Every full-time team member at Daxko is given a significant stipend each year to use for their own professional development. As the leader of a growing company, it’s very important to me that each of us on the team, myself included, continue to grow personally in a rewarding career.
We don’t put a lot of stipulations on how each team member uses their professional development dollars, and that’s because every person’s career, goals, and definition of a rewarding career is going to differ slightly from the next person’s. Team members have used their professional development budget to travel to conferences, continue their formal education, take specific skill-related classes, join associations, earn further accreditations, and the list goes on. By allowing each team member to mold their own development, we allow them another degree of ownership in their career. Sense of ownership is a core value of ours at Daxko.
I recently attended a workshop in Chicago as part of my own professional development. I’m interested in how other successful companies work, so I took part in “The Basecamp Way to Work” event hosted by Jason Fried (Basecamp co-founder & CEO) and Ryan Singer (Strategy at Basecamp). They have a pretty radical work concept with most of their team being remote. As Daxko grows, it’s important to me that our remote team members have an exceptional experience and rewarding career to the same degree that our in-office team members do. So, for me, this was a valuable learning experience.
What professional development channels would be most constructive for you? No matter your role, none of us have “arrived”. We all have room to grow. I challenge you to consider your career, how you would like to see it grow, and then identify your next steps in professional development.
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I’m going to tell you a little love story.
Our story dates back to 2011, and I was working at a local Birmingham nonprofit. There, I had the great fortune of meeting Lisa, a Daxko team member, who was serving on the board at the time. I was looking for a career change, but I didn’t know what that would look like. I had heard of Daxko, but I wasn’t entirely sure what they did at that point. So, I decided to check out the Daxko careers page and see what this place was all about.
And the rest is history…
Just kidding. Like most love stories, this one was a slow burn. At the time, there weren’t any roles that would be a good fit for me, but I was intrigued. I loved the idea of working for a tech company where I would still have a connection to the nonprofit world. I stayed in fairly regular communication with the Daxko People Team between 2011 and 2014, hoping that eventually there would be a spot for me. During that time I have (semi) jokingly admitted that I was a Daxko stalker. Then one day in early 2014, opportunity knocked. After several interviews and a presentation, I had an offer with my dream company!
What happened after that is hard to summarize, but here’s a snapshot: 3 roles, 7 desks, countless chicken biscuits, and a brief hiatus at another company. Yep, you read that right – I love Daxko so much that I left and came back! In the words of Selena Gomez, the heart wants what it wants.
A big part of Daxko’s mission is to provide rewarding careers for its team members. Dave likes to refer to this more specifically as “career-defining moments,” and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve had the opportunity to sit across the table from CEOs, CFOs, and every other C that you can imagine. I would not get that chance this early in my career from many other companies. I didn’t have a true “career path” until I became a member of Team Daxko. And while I subscribe mainly to the jungle gym analogy, I have more direction and clarity on what I want to do “when I grow up” than I ever would have if I had never worked at Daxko.
Like most relationships, there are frustrations, highs and lows, good days and bad, but the bottom line is, you know that someone’s got your back. That’s how I feel about Daxko. We have the greatest team, the best customers, industry-leading products, and yes, we do have a little fun too. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve even found best friends in my Daxko teammates (and as Janna recently pointed out, my dog has made besties through Daxko as well!).
Rosie and Raisin: BFF
And there you have it, a love story between a girl and a software company. I’m glad to be back in the Daxko Nation, and I’m excited for my next chapter.
Laura G. is a Strategic Relationship Manager who spends her free time food stalking, loving on her dachshund Rosie, and striving to be more like Tina Fey.
Here at Daxko we enjoy a lot of perks: fruit served daily in our kitchen, fully-stocked refrigerators with more drink options than most restaurants, ever-flowing fountains of coffee with a variety of creamers, chair massages in-house, and Friday Family Lunches every week, just to name a few popular ones.These happy attributes of our work place don’t just appear out of thin air, however, and the magician behind the curtain in our Birmingham office is Daxko’s Flight Attendant*, Selina C.
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SELINA
“The first thing I do when I get here is check my email to make sure there aren’t any last minute requests for lunches or meetings,” Selina says. “People email me about other things, too, like chairs that aren’t functioning.After I respond to those, I go downstairs and grab a coffee for myself to enjoy while I re-stock the fridge.”
In 2016, Daxko’s Birmingham office consumed 81,432 bottles of water from our refrigerator— that’s just water bottles and doesn’t include soft drinks and flavored water.
“I make sure that all the cans are facing forward.It bothers me if they aren’t,” Selina jokes.Her love of organization doesn’t stop there.“The fruit has to be color coordinated.You can’t put oranges next to grapefruits.You have to divide them up with apples or bananas, otherwise it doesn’t look right.And green apples can’t be placed by the bananas if the bananas come in too green.”
After re-stocking the drinks and fruit, Selina moves on to DaxPark and the Daxko Café to make sure that both of the Birmingham office’s two coffee machines are functioning and fully-stocked.“I usually get another coffee about that time, too,” she adds.“I have to make sure people have their creamers— all the ones they can’t live without!”Selina keeps tabs on supply stock throughout the week, but once a week she does a complete supply inventory.The kitchen, Grand Central (our Team Member supply room), and the drink closet are just a few areas that she inventories to keep the office well-stocked.
“By the time I finish with all the re-stocking, it’s usually time to greet the Dash-and-Dine delivery and set that up.”Daxko Team Members enjoy the convenience of pre-ordering lunch twice a week with a direct deduction from their pay roll, and Selina sees the orders through from click to consumption.“Once I have those set up, I email everyone who ordered to let them know their food is here.”
FRIDAYS ARE DIFFERENT
Whether it’s a typical Friday with an Open Q&A with Dave, or a monthly Daxko-Wide meeting, Fridays for Selina always look a little different.“I try to stock the drinks before Q&A or Daxko-Wide before everyone comes in, and then I re-stock the drinks afterwards.”The coffee machines still need attention as well, and once those are taken care of, it’s time to set up for Friday Family Lunch— one of Daxko’s longest running traditions.This is one of Selina’s favorite roles.“I like picking the food we have.I like mixing it up.Between Friday lunches and Dash-and-Dine, I like to provide a variety,” she says.To wrap up the week, Selina will make supply orders and contact vendors for the week ahead.But before she attacks her Friday afternoon tasks, Selina grabs another cup of coffee.This is her favorite part of working at Daxko.“I like running into people at the coffee machine,” she says.“If there’s a line for coffee I wait to re-stock everything and chat with the people who are there in line. I love building relationships with my fellow team members.”
*If you’re wondering why Selina’s role is “Flight Attendant,” here’s a little Daxko history:As Daxko began to grow, our CEO Dave, knew he needed to take on an assistant.Knowing the job would involve way more than a typical executive assistant, he decided he needed an “Air Traffic Controller.”From there, other roles fell into step with this title.Our office manager is “Ground Control,” and our Assistant office manager is “Flight Attendant.”Now you know!
Ellen D. is Daxko’s Air Traffic Controller, organization queen, master event planner, and lover of running.
Want to get in on the Daxko perks Selina provides? Learn more about working at Daxko, and check out our current opportunities.
About a month and a half ago, I was given the opportunity to take off my Customer Success hat and move over to the Implementation side of things, as a Project Manager/Solutions Analyst. The dual role would focus on getting our customers started and set for success on Daxko Operations, something with which I had only a little experience, helping launch the YMCA of Memphis & the Mid-South in December of 2015.
As clichéd as it is to say, the departure from the frontline of Customer Success was bittersweet. Feelings of sadness would creep in, even as I was excited about what the new role meant for me. I was anxious to move into something new, something bigger, only to be reminded of how good I had it by a teammate’s playful joking. It’s a good problem to have, not wanting to leave what you’ve got because of how good things are.
I am admittedly very bad with change. I knew that I wanted to move on, but leaving my Customer Success friends was difficult and saddening! What’s more, this was going to be something new and I might not be as comfortable in this new role as I was in my old one. How could I hope to climb to the same level of knowledge as I had in Customer Success?
These worry subsided as I realized a few things:
First, this ‘great move’ that I was worried about was all of twenty feet. Seriously, I can see my old desk and all of the frontline without even standing on my toes. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: I was being dramatic. Perhaps I was. But like most instances, it didn’t feel like ‘just drama’ at the time!
Next, I realized I already knew many people over here, including many teammates who had previously come from Customer Success, such as Kayla Ann, Kelsi, and Deeanna. I had worked with all of these guys for months when I had joined the Customer Success side. They not only made the switch, but were doing excellent work! What I might not know immediately, I could learn just as they had.
I still get to hang out with my former teammates even though all have transitioned to other teams.
The last realization was that I could help lay the foundation for our customers in a way that would ensure their success going forward. While being on the frontline of Customer Success and answering questions for customers is a rewarding experience, having the ability to ensure things go smoothly for launching associations could be seen as a way of answering questions before they happen. I now have the ability to guide our customers through what might otherwise be a painful process, only for them to launch with everything working perfectly. My workflow has shifted from being reactive to proactive.
These three realizations made the transition less painful and substantially less scary. I wrapped up everything I was in the middle of for Customer Success, wrote some how-to guides around a few subjects and made the long, perilous five second walk to my new desk. I found balloons and new friends waiting for me. We went out to lunch at a sandwich place I really enjoy and the rest, as they say, is history.
This kind of cynical let down is the best: when you’re expecting nothing to go right and everything just fits right into place.
McKee S. is a Project Manager who loves playing video games and kickin’ around a hacky sack.
Daxko is looking for another Implementation Project Manager to join McKee and the rest of the team. Think you have what it takes? Apply here!