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5 Tips for Taking Ownership of Your Career in the New Year

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Healthy Stuff, Professional Development | No Comments

It’s a new year, which means many people are making resolutions and goals in both their personal and professional lives. One thing that has been on my mind lately is taking the reins on my career. I’m fortunate to work for a company whose mission includes providing rewarding careers to team members. In the long run, though, my career growth is up to me. I think one of the biggest misconceptions people have about the companies they work for is that it’s the company’s responsibility to look after their career. But that’s just not true. Sure, a company can provide great growth opportunities, but ultimately it is the team member who has to work at their own career goals and steer their career toward those growth opportunities.

So, how do you take ownership of your career? Here are five ways to start.

#1: Step out of your comfort zone.
One of our CEO’s favorite sayings is “Get comfortable being uncomfortable,” and this is certainly applicable to your career goals. I would not be in my current role if I hadn’t been willing to take a few risks and explore the unfamiliar. My background is in teaching, training, and writing. Though I was able to carry all of this knowledge over into my role as Talent Marketing Manager, I didn’t come from a marketing background. In truth, I did feel a little uncomfortable during the first few months in this role. This discomfort only encouraged me to work harder and has truly benefited me in the long run, allowing me to develop skills and ideas I didn’t think were possible for me.

#2: Speak up.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, if something is bothering you, if you have a differing viewpoint or opinion… speak up. I’m going to be honest – this is something I am still working on. It’s probably something I will continue to work on throughout my career. My team lead often reminds me that she doesn’t know how I feel unless I tell her. Earlier in my career, at a different company, I never felt empowered to voice my opinion, and this has carried over into present day. Fortunately, Daxko is huge on transparency, and team members are encouraged to speak up. I have gained more confidence in expressing my thoughts and even saying “no”. If you’re uncomfortable speaking up in person, try writing it out first. It’s okay to practice what you’re going to say before you actually say it. Of course, sometimes “on the spot” can’t be helped; if you’re in a meeting and you want to express a differing opinion, do it thoughtfully, respectfully, and don’t let someone speak over you until you have finished your thought.

#3: Have a long-term goal, and learn skills to help you achieve it.
During my early years at Daxko, I quickly realized that although I enjoyed the training aspect of my job, my ultimate goal was to work on Daxko’s marketing team. When I was a trainer, I sat close to the marketing team and was privy to some of their brainstorms and discussions, and that’s when it clicked: that was the team I wanted to be on. In addition to an Education degree, I have an English degree with a concentration in rhetoric. I was putting my Education degree to use as a trainer, but I have always loved writing and creative processes more than teaching. I recognized that I would be able to put my expertise in persuasive writing to use as a part of the marketing team. Once I had this goal in mind, I began to get to know members of the marketing team and schedule meetings to learn skills from them, such as Pardot and WordPress. These tools helped me in my role as a trainer (I was in charge of the Services monthly newsletter), but the knowledge also gave me an edge when I was interviewing for my marketing role.

#4: Never stop learning.
At Daxko, all team members receive an annual professional development budget to use on courses, books, conferences, or activities that will help us get better at our jobs or learn new skills. In past roles and my current role, I have used part of my professional development money on certification courses to learn more about my field and develop my skillset. Learning shouldn’t stop when you graduate from college. On the contrary, most of the knowledge I have gained through professional development has been more valuable to my career than my college classes. If you work at a company that does not provide a professional development budget, you can still develop your skillset. There are plenty of free or affordable online courses through sites like ALISON, Lynda, and Coursera, just to name a few. Read blogs that pertain to your field. Find thought leaders to follow on Twitter. And ultimately, you won’t know what costs your company might be willing to help cover unless you ask, so keep #2 in mind, speak up, and discuss professional development with your manager.

#5: Find a mentor.
I didn’t have a career mentor until last year. Don’t get me wrong – I have had plenty of mentors in the past who have helped guide and shape me into the person I am today. Last year, though, I sought out a mentor in my field who I could trust not only for career advice, but for professional advice in general. Because I am still fairly young in my career, there have been many situations I have encountered in the workplace that are new to me. That’s why it’s great to have a mentor who is more experienced and who has faced these same situations in the past. When you’re seeking a mentor, I suggest someone in your field (or the field you want to move into) and someone easy to talk to. Many of the conversations I have with my mentor are about our personal lives, and I really value the fact that my mentor has gotten to know me and truly cares about me. I suggest meeting in person once every couple of months (or monthly, if you can swing it) to catch up, and of course, email, call, or text your mentor whenever you need advice.

Remember, your career and development are in your hands. As you think about how to grow in 2017, keep these tips in mind. Have a vision, and make this the year you take strides to achieve it!


Janna B. is Daxko’s Talent Marketing Manager who is slowly becoming a morning person and wishes she lived in the 1960s/70s.

Are you ready to make a career change in the new year? Check out our current opportunities.

Best of Daxko Halloween 2016

By | Culture, Life at Daxko, Workplace | 3 Comments

In case you didn’t know, Halloween is a big deal at Daxko. We go all out in decorating our offices with mummies, skeletons, and spiderwebs and dressing up for the annual costume contest. 2016 marks our Houston team’s first experience with Daxko Halloween craziness, and their Pac-Man costumes knocked it out of the park. Check out some of our great costumes from this year’s festivities.

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Butch, Joel, Becki, Dan Van, Jason, Chayse, and Nate as Stranger Things

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Paul as Sriracha

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Tai as Olaf

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Constance as Little Red Riding Hood (plus wolf!)

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Ann as a Jedi from a volcanic planet

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Dane as Jacket from Hotline Miami

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Dave as a YMCA Member from 1985, and Dan as Hollywood Hulk Hogan

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Delphine, Tara, and April as Ms. Pac-Man and Friends

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Joseph as Error Code

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Matt, Ellen, and Janna as Ghostbusters and Mr. Stay-Puft

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Team Houston as Daxko Pac-Man

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Shaun as Shaun of the Dead

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Robbie, Tyler, Kaitlin, Kelsi, Brianne, and Ben as Peanuts

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Tony, Hannah, Matt, and Kate as the Daxko Birmingham Office’s Demo Rooms

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Kelly, Meg, Dominic, Napo, Erika, Danielle, Heather, and Wally as The Addams Family

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Gabby and Mallory as Susie and Angelica from Rugrats

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Selina and Kirsten as Netflix and Chill

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Ryan as a rare Hawaiian Yeti

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Kim, Susan, Beth, and Dawn as Snapchat Filters

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Colby, Alex, McKee, Crystal, and Josh as the Scooby Doo Gang

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Marland as Candy Rapper

Sloss Tech

Sloss Tech: The Southeast’s Preeminent Tech Festival

By | Community, Culture, Events & Happenings, Industry, Technology | No Comments

Who’s excited about Sloss Music & Arts Festival? It’s less than a month away now, and the lineup is phenomenal. New to Birmingham or don’t know what Sloss Fest is? It’s a two-day music and lifestyle event that takes place at Birmingham’s Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark, and it has truly put Birmingham on the radar in the music festival world. This year, Sloss Fest will also feature a new tech conference aptly named Sloss Tech. It will be a day of thought-provoking presentations and workshops covering the latest in creative thinking and emerging technologies. Sloss Tech will also feature three influential speakers: Gary Vaynerchuk, Robert Scoble, and Andy Grignon. This is a great opportunity for the tech community to network and share ideas, and Daxko is proud to be a sponsor. We’re excited about the growing tech community here in Birmingham, and we truly believe Sloss Tech will add great value to this community. Want to be a part of it? Check out sloss.tech for more information, buy tickets here, and network with us and the Birmingham tech community on July 15th!

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Daxko Café

By | Culture, Life at Daxko | One Comment

We recently unveiled the newest addition to the Birmingham HQ’s 5th floor: a “coffee shop” called the Daxko Café, complete with a Starbucks coffee machine. Needless to say, a lot of folks who work on the 4th floor are now getting their morning coffee upstairs. Added bonus: getting a workout from going up the stairs!

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