5 min read
In a consistently fast-paced world, it's important to take the time to slow down, reflect and remember to be human. In my case, I love connecting with others to learn about their personal and professional journeys and what continues to motivate and inspire them.
Most recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Jaki Glenn, an Employee Engagement Consultant here at Reward Gateway, to gain some more insight into her world and how she strives to make the world a better place to work each day.
If you had to choose one superpower, what would it be?
I'd go with invisibility because it's a quick getaway. I’d love to be a fly on the wall.
Also, if I could be greedy & select a second one, it’d be Omnilingualism – the ability to understand any form of language, so I could travel around the world and never worrying about communication challenges.
Of course, it would be great if this would extend to being able to understand and talk to animals. I always wonder what my dog or horse may be thinking.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three items would you bring with you?
I actually like being alone, so I’d bring a hammock. I’d have a comfortable place to sleep that is off the ground and away from spiders, snakes or any other creature crawling on me. Also, if need be, I could use it for a fishing net or make it into some type of bag –so it could pull “double duty” for something.
A book. I am not 100% sure on which book I’d bring, but definitely a book. I enjoy reading, plus it lets your imagination roam and being stuck on an island, I’d want some mindful entertainment.
I’d bring a solar-powered laptop, so when I was ready, I could get off the island or if that “cheat” isn’t an option, I’d have to say a hatchet or machete.
What is the best trip you’ve ever taken?
That's hard because our family loves to travel. We’ve been skiing, beaching, on cruises all over, but my absolute favorite trip was the first time my husband and I ventured to Daufuskie Island, a little island off the coast of South Carolina located between Hilton Head and Savannah. It's about five miles long and only accessible by boat with about 300 full-time year round residents.
We stayed at the quaintest, little bungalow on the beach very near their historic lighthouse. You really feel like you're going back in time. There are a couple of restaurants, private golf resorts and even two horse farms on the island. Everybody's super friendly and the only transportation is horseback or driving around in golf carts. When we’ve visited since with our children, they absolutely love it because they have a lot of freedom and we don't worry, too much, about where they go.
What is your personal mantra?
Be constantly curious.
Ask questions for insights and get people to open up. Then, listen with the intent of being influenced. That's probably what led to all of my career transitions. I'm constantly trying to learn something new and asking “why” – whether it’s in my personal or professional life.
Above all, I have a really hungry mind so I am a perpetual learner who enjoys learning about most anything. My goal is to set aside 15-20 minutes every day to dedicate to reading a couple of blogs or articles. On some days, it might be watching a video, listening to a podcast or reading a nonfiction book.
I homeschool our kids and the joke with my kids is, "if you learn something new, your brain gets a new wrinkle.” At the end of every day we ask each other, "tell me your new wrinkles for the day." Being teenagers, the good days are when they actually comply and teach me something I didn’t know!
How do you make sure you’re continually growing professionally?
Over my career, as I have taken on new roles – my goal has been to observe and learn the "grammar," responsibilities, and key interactions while developing my own skill set, so that I completely understand what knowledge and competencies are needed to succeed. Then to make that happen!
Once satiated, I have often shifted to take on another new job function, which was followed by: Observing and learning, growing those new skills, succeeding and shifting again.
The highlights have been rounding out the set of skills necessary and all the metrics for success in each of those roles at different companies. It’s really been a great way for me to understand the nuances of each area of the business as I have progressed to new roles and opportunities.
I’m fortunate to have a myriad of experiences.
I started out as a Technical Support Rep, then a QA Analyst and a Documentation Writer. Later, I moved into the professional services side of the business as a product trainer and implementation project manager.
My next move was a big jump to Investor Relations & PR Manager before finally dipping my toe into the sales side of the business as a Solution Consultant, and ultimately plunging headfirst into a Direct Sales role for the next 10 years.
Since then, I spent a couple years as a Product Marketing Director, and even jumped over for a brief stint in Product Management before spending the past few years as a Sales Director.
What has been your career highlight so far?
Six months ago, I was excited to join Reward Gateway and return to one of my favorite roles as a Direct Sales Rep. The only thing I haven’t done is actually code, but I suppose I can take a course in that when the timing is appropriate!
Overall, each of these opportunities helped me understand each function better and has given me a great perspective on how the entire organization needs to work together successfully. Note: I still have such great empathy for the folks who work to support our technology customers on a day-to-day basis.
And the sum of all of those experiences has probably been the highlight of my career – to culminate and develop each skill.
I’m fortunate that the technology industry has been such a fantastic fit for me since it changes so quickly. I’ve had the opportunity to become an expert in many things and yet, in just a few short years, it's time to re-learn completely. And, above all else, I am a perpetual learner with a very hungry mind.