What Does a Customer Success Manager Do?
A Look At CSMs' Responsibilities at 6 Different Companies
Customer Success is booming. So much so that LinkedIn listed Customer Success Manager as the third most promising job in 2018.
And with a median salary of $82,300, it's no wonder that lots of folks are eager to break into this growing field.
But before you get hired, you need to be able to answer, "What does a customer success manager do?"... And know that the answer will vary depending on who you ask.
A company's size, resources, and growth strategy can all impact how the role is defined. As Customer Success grows, so does the ambiguity around what a Customer Success Manager does.
As Allison Yount, former Director of Customer Success at Scout RFP explains, "One of the most confusing parts about Customer Success is that it's still finding its identity. You hear a lot of different names like account manager, customer success manager, client success manager, relationship manager, and it's really important when you're looking for a new role or listing a role in customer success to understand what the job scope is. ...There is a lot of overlap, so you need to understand the role you're applying for."
To identify commonalities as well as differences across companies, we decided to chat with 6 of our partner companies to learn what customer success managers at their organizations do (and what they love about their roles).
In general, CSMs at each of the companies mentioned the following core responsibilities:
- Provide onboarding and training to customers
- Understand customers' needs & meet them proactively
- Act as a customer advocate & maintain the relationship
- Understand & explain product features (advocate for best practices)
- Grow accounts & prevent churn (supporting Sales with contract renewals & upsells)
But that's not all CSMs do! Read on to learn more about the specifics of being a Customer Success Manager at these SaaS companies, or click ahead to the company you're most interested in:
- Gainsight - Customer Success platform provider
- ScoutRFP - Cloud-based strategic e-sourcing startup
- Autodesk - Multinational Software Corporation
- PagerDuty - Cloud Computing Company
- YouCanBook.me - Scheduling Tool
- Relativity - Data analysis & insights platform
As the leading Customer Success platform provider, Gainsight empowers hundreds of customer-focused businesses to deliver outcomes and exceptional experiences everyday. They (literally) wrote the book on Customer Success, so who better to help us understand this growing field than Gainsight's own Senior Manager of Customer Success, Carissa Berube?
What are your main responsibilities as a Senior Manager of Customer Success at Gainsight?
- Optimizing and evolving our CS strategy around processes, people, and technology
- Ensuring we are delivering a combination of desired outcomes and positive experiences to our customers and determine how to define, drive, and demonstrate the value (ROI) delivered
- Leading cross-functionally to drive customer success
- Owning key metrics for my team (Gross Renewal Rate, Net Promoter Score, Adoption, Stakeholder Engagement, Expansion, Advocacy)
What do you love most about your role?
As a manager of CS at Gainsight, I get the unique opportunity to manage a team of highly skilled customer success professionals that share my passion for evangelizing customer success and driving meaningful outcomes for customers. I love how much I learn every day from my interactions with peers, team members, and customers.
Interested in joining their Customer Success Team? They're looking for a Customer Success Operations Intern!
Scout provides a new breed of cloud-based strategic e-sourcing solutions that help organizations achieve better outcomes and make a bigger business impact. "Our simple, effective interface enables companies to streamline supplier selection, manage vendors, centralize data, and make more informed purchasing decisions, faster."
We chatted with a four CSMs at this fast-growing startup to better understand what they do.
What are your main responsibilities as a Customer Success Manager at Scout?
- "Customer onboarding, relationship management, and customer advocacy. From the moment a customer comes on board all the way up to the renewal, it's crucial to build and maintain a trusting relationship with the customer. CSMs have to be able to support the customer, communicate their requests, and be a professional partner, while always promoting Scout in the best light."
- Simone Janssen
- "Owning customer relationships from on-boarding through the renewal process, understanding customer use cases of our platform and playing a consultative role to help them elevate their experience with the platform, serving as a product expert on all things Scout."
- Stephen Macko
- "Understand what is important to my customers and help them get the most out of the product so they can achieve their goals. That way it is very easy for them to see the ROI/value that Scout provides."
- Isabel Quintero
- "Implementing and onboarding new customers, which covers everything from scoping out their current process to configuring their new process in Scout, conducting trainings, advising on best practices and recommendations for use of software based on the vision of the customer, relaying feedback from the product team, renewing and expanding customers as their goals and our platform change."
- Kyla Miller
What do you love most about your role?
- "My favorite part about being a CSM is the relationships you get to build. In addition, every day you interact with different people and you encounter different obstacles. This makes every day different and challenging."
- Simon Janssen
- "The team I get to work with. My favorite part about being on the CS team is the team that I have around me, not just on my direct team but also on our Sales, Product and essentially every team in the company. Being a successful CSM is impossible without having a support system around you and I'm lucky to be able to lean on some of the smartest and hardest working people as coworkers."
- Stephen Macko
- "I love building strong relationships with my clients, to really get to know them and understand their business needs. I enjoy helping them solve their problems as well as making them more successful and efficient in their day to day life. I come to work with a smile on my face and I really enjoy the friendly and passionate group of people I work with. There is no day I don't feel super helpful in the office, both internally and externally, helping our customers. Just the feeling of being needed, and that I can really make an impact makes me feel important."
- Isabel Quintero
- "Helping. I love that in every aspect of my job I get to help others succeed. Whether it's helping the company bring on/maintain big new logos, helping customers make their ideal process come to life with scout, helping an AE be successful by closing a complex deal, upselling accounts to contribute to our teams success, etc. All of it gives me the opportunity to work with such intelligent successful people that challenge me in new ways everyday."
- Kyla Miller
Interested in joining their Customer Success Team? They're looking for a Strategic Customer Success Manager!
Autodesk makes software for people who make things. "If you've ever driven a high-performance car, admired a towering skyscraper, used a smartphone, or watched a great film, chances are you've experienced what millions of Autodesk customers are doing with our software."
With 100 offices in over 38 countries around the world and more than 9000 employees, you can imagine how many customers their Customer Success team manages. As you'll see in the responses below, CSMs at Autodesk focus heavily on helping customers meet their goals & providing value at every interaction (think more proactivity and less putting out fires).
What are your main responsibilities as a Customer Success Manager at Autodesk?
- "My main goal as a CSM is to ensure I deliver business values for the initiatives identified in the success plan and ensure our customers meet their business outcomes."
- Deepika Khowal
- "As a Customer Success Manager, my main role and responsibilities consist in helping our customers achieving their desired business goals using Autodesk Technology, transforming their business through innovation and serving them as the day-to-day single point of contact for services and support. I'm responsible for the definition and execution of the Customer Success Plan, which is a strategic roadmap that helps our customers achieving short, mid and long-terms business outcomes. I also help our customers analyzing usage data to increase and accelerate adoption of Autodesk products in the most efficient and beneficial way, ensuring the best ROI in our solutions."
- Cecilia Fantini
- "1) Maintaining relationship with customer with the ultimate goal to make them successful/ focus on delivering value. 2) Grow the account and build a strategic partnership. 3) Optimization of software usage (using the right tool for the desired outcome). 4) Make sure the customer utilizes the entitlements that they have paid for."
- Maria Lehmann
- "Understanding our customers business, goals and desired outcomes so we can provide services and support that help achieve those outcomes. I ensure we are capturing the progress and value of our software and services and evangelizing this to key stakeholders across the customer's organization so they are aware of the return on their investment and benefits of their partnership with Autodesk."
- Coreda Ehrhart
What do you love most about your role?
- "I really enjoy working with our customers , helping them be successful in their business and making them look like a Rockstar."
- Deepika Khowal
- "I like working as a CSM because this role gives me the opportunity to work very closely with our customers and effectively helping them becoming more successful and standing out against their competitors. I like the very strong relationship that I establish with them, which allows me becoming a trusted advisor and part of their extended teams.And I love the feeling that I'm actively contributing to the success of Autodesk, by earning our customer's loyalty and trust."
- Cecilia Fantini
- "The variety of tasks that I am involved in & ensuring that these teams add value to my customers (support, consulting, account management, PDG, live events), relationship building across various teams, freedom to explore & find new ways of creating customer value, and working internationally."
- Maria Lehmann
- "More than anything, I love helping customers solve problems. I love to hear them talk about what they do and what they are working on and finding way to accomplish it. When they continue to ask for more and more from us, then I know we are really helping, and they see us as a trusted advisor."
- Coreda Ehrhart
Interested in joining their team? See their open roles here.
PagerDuty's platform "acts as the central nervous system for the digital enterprise, analyzing billions of signals across virtually any data source, streamlining workflows, and empowering your team to respond and resolve quickly."
We chatted with three members of their Customer Success team to learn more about their roles at this 500+ person (and growing) cloud computing company.
What are your main responsibilities as a Customer Success Manager at PagerDuty?
- "As the Manager of North American Success I am responsible for hiring, retention and overall customer retention and satisfaction. I run regular one-to-ones and career development meetings with all of my direct reports. I meet regularly with our sales and services leadership team to align on strategic customers and company goals. Also, I manage and implement tools to help our team succeed and scale, scale, scale! I'm a "Looker Lady" managing our data tooling and reporting."
- Alisa Melville, Manager, North American Customer Success
- "The main responsibility of a Customer Success Manager at PagerDuty is to help make customers wildly successful in the work they do by leveraging the PagerDuty platform. We build relationships with our customers, meeting them wherever they are on their journeys towards operational maturity. We support customers as they adopt use of PagerDuty, then later assist to optimize and advocate, helping each customer deliver perfect, real-time experiences for their own customers, every time."
- Margie Verdon, Senior Customer Success Manager
- "I get to identify the customer's business and operational goals and translate those into collaborative customer-vendor projects. I project manage and ensure that shared goals and project timelines are met, celebrating wins and identifying new opportunities along the way."
What do you love about your role?
- "I love the incredible collaboration across our teams and the fact that I am always learning."
- Alisa Melville, Manager, North American Customer Success
- "I love my team! Each member of PagerDuty's Customer Success team is brilliant in their own way. Our team is highly collaborative - challenges are discussed openly, and members are encouraged to share unique perspectives when brainstorming how to solve problems. Successes are recognized and celebrated!"
- Margie Verdon, Senior Customer Success Manager
- "It's a dynamic, challenging, and energizing role. We have the autonomy to becomes better customer success managers and a better team. Being given the space to self-improve acts as a compelling mechanism to challenge ourselves and think of innovative ways to solve complex problems. Another highlight for me is the collaboration. When collaboration works well, unique B2B partnerships are developed and we achieve shared goals across companies. Being part of that collaborative process is extremely rewarding."
Interested in joining their team? Check out Manager, Customer Success
YouCanBook.me is one of the fastest-growing scheduling tools in the world. Customer Success is key at this 100% remote company, given that their tool is used by hundreds of thousands of users and customers... so we chatted with Anna Jacobsen, Head of Customer Success and Onboarding to learn more!
What are your main responsibilities as a Customer Success Manager at YouCanBook.me?
- "YouCanBook.me users rely on us for support (we support our users through email), but the heart of our job as customer success managers at YouCanBook.me is solving our users' issues before they even happen. This includes analyzing cohorts of successful users, identifying what common actions they take, and using those success templates to create more successful users through education and coaching."
What do you love most about your role?
- "I love helping users do their job better than before they came to us. It's exciting to think of this role as a consultant might serve a client: as the experts in online scheduling, we can help our users uncover the hidden work of hiring the best candidate before someone else does, closing a big deal, or building their own customer success meeting strategy. The best part of this job is thinking about customers as clients that deserve our attention not just in solving their issues in support, but making them exceptional at their job do be done."
Interested in joining their team? Follow YouCanBook.me here to learn about new openings!
Relativity makes software to "help users organize data, discover the truth, and act on it." With over 180,000 users in 40+ countries, including more than 70 Fortune 100 companies, you can bet their Customer Success Team has a lot on their plate. We chatted with two of their CSMs to get an inside look.
What are your main responsibilities as a customer success leader at Relativity?
- "I work with a team of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) to drive customer value from our product and increase the subscription renewal as well as growth. Relativity is a highly customizable expert platform, so driving value for customers requires a proactive approach to understanding their specific use cases, training stakeholders, and helping them navigate technical or business roadblocks. Day to day, this means my time is spent split between working with my team on approaches for specific customers and collaborating with internal teams like project managers to address customer feedback and continuously improve user experience."
- Brianna Bogan, Senior Manager, Customer Success Management
- "I am responsible for customer adoption and utilization of Relativity. Ultimately my job is to work cross-departmentally to advocate for our customers, address their challenges, and foster a company-wide culture of customer success."
- Kyra Saley, Customer Success Manager
What do you love most about your role?
- "I love that Customer Success straddles the technical and commercial aspects of our software. It requires both a knowledge of the customers' business and expertise in the product to be able to identify and drive the value proposition. I get to work with a smart team who is passionate about helping their customers and also nerdy about the complex data problems Relativity is solving."
- Brianna Bogan, Senior Manager, Customer Success Management
- "I love the team that I work with and the customers I work on behalf of. Not only is the work interesting and challenging, but it enables me to interact with a diverse set of organizations and learn about new and interesting trends in the industry."
- Kyra Saley, Customer Success Manager
According to a recent study, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. But these acts of violence are not new — they are part of a much larger history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S.
That makes celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (which was named a month-long celebration in May by Congress in 1992 "to coincide with two important milestones in Asian/Pacific American history: the arrival in the United States of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843 and contributions of Chinese workers to the building of the transcontinental railroad, completed May 10, 1869") this year all the more important.
As we reflect on recent events and how they fit into a much larger history of discrimination, we're also taking time to celebrate and acknowledge the many achievements of the AAPI community.
We asked several of our partner companies what they're doing to honor AAPI Heritage Month at work, and we were inspired by the range of responses, covering everything from campaigns to #StopAsianHate to educational events on AAPI history.
Here's what they're doing, in their own words:
Empowering authenticity - LogMeIn
"Our theme this year is AIM to Be Real. We are embracing our new company values and celebrating those who bring their authentic selves to work, who help create space to celebrate diversity of thought, and who give back to the API community. Our Asian ERG, Asians in Motion (AIM), is hosting several events: a discussion about bringing your authentic self to work with Jerry Won (Dear Asian Americans podcast); a refugee-led virtual cooking class; ERG Movie Club discussions featuring Bollywood films, and a virtual volunteer event where we will offer career development mentoring for young women across Asia."
Learn more about LogMeIn here.
Educating on current events — Raytheon Technologies
"Raytheon Technologies is honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an enterprise-wide global town hall event – Real Talk: Building CommUNITY Together. Organized by the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) employee resource groups across the company, employees will share their personal experiences and discuss ways to support Asian American Pacific Islander communities. The event will also feature prominent leading advocates from renowned civil rights organizations to provide insight into the national context surrounding recent events. We will also feature AAPI employees internally and on our social media channels."
Learn more about Raytheon Technologies here.
Encouraging awareness, growth, and learning — Moody's
"Moody's is encouraging awareness, growth, and learning during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the following activities, led by our Multicultural Business Resource Group and DE&I team:
- Weekly newsletters featuring AAPI employee profiles and cultural resources
- Video screening and small-group discussions supporting #StopAsianHate
- Cultural panel discussion featuring employee stories
- Professional development activities
- External speakers speaking about Asian leadership"
Supporting professional development — Freddie Mac
"Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month at Freddie Mac – Together, We Are Stronger
Freddie Mac supports the professional development of Asian and Pacific Islander employees while promoting an increased awareness of the value they bring to the organization and our local communities. Our InspirASIAN Business Resource Group is hosting various activities throughout the month such as:
- Personal development session on empowerment led by a coach from our Employee Assistance Program.
- "Stop Asian Hate" lunch and learn geared toward discussing the hurdles facing the AAPI community.
- Fireside chat about racial injustice with leaders from our InspirASIAN and ARISE (employees of the African diaspora) BRGs."
Fostering inclusion, learning, and belonging – Nestlé USA
"At Nestlé USA, the Pan Asian Network (PAN), one of our many employee resource groups that support our Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives, will host a variety of events to honor and acknowledge Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. These activities will foster greater inclusion, enhanced learning, and belonging for the AAPI community. PAN will highlight women's development in Asian cultures, Asian leadership and what their culture means to them, culinary innovation of Asian cuisine, intersectionality of LGBTQ+ and Pan Asian community, as well as an enhanced learning watch party of the PBS movie 'Asian American.'"
Learn more about Nestlé USA here.
Promoting cultural literacy – Relativity
The Community Resource Group at Relativity
"For Relativity, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportune time to not only celebrate the rich AAPI cultures represented within our company, but to also foster awareness and allyship amidst the current rise of AAPI hate. RelAsians, our internal community resource group, has organized a few activities for May: a book club focused on AAPI heritage—because we feel it's never too early to gain cultural literacy, a weekly spotlight on AAPI Relativians, and a virtual event that takes attendees on a tour through an Asian grocery store, introducing native vegetables and staple ingredients for traditional home-cooked Asian recipes."
- Contribution from Neha Pant, Sr. Performance Engineer & Angie Ocasek, Sr. Specialist, Partner Enablement – Co-Chairs of the RelAsians Community Resource Group at Relativity
Learn more about Relativity here.
Creating transformative experiences – Facebook
"At Facebook, our APIs employee resource group's mission is to create transformative experiences for all APIs at Facebook, Inc through key cultural awareness and engagement highlighting the API community. To kick off APIHM, we will host a series of events and conversations for the community and its allies designed to support the API community around the theme, The SUM of Us, including:
- Letting Others In: a mindful discussion series that privileges intersectional voices, storytelling, feedback, and vulnerability as tools for building empathy and inclusion amongst organizations.
- Racial Healing Learning Session: specific to the API Experience focused on naming of experiences and emotional responses, understanding the body's responses to racial trauma, what the audience can do in the moment for self-care, and long-term strategies to overcome the effect of the traumatic experience.
- Bystander Training/self Defense Workshop"
Learn more about Facebook here.
Extensive and exciting programming — 2U
"At 2U, Inc. we'll be honoring Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with extensive and exciting programming coordinated by our employee-led Asian Pacific Islander Network (APIN). In a year marred by exceptional challenges APIN has centered activities around the ameliorating themes of joy, culture and wellness. Be it delighting in a ukulele mini concert, reading an interview highlighting an API coworker, winding down after too much screen time with a somatic healing session or engaging in a panel discussion with API tattoo artists, we have a packed month ahead with opportunities to support oneself and the API culture! Follow along @Lifeat2U on Instagram for more!"
Learn more about 2U here.
Amplifying voices and educating others – Smartsheet
"During APAHM, the API at Smartsheet community will be hosting several events and activities to educate others, amplify AAPI voices, and celebrate the AAPI community! We plan to kick off the month with a documentary viewing and discussion to learn about AAPI history, and hope to share personal stories from our AAPI employees throughout the month. We'll end with an opportunity for the community to celebrate itself by gathering together for fun and games, while eating food from local Asian-owned restaurants."
Learn more about Smartsheet here.
Rising together in sports and culture – NBA
"For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, APEX is proud to present a multitude of celebratory activities, headlined by an NBA Family Virtual Town Hall and, with the NFL and MLB, an Asians in Sports & Culture Symposium themed "Together We Rise" featuring prominent Asian personalities from the sports world. We are also launching a PSA with an NBA star, honoring Eid-al-Fitr at the end of Ramadan, offering a bystander intervention training led by AAJC, and – because the celebration wouldn't be complete without food – hosting a sushi making class for our members."
Learn more about the NBA here.
Creating courageous conversations – Commvault
"This May, we are celebrating all our Asian/Pacific Islander employees, not just Asian Americans. We will spend the month learning about and celebrating the diverse cultures of Asia through weekly events and activities led by our Multi-Culture ERG. Vaulters and external guests will teach us the history of practices such as yoga, origami, and Asian cuisines. We will also discuss topics like the rise of hate crimes against Asian people and the recent spike in COVID-19 in India. These activities and courageous conversations will engage our workforce and create support for our Asian and Pacific Islander communities around the world."
Learn more about Commvault here.
Honoring history through virtual events – Collins Aerospace
"Collins Aerospace supports our AAPI colleagues not only in May, but all year. Our parent company Raytheon Technologies hosted a virtual Town Hall last month to provide a safe space for open dialogue about recent events targeting Asian Americans in the U.S. In addition to this entity-wide event, our Asia Pacific ERG at Collins is hosting events that educate and honor the importance of Asian Pacific American history such as virtual Lunch & Tours spotlighting South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, and India; and Thoughts & Support sessions. Site-specific events include virtual cooking class, and viewing PBS docuseries Asian Americans."
Learn more about Collins Aerospace here.
Highlighting new perspectives – MongoDB
"MongoDB will share daily historical facts, highlights of Asian American pioneers, and perspectives from our AAPI employees in a dedicated Slack channel. We will also be providing access to an Asian Pacific American Heritage Month webinar, organizing a trivia night, and holding Processing Together sessions for our internal AAPI community due to recent hate crimes happening across the globe. These sessions are a safe space for employees to share their stories and sentiments of what it is like as an Asian American in America today. (Read MongoDB employee Monica Lu's story about being an Asian American woman in tech here.)"
Learn more about MongoDB here.
Spotlighting diverse communities – Bumble
"At Bumble, moments like heritage month celebrations are often our anchor to ensure we are spotlighting diverse communities. In alignment with AAPI Heritage Month in May, Bumble is rolling out a series of thoughtful programming to encourage internal education and around how to support the Stop Asian Hate movement and better serve the Asian community globally. The lineup of initiatives include:
- BuzzWord DEI Discussion Series with featured guest speakers: This conversation will focus on the Asian community within the context of larger cultural issues such as dating app experiences, fetishization, masculinity, and representation.
- Bumble will be inviting employees to join a virtual Vietnamese coffee-making class. Created in partnership with Phin Bar, an urban brew-bar that offers Vietnamese-style steeped coffee combined with house-made ingredients, Bumble hopes to facilitate a deeper cultural learning and community bonding experience for the team.
- Bumble will also be activating channels across social media and our product to educate our community about bystander intervention and raise awareness around the importance of supporting the Stop Asian Hate movement."
Engaging in daring conversations – Procore
"In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month in May, Procore recently organized an internal event to recognize and support the AAPI community. The event was hosted as part of our ongoing internal speaker series, 'Daring Conversations & Allyship,' to create space for an open dialogue around diversity, inclusion, and belonging. All employees were invited to tune in as employees from our AAPI communities shared their unique experiences, addressed anti-Asian hate, and discussed actionable ways to support our AAPI community."
Learn more about Procore here.
Taking action to foster change – SeatGeek
"This month the POC ERG will be meeting and hosting different activities to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This includes creating a safe space to discuss current events, and what actions our communities can take to foster change, sending out a newsletter which will highlight the Asian community in every aspect, and lastly, we will be hosting a guest speaker.
We hope with these planned activities and meetings, we can highlight, and uplift the Asian/Pacific American community, as well as bring awareness to the horrible ongoing attacks they are facing."
Learn more about SeatGeek here.
Uplifting and inspiring the community – Okta
"Okta's People of Color (POC@Okta) ERG is planning to commemorate AAPI Month with a series of fireside chats and iconographical facts posted internally in the #poc and #all diversity Slack channels! These chats will feature Dion Lim of ABC7 News and Comedian/Actor, Ronny Chieng. We will conclude the series with a partnership with Pride@Okta featuring supermodel, TED speaker, and transgender advocate Geena Rocero. The goal of this series is to educate, uplift, support, and inspire! The Okta leadership supports its AAPI employees, customers, and community."
Learn more about Okta here.
Empowering cultural diversity and leadership – Quip
"Salesforce will be celebrating through multiple virtual events, such as a leadership panel on the power of cultural diversity, a tea tasting, a tai chi class, a haka workshop, and more! Members of the Quip team have also compiled an extensive list of resources to support AAPI communities, including ways to donate, take action, and learn more."
Learn more about Quip here.
Focusing on lived experiences – Mindbody
"The Mindbody United ERG focuses on a different heritage or history each month, with May devoted to Asian & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. This ERG seeks to provide a platform to both celebrate and learn together. This will manifest in two ways: As a newsletter and a Zoom meeting. The newsletter will feature contributions directly from team members, while the meeting will feature Assembly member Evan Low as our speaker. It is our goal to focus on the lived experiences of the AAPI community, address discrimination, and how to chase after the part of the world we can make better."
Learn more about Mindbody here.
Promoting harmony and unity – T. Rowe Price
"T. Rowe Price is aware and appalled at the recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian community. In response, the firm will center Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month efforts around harmony and unity, in alignment with the Hawaiian value, Lōkahi – Forward as One. To share best practices, successes and areas of opportunities, T. Rowe Price will co-host a Leadership Panel on Asian Leadership Challenges with Baltimore Asian Connect, a consortium of Asian business resource group leaders at local corporations. The firm will also host a book club and restorative listening circles for Asian American associates and their allies."
Learn more about T. Rowe Price here.
Celebrating Asians globally
"May is Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month. Although traditionally a US celebration, at Autodesk we are celebrating Asians globally. The Autodesk Asian Network is hosting Innovative Leaders, including Lori Mukoyama and Jonathan Zee. Lori Mukoyama is redefining experience-driven design globally at Gensler. Jonathan Zee has an extensive portfolio of buildings that are helping to shape cities around the world at Goettsch Partners. Lori and her husband Jonathan combine design, architecture and engineering in their work while simultaneously manage a family together during this pandemic. This event is hosted by AAN, as part of a monthlong series of APA Heritage Month events."
Learn more about AutoDesk here.
HR pro Rockie Lehman has two hot takes on resumes: bullet points are a must, and one-page resumes aren't.
"I'm not a big fan of squeezing everything into one page," says the Talent Manager at aerospace giant Collins Aerospace. "Don't shortcut. List all of your relevant work experience. Most applicant tracking systems nowadays automatically reformat your resume, so you can't really tell that it's two pages."
And the bullets are easy: they're a quick way for Rockie to evaluate if candidates are qualified for the job.
We sat down with Rockie to hear more tips from her 20-year career in recruiting and human resources, especially around one key principle that has greatly enriched her own career: learning to grow beyond your comfort zone.
Finding her fit
Rockie originally thought she'd be an accountant. "But after a year of nothing but numbers and statistics, it was horrible," she says, laughing. "I went to my advisor and started discussing options where I could actually talk to people and my advisor suggested management and human resources. I loved it, and I've been in that field ever since."
She first joined what is now Collins Aerospace in 2000, when it was Rockwell Collins. After 9/11, the aviation industry slowed down, and Rockie was concerned about its volatility, but she stuck it out and ended up working at various regional sites for the next 19 years.
Being embedded in different offices meant that while Rockie was focused on recruiting, she got to really expand her knowledge as a full-service HR business partner. From serving as an advisor on succession plans to working towards building a more diverse and inclusive workplace, she's taken on a wide range of projects.
Now, Rockie's main focus is on technical recruiting for the company's avionics division, bringing in new talent to join the 15,000 engineers across Collins' 300 sites. "Engineers drive our company," she says. "They're the bread and butter of our company."
Why growth matters
Candidates, whether at Collins Aerospace or other companies, have a fine line to walk, says Rockie. Hiring managers are looking for people who are excited to come in and do the job they're hired for—but also for someone who wants to grow with the organization, in whatever way is best for them.
"Leadership is an important part of our succession plan," she says. "In order to progress within our organization, you need to display leadership, in people or projects. We need people to do a job, but we need to develop people who have aspirations to grow into leadership roles."
At Collins, high-potential early-career leaders are tapped for the EnTeR program, a two-year rotational program that gets them exposure to different parts of the business.
But no matter where you're working, Rockie suggests being purposeful about how you pursue that growth and how you develop your own sense of leadership.
"In order to progress in an organization, you have to stand out. You are the only one in charge of your career. No one's going to direct that for you," she says.
Her favorite tips to do that include:
- Network outside of your immediate group. "If you're a software engineer, you might want to mentor or network with someone in systems engineering for opportunities that could lead you into a project engineering position, a technical project management position, or even management of people," she says.
- Practice executive presence. You'll look more ready for extra responsibilities if you're thoughtful about how you show up in the world, says Rockie, who suggests remembering to talk clearly and concisely, to ask questions, and to look people in the eye (or in the camera, on Zoom!).
- Join relevant professional organizations. Rockie recruits from groups like the Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers, and has seen how the conferences, trainings, and events that those groups put on keep people connected and top of mind for future job opportunities.
- Talk to higher ups. "They're just like you and me," she says. "They're probably more happy than your current leader to talk to you about their career, their successes, their failures. They're happy to mentor talent within the organization."
- Don't be afraid of failure. Rockie's a believer in "failing forward," a piece of advice she got from one of her own higher ups that's stuck with her. If you try something and it doesn't work, you can go back to your regular responsibilities more prepared for the next challenge.
- Know when to say no. Not all growth opportunities are created equal, says Rockie, and some projects just won't be right for you. For example, she was asked to do an extra three-month assignment and was excited to do it, but a family emergency happened at the beginning of the assignment. Rockie chose to keep the assignment, but with hindsight wishes she'd escalated out of it instead. "I really suffered from tremendous burnout and exhaustion," she says. "The biggest thing is to be mindful of how much you're willing to do, and the time that will need to be invested in the opportunity you're pursuing." If you find yourself in a similar position, try saying, "I'm not able to take this on right now, but would it be okay to revisit this in six months?"
Ultimately, Rockie has taken her own advice, explaining, "I started with Collins as a technical recruiter because of my passion for talent acquisition, but I also seek out opportunities and assignments that broaden my overall HR experience. So if and when the time comes for me to explore other options, I have the skills and knowledge in my tool belt for that next opportunity."
In this video, you'll hear super valuable insider tips from Manisha Bavabhai, Meli Comparini, and Catie Ross, recruiters at
MURAL—a digital workspace for visual collaboration that enables innovative teams to solve important problems.
Listen in for insight into the hiring process and actionable tips that will help you ace your interviews. Manisha, Meli, and Catie share what each interview step entails and the best ways to prepare, whether it's a product engineer interview, product designer interview, or sales interview.
Have you heard of the STAR Method? It's a great way to answer behavioral questions during your interview. And since MURAL's interview process is remote, don't miss these dos and don'ts for remote interviews!
Are you interested in joining MURAL? They have open roles! To learn more about them, click here.
As we celebrate Pride this month, we should also take time to reflect about the practices— or lack thereof— at our companies that help to support and empower members of the LGBTQIA+ community all year round. (LGBTQIA+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual. There are other variants of this acronym such as LGBT, LGBTQ, and LGBTQQIP2SAA, which all refer to the same community.)
From the Stonewall Uprising to the United States' Equality Act, we've come a long way, but the staggering statistics around the LGBTQIA+ community in the workplace tell us that there is still work to be done.
As employers and leaders in our organizations, it is our duty to create an inclusive work environment where all employees feel safe and included.
To help you make your workplace more inclusive for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, we've rounded up some key statistics and highlighted best practices — covering everything from inclusive language to benefits — in the infographic below.
Click this link for an interactive PDF version of the infographic:
Looking for more ways to promote LGBTQIA+ inclusion at work? Check out the links below to learn more.
See what other companies are doing to celebrate Pride month:
Infographic statistic sources:
- One-fifth (20%) of LGBTQIA+ Americans have experienced discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity when applying for jobs
- Almost half (46%) of LGBTQIA+ workers in the United States are closeted in the workplace.
- 1 in 5 LGBTQIA+ workers report having been told or had coworkers imply that they should dress in a more feminine or masculine manner
- One-third of LGBTQIA+ Americans reported that discrimination affected their ability to be hired
- 1 in 10 employees have heard their own supervisor make negative comments about LGBTQIA+ people
Clarus Commerce's Nupur Daruka on Finding Your Next Growth Opportunity
Nupur Daruka is someone who loves learning new things. That's true when it comes to remodeling her house—she's just finished her kitchen, having mastered tiling backsplashes, and is moving on to her basement, where she's focused on flooring—and to how she approaches her work.
As an Engineering Manager at loyalty and subscription software company Clarus Commerce, Nupur is responsible for helping other people lean into opportunities to learn new things, too.
From helping engineers find the right growth projects to coaching people who aren't sure where they'd like to end up, Nupur enjoys guiding others to create the paths that are right for them and their own goals.
We sat down with her to hear how her growth-focused approach landed her at Clarus and what advice she has for engineers wondering where to go next.
Identifying strengths: how Nupur's own journey taught her how to help others
Nupur got into software engineering because she enjoyed logical thinking and math. She stayed because technology, by nature of its constant evolution, provides plenty of opportunities for continual learning.
"That's what excites me," explains Nupur. "Whether it's a new technology or working on a problem in a new way, you're constantly working to understand the business side of things, figuring out how to implement solutions, and problem solving. That's what gets me out of bed every day."
But she knew that purely putting her head down and cranking out code wasn't where she wanted her career to go, so she pursued an opportunity to become a manager at her then-employer.
"I'm a people person," she says. "I like to engage with people, talk to them, get to know them. That's why I wanted to continue onto a leadership role—I knew I could help people. When I look at a leader, I think of a teacher, a mentor, a coach, and sometimes a friend as well. I don't see myself as a person who is on top."
As she grew into a great line manager, Nupur realized that she didn't want to stop there, either. "I have a natural knack for understanding business requirements and higher-level things and helping to implement them through development," she says. That led to her looking for opportunities to grow into more strategic leadership, which led to her becoming a director, first at SSI and then at Dynata.
Owning a comprehensive set of business and people goals was a big job, but Nupur embraced the challenge. "Some people get burned out, but for me it was fun, because I was learning, trying out new things, being creative, and figuring out ideas," she says. There was one extra-helpful guiding principle she learned to apply, and still applies today: "I never think of what I don't have that is crippling me. I always think of what I do have and how I can make the best use of the tools to solve the problem. That's always kept me going."
But sometimes growth peters out, and that's what Nupur realized several years into being a director. She knew the business inside and out and felt comfortable—too comfortable.
"That's when I knew I had to come out of my comfort position and make myself uncomfortable, to learn and challenge myself. Because that's when you stop growing, and I wanted to continue on my path to learn and grow," she says.
So she started looking for a new opportunity and found Clarus.
"I wanted to be around people who are open to ideas, communication, and feedback," she says. "And when I mentioned to recruiters that I knew that I was talking to Clarus, they all said, 'Oh, they're a great company, with great people.' And that made me feel comfortable."
An extra bonus? The high number of women employed at Clarus (they make up 59% of the company's employees!). "That really makes us stand out," adds Nupur.
4 principles for finding your path as an engineer
Now, as an Engineering Manager at Clarus, one of the biggest parts of Nupur's job is helping engineers to find their own paths to professional fulfillment. The company's open and communicative culture (and growth!) helps make that possible, as does Nupur's own experience. Above all, she recognizes that not everyone will have the same growth path that she does. Here's how she breaks it down:
- Understand yourself. "What excites you the most? What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning and keeps you going?" asks Nupur. "Identifying that will get you a better idea of what the next move will look like." She gives examples:
- Do you like working with people, and are you a good listener? Maybe it's time to pursue a management path.
- Do you enjoy solving complicated problems above all? Consider taking on a role as a solutions architect.
- Do you want to stay involved in technical problems but also get reps mentoring others? Consider a project or team lead role.
- "And just being a software developer is also okay!" says Nupur. "If you love to code, if you really enjoy being a nerd at that, then just be that! There's nothing wrong with that."
- Find an opportunity to test out your understanding. If you've identified a path you'd like to pursue, it's a good idea to explore it while you're still in your current role. Nupur suggests talking to your manager to find the right kind of stretch opportunity, whether it's mentoring new hires, leading an internal project, or taking a more active role in hiring and performance reviews.
- Learn something everyday. Even as you're finding yourself successfully transitioning into newer, more demanding roles that line up with your interests, learning is a continuous process, so stay open-minded to it, says Nupur. She herself prioritizes learning by making time each day to listen to podcasts. Even if she's busy—as a single mom and self-proclaimed workaholic, she doesn't have a lot of extra time—she'll listen to one while she prepares dinner or cleans up. Her personal favorites include The Official AWS Podcast, The Clark Howard Podcast, and Motley Fool Money, among others. "A lot of them are about tech or personal finance, but they also talk about other things. For example, I've learned about how to build high-performing teams, which is something that I can apply on a daily basis," says Nupur. "Podcasts are key."
- Be open-minded to different cultures along the way. If you're going to grow in your career, says Nupur, you'll need to be able to work with lots of different people. That's true for a director and for a senior software developer. She credits her own experience managing offshore teams with teaching her this lesson: "Learning about different cultures brings a different perspective and understanding. It's important to have empathy for them because it builds trust and loyalty," she says.