provides workers with a lucrative benefits package and the freedom to work flexible hours.

“I’ve talked to people who are paying for their own insurance, and when they hear about the insurance I get through DIRECTV, they just can’t believe it,” Huffman said.

Fellow case manager Jeanee Demery echoed Huffman’s sentiments.

“The benefits are amazing,” she said, adding that employees receive free TV service and bonuses for exceptional job performance.

Demery also was impressed by the company’s effort to promote existing employees rather than hire from outside.

“There is plenty of opportunity if you’re willing to put in the effort,” said Demery, who has been with the company since 2006. “I’ve gotten a raise almost every single year because I work hard, and they see that.”

As a former business owner, Huffman is used to having control over his schedule. He gave the company credit for helping employees achieve an optimal work-to-life balance.

“Shifts start all through the day, and chances are, you’ll probably find a shift that suits your needs,” Huffman said. “One of the core values of DIRECTV is agility and flexibility.”

Community service is another one of DIRECTV’s main focuses. In addition to donating money and services to local charities and nonprofits, the company matches charitable donations made by its employees and offers cash grants to organizations where DIRECTV employees volunteer their personal time.

“I think it’s a very ethical company,” Huffman said. “I had concerns with that going in, because I’ve never worked for a giant company before.”

The company also aims to provide employees with the tools and guidance necessary to help them pursue their individual career interests.

For example, Demery’s position as a case manager — someone who resolves technical issues reported by DIRECTV customers — is well suited to her problem-solving skills.

“I like puzzles,” Demery said. “And to me, fixing something is basically a puzzle. I get personal satisfaction from fixing things.”

She also enjoys the customer service aspect of her job.

“It’s really about being understanding,” she said. “They (the customers) are human beings just like you, and they get frustrated just like you. It’s about staying calm and talking them through it.”

For Huffman, there is nothing better than the reaction he gets from customers whose issues have finally been resolved.

“Sometimes people are just overwhelmed with gratitude,” he said. “I usually feel pretty good about it at the end of the day.”

Both Huffman and Demery thrive in the team-oriented environment of their workplace.

“We are very much a team,” Huffman said. “We have meetings and confer with each other to come up with novel solutions to whatever problems exist. The company has support built in to the job.”

Anyone interested in working for DIRECTV is encouraged to apply. The company provides in-depth training and guidance for all new hires.

“If you can talk to people, you can do this,” Demery said.

To apply or learn more, visit the career page on the DIRECTV website or check out this station’s virtual job fair, which runs through this week and includes a virtual job tryout and the ability to chat live with a DIRECTV career advisor.