Change Your Sound

By | Culture, Healthy Stuff, Professional Development, Rewarding Careers | No Comments

I recently went to Las Vegas with my fellow trainers, Kelly and Jill, for Professional Development. We attended the ATD training certificate program. There were several ATD sessions going on, so many of the rooms in Caesar’s Palace were full of people doing professional development. It was very cool to see so many people learning and furthering their careers.

For the training certificate program, we spent two days learning various training techniques from our instructor, Sardek (also known as Dr. Love, since that’s his last name). We spent a good part of the sessions doing group work, so I met lots of new people, including folks who work for Zappos and Hulu. On the third day, we actually had to give a presentation to our small group and they (as fellow trainers) gave us tips on our presentation techniques.

I learned many new ideas from the way Sardek facilitated our training and was able to think from different perspectives based on the feedback that my small group gave me. I was also able to build professional relationships and network with the new people I met, and we are all supposed to email one another at the end of March to talk about the ideas from the trainings that we’ve incorporated into our trainings.

The ATD conference taught me that pushing the envelope is important to making training unique to each attendee… which reminds me of something else – The Beatles (you know I have to put some pop culture knowledge into my blog posts!)

During our first night in Las Vegas, we went to see The Beatles: Love, a Cirque de Soleil show. If you’ve never seen it and you love The Beatles, please do yourself a favor and go see it. If you’re curious, here’s a snippet of some of the magic packed into an hour and a half of showtime.

I told Kelly and Jill that I would probably cry at some point during the show, because The Beatles are my favorite band and have been a longstanding love of mine. Abbey Road is my favorite album of all time and the first record I got on vinyl. Octopus’s Garden is my alarm song that wakes me up every morning. I’ve known the words to Hey Jude for as long as I can remember. Twist and Shout is in one of my favorite scenes of my favorite movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (see THAT blog post here).

As you’ve probably guessed by now, The Beatles are a huge part of my life. I know every song. When Paul McCartney (my personal favorite Beatle) sang Hey Jude at the London Olympics and the camera panned out to show the ENTIRE WORLD singing along with him…that’s all you need to know about the legacy that The Beatles left in their wake.

And that’s the word I’m hinging this post on – legacy. In your professional life, you have amazing opportunities to create a legacy for yourself. Legacy defines the mark that you make on your company, your team, even in just the work that you do.

When we think about The Beatles, we think about a band that changed musical history. These floppy haired boys from Liverpool sang songs about wanting to hold your hand, and everyone went wild for it. The Beatles were a phenomenon. They changed music. But, an important thing to remember – The Beatles changed THEIR music. I could find someone reading this post right now and ask them what Beatles album they prefer, and that will tell me everything I need to know. Some people want to hang on to the Twist and Shout era, some people flow along with The Beatles, no matter the sound. But what we can learn from The Beatles and their legacy (there’s that word again) is that they changed their sound. They weren’t afraid to take risks (and probably take a little more than risks, judging by the song I Am the Walrus).

The times changed. They 60s melted away from A-line dresses and perfectly coiffed hair into peace signs and bell bottoms. The Beatles changed.

We can’t be afraid to push the envelope and to change. Often times, I am guilty of wanting to stick with what is working, because I know that’s getting the job done… but what if I could get the job done better, by doing something a little differently? Circle back to what I mentioned above – I learned so many new training techniques at the conference I attended, and I know they are going to help me do my job better. Sometimes, that little difference is all it takes to both change your sound and cement your legacy.


Deeanna S. is a Software Trainer, cat mom, and Tudor history buff who loves the outdoors.

Room to Grow

By | Building a Company, Culture, Employment Brand, Grow Your Career, Professional Development, Rewarding Careers | No Comments

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.

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.

60 Days In…

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Professional Development, Workplace | No Comments

I’ve been at Daxko for a little over 60 days now, and I am so glad to be a part of this great company! I love getting up and coming to work every day, I have made a great group of friends who have taken me under their wings and shown me the Daxko ropes, and I am constantly challenged to think outside of the box (or in my case, think outside the checklist). My first unofficial day with Daxko was our annual Kickoff, where our CEO Dave let the whole company know I was the newest team member during his keynote. What a way to make an entrance! My first official day was our Spring Software Products Expo, where all of our software product teams gave insight to what they were working on. That was a little overwhelming, but even from day one, I knew this was the right career move for me.

Why do I love my job? I get the opportunity to build engaging communications for Daxko customers. From researching the organizations to creating exciting content for emails, and working closely with our Daxko Engage project manager to help streamline our processes for a seamless customer experience, every day at Daxko is a little different for me. It’s never boring!

I recently started attending a weekly extracurricular group called the Front End Guild that allows me to build my coding knowledge. I’ve always enjoyed learning new skills to have in my back pocket, and Daxko fosters that passion of mine. From our Learning Library (I’m standing in front of it in the photo above), to the Professional Development allowance, to being able to shadow others, there are tons of avenues to grow and learn here.

So far my time at Daxko has been a memorable experience, and I look forward to continuing to learn and grow and make many more memories here!


Emily Z. is a Digital Delivery Specialist who loves Milo’s hamburgers.