Take a peak "Inside the Photo Studio" at Zappos.com and see what we are all about! Each month we will profile a different member of our team to give you a snapshot of his/her day-to-day as we get your favorite products up on the site.
Zappos Blogs: Zappos Family
In this month's episode of "Inside the Photo Studio", we get to know a little bit about Mark, one of our in-studio photographers.
Take a peak "Inside the Photo Studio" at Zappos.com and see what we are all about! Each month we profile a different member of our team to give you a snapshot of his/her day-to-day as we get your favorite products up on the site.
This month's feature is on Zappos Studio Manager, Lucas.
Every year, we ship packages to millions of customers across the nation, so we’re constantly wowed by the hard work of the delivery people from our shipping partners. As a small token of our appreciation, this “Thank a Mail Carrier Day”, we wanted to thank our HQ’s local delivery people in a special way. Today we encourage everyone to #ThankAMailCarrier!
It's the day before Thanksgiving, a day notorious for being the year's busiest and oftentimes most stressful travel day. To help spread some holiday cheer, Zappos decided to team up with our friends at Jet Blue Airways to deliver a little surprise and delight to a few unsuspecting travelers!
Watch what happens when we bring back last year's "Baggage Claim Game"--the new and improved version-- to some Jet Blue passangers at JFK's Terminal 5!
“After a successful baggage claim experience last year in the Houston airport (IAH), we wanted to make this year’s surprise activation bigger and better,” said Catherine Cook, PR manager at Zappos.com. “We were very excited to partner with a fun and customer-service centric brand like JetBlue, to deliver an above-and-beyond experience for travelers. In addition to the opportunity to wow these customers, we wanted to remind them that we are here for all their holiday shopping needs with fast and free shipping, 365-day free returns and a customer service team at the ready 24-7.”
In an effort to brighten the day for all this Thanksgiving, both brands also provided support to those unable to travel and spend the holiday with loved ones. JetBlue and Zappos dedicated ‘Give Thanks’ panels on the baggage claim game to community-oriented charities within each of their hometowns; enabling customers to give back this holiday. Donations included meals to Feeding America and children’s toys to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada!
The Happiest Travel Day was made possible by JetBlue’s TrueBlue loyalty program and Getaways and the following partners: 1-800-FLOWERS, Dunkin’ Donuts, Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Nevada and Zappos merchandise partners.
The story on how I got to Zappos isn’t really the special part. That’s filled with the normal things you’d find in a life. You know, job after job, college, boyfriends and the like. I could tell you about how I’ve made my journey through Zappos. That’s pretty important to me, but the actual path becomes repetitive after a while. I started in the call center, and had my eye set on my passion. I applied for recruiting and was lucky enough to be accepted. From there, I’ve only grown into a career that I absolutely adore, and that’s being a part of the college recruiting team. That story can be found on the lips of many Zapponians (though it might be different departments).
The special part, however, is what Zappos has done for me on a personal level. Before I came to Zappos, I was a little on the negative side. I had my trials and tribulations through life, as most do, and it left me jaded. I would get angry at things that I couldn’t have control over, and that was usually accompanied by cursing. That doesn’t mean I was a “debbie downer” all the time or wasn’t a good person in general, but I knew I could have a more positive outlook on things. I wanted to be better, but I didn’t know how.
Enter Zappos. Zappos became the first place that felt like home to me in Vegas. I was actually born in Vegas (not raised) and have family here, but it never felt right to be here. Zappos was the first place I came across where I felt like I belonged. I remember walking into my very first day of New Hire Training, and it was like walking into a brand new life. It definitely had the feel of walking into your very first college class freshman year, where everyone kept their heads down and were equally shy, but it felt refreshing.
I met people I could relate to. After all, we all share the same values. In all seriousness though, I am a product of my environment. Those around me affect me. I am a person that needs positive vibes to be able to give off positive vibes. That’s what Zappos did for me.
I have an environment that is conducive to me becoming a better person. I have another family, and that’s my team. These are people I can rely on for anything, inside or outside of work. If I’m having a bad day, I come to work and I feel better within the hour. They are my coworkers, friends, confidants, and they make me want to be a better person. Although, I do still have some troubles with cursing!
Zappos truly brings out the best in me, thanks to the amazing people who make this place the culture haven that it is. When you look at studies on healthy relationships, they say this should definitely be an outcome. Like every relationship, there are ups and downs, good days and bad, but the true test is how you come out in the end.
I don’t ever want to quit being a better person. So I thank you, Zappos, for being an amazing partner, and pushing me to be the very best version of me.
Thomas Huxley once said..."Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."
And that's exactly something that I never want to stop doing--learning. Zappos has been nothing less than the perfect place to contribute to this passion. My brain is constantly cultivated by my daily tasks, the people that inspire me, and the culture that is contagious. It is a fountain of knowledge and you can always count on a variety of paths to pursue. This has been the theme of my journey here at Zappos.
A few years ago, I had decided to uproot myself from the beautiful state of California to move back home to Las Vegas. I was rapidly approaching what twenty-somethings call a "quarter-life crisis" where everything is much more dramatic in your fresh and vulnerable post-grad mind. I was torn between pursuing a legal career or continuing my education to become a speech pathologist. Because both of these routes would require a fair amount of certainty, I decided to take a break.
I needed to consider my options before diving head first into a dream that I was unsure I even wanted to chase. I began applying to a variety of jobs within those two industries of interest, thinking I had it all figured out--until life threw me a curve ball. I was driving on the freeway one afternoon and passed an adopt-a-highway sign that had the name "Zappos" on it. I had heard a lot about this company and knew how much its focus was on customer service. So when I got home that evening, I began to do a little more research on the company. After reading about the 10 core values and watching some of the videos on the culture, I was very impressed. Everyone looked so happy. The same kind of happy you see at Disneyland...but in the workplace. It almost sounded too good to be true.
The next day, I decided to contact the Recruiting Team to get more insight into applying at Zappos. I was amazed at how genuine and speedy the response was compared to the rest of my job search with other companies. Given all of the facts that I had learned about the company core values and the emphasis they place on customer service, I took a leap of faith and decided to apply for a position with the Customer Loyalty Team (CLT). What better way to understand a company than to work within the department that has the closest interactions with its customers?
The CLT department stood out to me as the face and heartbeat of Zappos. Before I knew it, I was taken on an adventure through the recruitment process. I was still in the midst of my interviews with other companies, but something deep down told me that this door was opening up for a reason and was one that I should not ignore. As I continued in the process, I knew more and more that this was a company that I wanted to work for. The stars lined up and I was fortunate enough to earn the job!
My journey at Zappos was off to a start! Little did I know how much my life would begin to change over the next few years. The training process was a great way to dig deep into the company's core values, culture, and history. Our trainers teach every new hire in the company this foundation in addition to the focal point of the company: customer service.
It can be scary to start off a new job not knowing anyone, but with training--I immediately gained 60 new friendships that I would take with me going forward. Once I began my journey with CLT, I learned to appreciate the value of true customer service and putting your customers as the #1 priority. This role taught me the importance of listening and challenged me to creatively think of ways to "wow" our shoppers.
After a few months, I began to grow within my team and learn from the leaders around me about the different ways I could pursue Core Value #5: Pursue Growth and Learning. Having always been a nerd when it comes to number-crunching, I landed a spot with our statistics team. This team gathered data and metrics from our customer-contact channels and would share this volume with the scheduling team in order to properly staff the entire department. The Excel-nerd in me came alive! Working with the numbers helped quantify the bigger story of our company.
A few months later, I continued my quest for knowledge as I joined the Toolbox team. This team helped develop leadership paths for CLT team members who had leadership on their heart. Our team also went on to help pioneer the company's first seasonal employee program in 2012. This role pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me find an inner drive that I did not know existed. It helped set me on my feet for the next step I would take: joining the Zappos Recruiting team.
Nothing excited me more than being able to help our teams find the best of the best to grow our Zappos family. I joined the team through a Z'Apprenticeship which is an internal internship program that we offer employees to pursue new opportunities with other departments. After working with the team for a few months, I knew I had found my passion! Lucky for me, they liked me too and decided to open up a permanent position for me to grow into the role that I now have as a Recruiting Coordinator for our Zappos family.
Looking back on the last year and a half, I have seen myself grow in so many ways. Bridging communication between our interviewees, hiring teams, and recruiters--I have gotten to know so many incredibly smart and talented individuals. I absolutely love that I can be both an advocate and a friend to our interviewees going through our recruitment process. My role has also taught me so much about understanding all of the little parts that go into running a successful e-commerce website. Today, I still find myself learning so much about the teams that I work with and I have challenged myself not to give up in continuing that knowledge.
You can probably tell that learning is extremely important to me. But I cannot forget to point out that while I pursue this growth and learning...there is another piece that is important to me, and that is the fact that I am surrounded by an amazing family of individuals who are always there to support me. We have our fair share of laughter and tears, we have our luck at bingo, we kick off our boots while line-dancing, we have a little too much fun together at happy hours, we are completely involved in each other's dating lives, we spend 40+ hours a week working with each other and we still want to hang out with each other outside of office hours.
What more can I say? My team is my home away from home. I cannot paint the picture clear enough. I have never worked for a company where I have seen myself challenged so much over the last few years. I have never felt as comfortable in my own skin as I do now. I have never made such a close community of relationships with the coworkers that surround me. The journey has been incredibly wild and the best part is that it only continues from here!
Dear Job Postings,
It’s not you; it’s me. From newspaper ads, Monster, CareerBuilder, Craigslist and Indeed, you’re all a company has ever really needed. You’ve been there through thick and thin and you’ve kept my recruiting team very, VERY busy. Unfortunately, I need something more. You’ve given us thousands of impersonal, transactional and cold introductions. Studies show that recruiters spend 5-7 seconds on a resume. That’s hardly an introduction. It’s barely even a handshake!
Full disclosure, and this is going to hurt, I went behind your back and am trying to make Zappos more transparent and accessible. We’ve created an @InsideZappos twitter account, a Facebook page and our recruiters are blogging. Crazy, I know! We also just launched our new careers page showcasing our departments and the living, breathing humans who work in those departments. Lastly, and you might want to sit down for this one. Instead of posting jobs, we are simply asking people to find a department they are interested in and make an introduction. By introducing themselves, people get to become a Zappos Insider and can actually… you know… talk to us.
Insiders have unique access to content, updates, tweetchats, online hangouts and back-and-forth discussions with recruiters and hiring teams. Insiders will also be the first people we’ll consider when there are new openings. Becoming an Insider is that first step in a long-term relationship. It’s not a short-sighted affair which is what we’ve been having.
I realize this must hurt. If it makes you feel any better, you can still head over to anyone else’s career site and scrape some job descriptions. It’s what you’ve been doing for years and years. But for me, working for a company is a two-way relationship and you don’t get that. I need more. And that’s the reason I’m breaking up with you.
Zappos Senior HR Manager | Twitter @BailenOut