4 Years And Counting: What It’s Like Working At CardFlight
Below is an article originally written by Pearlene Loh, a Marketing Associate at PowerToFly Partner CardFlight, and published on November 16, 2017. Go to CardFlight's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
CardFlight is almost 5! As we hit that big milestone, we'd like to shed some light on what it's like being a part of the family, and invite you along for the ride. The CardFlight team is made up of a truly diverse bunch, with different people working on different things in many different ways. Beneath it all, we're a family of innovators, builders, and problem solvers who are driven to make payments easy and delight our customers.
We sat down with Natalia Leonardis, our Director of Business Development, who has been with the team since the early days to "get behind the scenes" at CardFlight.
What made you join CardFlight?
Natalia: I understood the complexity of mobile payments based on my previous job experience and was drawn to the idea that CardFlight aimed to simplify it in addition to enabling merchants to accept payments. Personally, I wanted to break out of my comfort zone and be a part of a team that made changing the payments industry one of its missions.
How long have you been at CardFlight?
Natalia: It has been 4 years, although my first day seemed like it was only yesterday. When I joined CardFlight in 2013, we were really small and were working out of a tiny room in a co-working space. We had 0 clients but a team that was ready to bring innovation to payments. Fast forward to today, we are serving over tens of thousands of merchants in all 50 states. It has been thrilling to be a part of CardFlight's growth.
What was your first day at CardFlight like?
Natalia: Prior to joining CardFlight, I never had any experience working at a startup and was completely clueless as to how I should dress. One would have assumed that the appropriate dress code for a payments and financial technology company would be a dress suit, right? So, I turned up in a dress suit and realized I couldn't have been more wrong. Turns out wearing sweatpants to work is acceptable.
In terms of hardware tools and gadgets, I love the fact that CardFlight provides us with all the micro efficiencies. Sitting on my desk was a sleek new Macbook (my preferred choice), swag, and tools that made my life easier. Beyond hardware, there was a fully stocked pantry with free snacks, unlike the ones in vending machines which only get dispensed when you put your quarters in. The provision of these micro efficiencies definitely played a significant role in macro efficiency.
In addition to providing all the tools to help productivity, CardFlight actually cares about everyone's wellbeing and have team outings frequently. The team brought me out for lunch on my first day and I was under the impression that it was one off, but I soon realized that CardFlight does team lunches every week. Each team member takes turns on picking where to order from that week and gets to talk about whatever they want (think show and tell for adults). Needless to say, that made me look forward to coming into the office even more.
What were some of the biggest adjustments that you had to make going from corporate to a startup like CardFlight?
Natalia: The flat hierarchy a startup offers was a pleasant surprise. We have a very open culture and for the first time I felt empowered to run with my ideas or voice my opinions freely without having to seek validation or approval. CardFlight prides itself on fostering an open and creative office environment, everyone here has the freedom to provide input and feedback into projects at hand. Everyone is given the opportunity to take ownership of their projects and make them better, which is very different from a top down corporate structure.
The liberal vacation policy was also a whole new concept to me. At CardFlight, my performance is measured based on my output and not on how many hours I spend sitting at my desk. This was really refreshing and also enabled to me to pursue growth in other areas. I was happier and worked even harder. Surprisingly, I'm more productive even though I'm spending less time at my desk.
As the first member of the sales team, I had many opportunities to try new things and wear different hats. I got to make judgement calls and problem solve. There wasn't a predefined path that I was expected to take. I had the freedom to try, and the opportunity to fail. Because CardFlight allows us to learn from our mistakes, it has created a culture of fearless, innovative thinkers. I believe this is one of the reasons why we are where we are today.
If you like what you have just read and think you'll make a great addition to the CardFlight team, check out our PowerToFly page to see our open vacancies.
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
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