The software industry is fickle. People are always revolutionizing their particular space; and therefore, job titles are all over the place. I’ve been called a Project Manager, a Product Champion, a Customer Success Consultant, Sprint Master, UX Designer, and a Senior Solutions Developer. These job titles are really silly because in start up, you do a little bit of everything.
Let’s focus on what I have done instead of what I have been labeled. My career has always been rooted in servant leadership philosophies and finding ways to empower everyone to take part. My energy has always been high, and my enthusiasm is always unmatched. When it comes to my personality type, you point me in a direction, and I’ll show you how I can make that thing get up off the couch and fly around the room.
While in college I was hired from a “work-study” trainer at the American Red Cross to the Director of the Health & Safety department in a span of less than two years. As fresh college grad of twenty-three years managing and setting expectations for a group of eight paid and volunteer trainers of all ages plus interns, I earned their respect and collaboration to build CPR and First Aid knowledge in our community.
After college, I worked for a bank as a teller. A pretty basic job, but I was not just content with asking customers if they wanted to open a checking account or apply for a credit card. I made bingo cards for my other tellers to mark when they asked someone about one of our bank’s products. I have always been someone who creates systems and builds scaffolding for others to succeed.
That kind of initiative was rewarded with promotions through the retail banking world and into branch management. In this position I learned valuable lessons in managing wide-ranges of people. Chase spent many hours of training time and mentorship helping branch managers lead their teams toward their goals. Whether individual and personal achievements or the goals of the branch and district.
I left retail banking because a member of my network poached me for the software company he worked for. At first, I was surprised how different the retail culture is from the office job culture. People in retail work so much harder than anyone at a desk job. In an office, there’s a lot of chatting with co-workers, walking around to get coffee, “well, you can’t be busy all the time” thinking. I am NOT that worker. I am the kind to get in, get my headphones on, and knock tasks out. I want a full page of crossed out To Dos when I’m done with my day.
This kind of work ethic led me to be invited to a space at the leadership table. I have since been made Director of Customer Success and asked to join the leadership team when making “trunk style” decisions for the company. As a member of leadership, I directed the company toward a more customer-focused, human-centered product. I drove design-forward initiatives like defining requirements, drawing potential solutions before coding, and implemented a Sprint schedule for feature releases.
I am proud of the work I have done at Project Insight. I am proud of the teams I have built. I have consulted and build business strategies with companies like Cisco, American Academy of Pediatrics, ICU Medical, Kawasaki, Clarivate, First International Bank and Trust, and many others. I have a proven record of product design and delivery systems with these teams known for their great work.
I wanted a creative outlet to run my own projects, so I began electric duck designs to work with friends and friends of friends. So many people out there want to build website, want branding, want a sense of direction of where to start. That’s where the electric duck comes in. We support small to mid-size businesses with product design, branding strategy, go-to-market research and website design. We have been able to build sites that market people’s ideas and to train those people on how to keep it going for themselves. So far, these clients have been able to manage those sites themselves without me — whether a videogaming company or a retired grandmother.
Along the way, I have dabbled in a podcast, a video blog, a design vocabulary Twitter, a Medium design blog, and now a mommy blog. I’m all over the place, and I used to feel guilty about that. At this point, with my daughter to consider, I hope she chooses to dabble and love every moment of her dabbling. Every one of these experiences as taught me so much about the kind of career I want to make for myself. It’s just time for me to take all these new lessons to a new role in a new company.