Q&A Spotlight with new employee Jennifer Glover
- Posted on January 16, 2019
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
Jennifer Glover, Manager, Digital Showcase Content Strategy, is a driver in every sense of the word. Her career path has led her from driving cars for a rental car agency to being firmly entrenched in the tech world. Jennifer credits her drive for curiosity, opportunity and organization as keys to her success and though she is a recent addition to the Avanade team, she already appreciates her workplace environment, where everyone has a voice.
Q. What gets you out of bed every morning?
A. I’m just so chuffed about the learning opportunities. There are so many resources and talented people that the knowledge available is limitless. I just wish I could download it all to my brain like in The Matrix.
Q. What makes Avanade different from other places you’ve worked?
A. In my very short time here, I see the proof of the culture that onboarding expounded on. The job that originally brought me out to Seattle was a pretty sad example of the city’s work culture. So when I accepted the full-time role at Avanade, I was nervous about my team’s dynamic and the culture of the entire organization. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust my hiring manager (she’s awesome, BTW) but in the past, at other companies, I’d been assured of a great culture only to determine fairly early on that the culture left a lot to be desired.
I feel good that I’ve now joined an organization that’s invested in maintaining a supportive environment where everyone has a voice and should be heard.
Q. What has your career path looked like?
A. Whew! Do you have time and maybe a snifter of brandy? My career path has been less like a path and more like an ATV ride through bush and marsh land – detours, blazing trails through bumpy terrain, and sometimes getting my wheels stuck in the mud. My career started in 2007/2008 during the Great Recession. At the time, I was working in New York in fashion production and I was disillusioned by the lack of creative opportunities in my role. I decided to go back to school for an MA in writing and publishing in London—the whole time thinking I’d be in a great position to transition into a fiction editor role.
Unfortunately, the post-recession tri-state area had other plans for me and many of my fellow advanced-degree holders. For years after I graduated, I took remedial contract roles to pay the bills – we’re talking driving cars for a rental company and mind-numbing data entry for 8 hours a day. But I used the opportunity to get awesome at Excel, got to know my colleagues’ stories at the rental company, and soaked up any skills I could take to the next role. That strategy eventually paid off. I segued into tech at Audible, which led to a role at Amazon, then Microsoft, and now Avanade. I had to hustle to keep getting a paycheck while keeping my skills relevant. But staying curious and open to opportunities really influenced how my career has panned out to this point.
Q. What is your proudest career moment and why?
A. There are so many! Just kidding. I do have a highlight reel in my head though.
I have to say that defining, establishing and owning the content strategy and editorial practice for the Microsoft 3D for Everyone products is one. It was the ultimate challenge I needed to regain my confidence in my abilities. I had a handful of crying sessions and questioned the sanity of my manager for entrusting me with such a large and visible undertaking. But my colleagues were awesomely helpful and uber-talented, and my manager was the example that introduced me to the concept of a career sponsor. With all their encouragement and knowledge, I learned and delivered far more than I expected.
Q. What advice would you give to your younger self?
A. I would tell her, “Jen, you’re going to have moments where you’ll be terrified and confused. You will want to hide under the covers. But you’ll get through them and will be glad to have gone through them, because the rest is so wonderful. Oh, and you were right! Being genuine and kind does make a difference.”
Q. What is your secret to making progress each day?
A. In a nutshell, I’m an organization dweeb.
During my grad program, my classmates called me, “Post-It.” Fun stationary motivates me to handwrite lists and reminders, which is proven to lead to better memory retention. I absolutely get a great feeling from crossing an item off my list.
I have a tendency to go down rabbit holes, so to manage my time I use my calendar in Outlook. During my onboarding period, I’ve scheduled blocks of time to ramp up on different areas so by the end of the day I gained a good breadth of learnings.
Also, I practice zero inbox. Every email that lands in my inbox gets filed away into a folder and/or tagged with a category. At the end of each day, I have visual proof that I’ve caught up on every thread, answered every query, and flagged any emails for follow up.
Q. A typical weekend for me is…
A. Out of defiance and rebellion, I typically Netflix, Xbox and chill with my dog, Diesel.
Q. Tell us one thing people don’t know about you.
A. As soft-spoken and nurturing as I am, I love MMA and boxing. Sweat, blood, muscle, glory!