Last week our very own Bill J. from the merchandising department took us on an outdoor adventure. We knew there would be some off-roading involved so we delightfully accepted his invitation to enjoy some awesome four-wheeling fun, and we actually learned something at the same time. In this installment of “Enjoying the Outdoors”, Bill J. shows us how to shoot a bearing with a map of the area, a compass and a plastic ice chest.
Zappos Blogs: outdoor_team
Alana Ledford, who joined Zappos in February of 2007, left Zappos.com on Friday, May 31st to move back east with her husband. From day one Alana was recognized as not just someone who could be counted on to do a job well, but also as someone who could be counted on as a friend. Even those who did not work closely with Alana felt a sense of comfort going to her, as she had a very welcoming personality and warm smile – as I can attest to when I first transferred to the Business Unit. I sat down with Alana on Friday to talk about her time here at Zappos.com and what she will miss the most.
A: I was born in New Zealand and we moved around a lot internationally when I was younger and then I grew up mostly in Southern California. Then I went to school in UCLA and I was actually an outdoor guide for them, leading trips for students and faculty doing kayaking, backpacking, rock climbing and all kinds of stuff. When I graduated from UCLA I started working for Adidas in sports marketing for a couple years and then moved to Vegas and
started working on the outdoor team for merchandising here at Zappos.
A: I think it was exciting, just the casual work environment and how much fun people were having at work. I think it was a little overwhelming because I didn’t entirely know what I was getting. . . it was a lot of excitement mixed with anxious trepidation kind of waiting to see what this experience was going to be like.
A: I think there’s so many things about Zappos that are just so hard to replace. I think that the people that I get to work with on the outdoor team, they are just irreplaceable; such great people to work with, but also such great people on a personal level as well. I’m so thankful for the experiences like the 40 mile hike that we got to do together, training for the marathon and half marathon with people and encouraging them to get out and run. At the same time I have learned so much from the job and its been great to have the opportunities to move up and learn my category and taking charge of my portfolio, so there are definitely some stressful times as you are learning and growing and managing and figuring out numbers and all of that. So, its been a huge personal and professional experience and I wouldn’t trade my time here for anything.
A: I think the great thing is coming into work and not counting the hours. There are always things going on outside of work, but its interesting how everything kind of fuses together. Your job just kind of becomes part of who you are because you care about it so much, you know, you take it home with you, you talk about it and you work on your laptop when you get home, its hard to put it down. You want your portfolio to do so well its hard to kind of disengage from it. The weekends are also about hanging out with work people and barbecues with them, its just so much that I think the line between personal and work becomes cloudy.
A: The friendships and I really like my category and my reps.
A: I guess I would just encourage people to just make the most of opportunities that they have. Sometimes on trips that I’ve gone whether its traveling or outdoors, it never comes at the most convenient time. Its never like “oh, this is the perfect time to train for a marathon” or “this is the perfect time to go hike forty miles before I have a wedding that weekend”. I feel like you always have to fit stuff in and I would just really encourage everybody to really seize those opportunities because when you go on a seven day backpack trip. . .the perspective that you have on who you are as a person and what’s important in life, its gonna be so different then just going about your daily routine. Even if its a small step like getting up in the morning and running before the sun rises. The mountains are beautiful here, take the time to go outdoors, don’t put it off until there is a better time because who knows when that better time is going to come as you have a family or start a family. So, I definitely want to be the kind of person who is up for those adventures and make the most of those experiences. I really just wanna encourage people that if you have a chance to just jump in a plane and go somewhere you’ve never been for a three day weekend, just do it! Have those experiences, don’t live it through the travel channel or on your couch. Get out and do it whether you feel like you can or you feel like you can’t! Seize those opportunities and – if you don’t know how to do something find someone who does and try it. You don’t know if you’re going to love whitewater kayaking until you get in a boat and charge down the rapids. I feel like when I go into a library that its just overwhelming because there’s so many books to read and so much out there that I want to try and see and I guess I would just encourage people to never, ever let go of that thirst for knowledge and experience.
Thanks Alana, you’re a great spirit, and good luck!
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