Listen to the Podcast, here! Transcription provided, below.
Janelle (Host): Welcome to the Own Your Career Podcast. My name is Janelle Jordan, and I’m a Program Manager on our Talent, Performance, and Engagement team. I’m so excited to be here with you. Throughout this series, you’ll hear inspiring interviews with employees who have achieved career growth at GoDaddy through internal promotions and movement. In addition, you’ll hear tips, best practices, and advice to support your career journey. Career management is necessary for a successful journey, and we hope you’ll walk away ready to own your career. Thanks for spending time with us today. Now let’s jump into the spotlight with our guests. I am here today with Jacob Rodriguez, who is a Training Facilitator on our Learning and Talent team, here at GoDaddy. Hi, Jacob. Welcome to the podcast.
Jacob (Guest): Hey, Janelle, happy to be here.
Janelle: Let’s get to know you quickly. Can you share with us a little bit about who you are and what brings you joy outside the office?
Jacob: Yeah, I’ve narrowed it down to a couple things. It took me a while to think of this one. Who I am — I’d have to say I’m a nerdy husband. Like, I do finger guns at my wife. And so maybe dorky is probably the more accurate way to describe me. And a cat dad. We have two little fur babies, little stinkers. And so my wife full on says I’ve converted to a cat dad. Outside of work, honestly, just anything like Marvel and Star Wars related — action and Sci-Fi movies, watching martial arts movies even. I don’t know if you’ve ever gotten into like, The Game of Thrones or House of Dragon, that new series, just things like that. That’s kind of what I enjoy mostly.
Janelle: Okay, so as a playful cat dad and a Marvel fanatic, how deep do we go with the Marvel? Are we going to Comic Con? What are we doing? Are we just watching all the things?
Jacob: I watch all the things. I once almost got to go to Comic Con a couple years ago. I wasn’t able to, but I had a full on costume. It was actually a geeky character, though. One of my cat’s name is Natasha Rogue.
Janelle: Love! A favorite character of mine.
Jacob: Yeah, two names. Two characters. But I had to give her both. So she’s got a first and middle name.
Janelle: That’s so great. Well, welcome. Thanks for sharing with us a little bit about who you are. Let’s go into our first question. So, can you give our listeners an overview of your career journey? And that can be before GoDaddy and definitely while you’ve been here at GoDaddy!
Jacob: In terms of overall how I got into this industry, I can kind of start there. I got into this industry, actually, with a competitor. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Endurance or Bluehost, but I actually started with them back in 2017. I did about eight months of phone support (inbound phone support) for just the regular inbound queue, but then also their Advanced Technical team. Spent about a year after that on their Design team, building out websites for customers. And then I did a year in kind of like a corporate escalation level setting, similar to OCEO here, that Escalation team. While I did get to advance into different roles there, ultimately the growth I was looking for, I wasn’t able to accomplish. In 2020, I left and I got a role at a place called Mass Mutual, which part of what they did was like life insurance, but they also had a retirement plan division. I was there for about a year and I said, you know what? I miss the industry that I was in. I miss this web hosting world. So I decided to apply at GoDaddy, and that was in 2021. April, to be exact.
Janelle: I’m going to stop you right there. Was there something about GoDaddy that sparked your interest, or was it simply that they had openings in the field that you wanted?
Jacob: It kind of had to do with the fact that there was open roles. I’d never considered GoDaddy before, just because when you work for somewhere else, you’re all “team them” you know, you’re all proud to work there. And I never thought of GoDaddy until after I started missing the industry. And I was like, you know what? I’m going to give them a try.
Janelle: All right, so you applied for a role at GoDaddy and you got it the first time?
Jacob: I did. So I applied directly for Website Specialist II, and that’s what I got in as.
Janelle: Awesome. Okay. Where did you go from there?
Jacob: So I was only in that role for a few months, and that’s actually when I got this role as a Training Facilitator in Learning and Talent.
Janelle: So where I guess during your journey on the Website Design Services team, did the curiosity for Training or Learning and Development come into play? Or how was that introduced to you or how did that become part of your career journey?
Jacob: Yeah, honestly, we’d have to go even further back. One of the first jobs I had was at Olive Garden.
Jacob: I was a trainer, actually, at Olive Garden for a little bit. And I don’t know, I just think ever since I started work, I knew that I wanted to get into some sort of leadership or training of other people. And so in every role I’ve had, I kind of gravitated towards that. And so I did simultaneously apply for Websites Team Lead. At the same time I applied for Training Facilitator, they felt like very up my alley. So to say I was offered first Training Facilitator, and I was like, you know what? Even if I got offered the other one, I’m going to go with Training Facilitator. I just felt like there was more impact I could make there, and it felt more like I wanted to do
Janelle: So, It’s like you’ve always kind of known throughout your career that you love achieving expertise in your role and then sharing that knowledge with others and coaching and training them to be better in their roles. And that’s something that’s kind of exactly what you do as a Training Facilitator, but also would have been a primary job as a Lead, honestly. And so I think a lot of folks might make that decision. Do I go on to become a supervisor and a manager and a people leader or can I double down and continue to be an expert in my own field? It’s interesting. Or to leave completely because you are not designing websites anymore. So do you miss it?
Jacob: A little bit! I mean, some days there are times when I do miss the aspect of getting to know a customer and see them through this journey, start to finish, of building a new website or redesigning their existing. Because really when you’re on the phones, you meet a lot of cool and interesting people. And so sometimes there are days I miss it. But yeah, I don’t think I’d trade it though. I think helping get others to that point where they can go on that journey themselves. Very rewarding.
Janelle: Very rewarding. Very fulfilling. And that leads us to question number two. Can you tell us, Jacob, what do you love about your job here?
Jacob: Honestly, it’s just that like, seeing others go through their own journey that I did and really helping set them up for success, I think that is so rewarding in itself. To see someone go from “I don’t know what I’m doing, I don’t know what DNS is.” In just a few short weeks, “I got this, let me talk to customers now. Get me on the phone!” To see that confidence grow in them. And it’s funny because I was just telling someone that in this class I finished up two weeks ago that I saw in them fear that they had at first, how that turned to this confidence, I don’t know. Just something satisfying about that little growth.
Janelle: Super rewarding. Absolutely. And then you know that you’re part of their team. You’re part of Team GoDaddy. You’re really impacting the success of the organization and nothing feels better than that when you feel super connected to our mission here at the company.
Janelle: Thank you so much for sharing that. Question number three. Can you share with us what is the most important lesson that you’ve learned so far over the course of your career?
Jacob: Yeah, honestly, I would say there are two things if I can. First, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback. I think that is probably the most invaluable lesson that you can ever learn for yourself. The other thing I would say is don’t be afraid to express yourself or voice your opinions to your leaders. I think those are going to be the two most important things I’ve learned.
Janelle: I’m going to pick on you, Jacob. Can you share maybe just an example of both. How about maybe the last time that you asked for feedback? Or can you share your preferred way of asking for feedback? Or if there’s a certain partner that you think is really critical? I think people always think that they need feedback from leaders. But who do you like to ask for feedback from?
Jacob: That’s kind of funny. Like, the entire learning team. We are very big on giving feedback. Peer to peer. We will get into each other’s classrooms and just observe. Observe not just how material is being facilitated, but the interactions. Maybe even like, “hey, here’s something you did good, but here’s how you could improve on that.” Just different things like that. So we’re constantly in this feedback loop, right? So we’re always, like, self improving. Outside of that, in terms of direct feedback that I had once, one of the more impactful things that I learned when I was in Website Design Services, I actually set up a meeting over Zoom with one of the main directors, and I had actually let him know, like, “hey, I want to get into leadership. I want to get into development. What are some things can do to help prep for that?” A couple of things he told me that were very simple but very effective. One was, even if you know the answer to something, maybe ask the question as if you didn’t, so that you can encourage your team to participate. You can show your team that it’s okay to ask for help. And so it was one of those, like, just lead by examples. And it was just one of those things. It was a way, I should say, I hadn’t thought of before, something simple as that.
Janelle: Not only is it leading by example, but it’s also showing vulnerability, which is a part of Servant Leadership, which is allowing people to know, like, “hey, I’m on your team. I’m not just leading the team. And I don’t know everything. And collectively we are going to do better when we’re all working together and we’re brainstorming together and we’re ideating together and we’re solutioning together.” When you are vulnerable and you ask for feedback, I can imagine the courage that it took. Set up a Zoom invite with someone several levels above you in the organization that you may or may not talk to on a daily basis. That’s a brave thing to do. But also, folks at GoDaddy are so receptive to that, right? And they’re like, yeah. And they show up and they’re thoughtful about it. And then you get these little nuggets that just stay with you forever. And then of course, now that you’re essentially coaching every single participant in your classroom, essentially you can pass that on. These little nuggets of wisdom.
Jacob: Exactly. That ability to give back I think is very meaningful. Very satisfying.
Janelle: It’s very satisfying. Yeah. And then the do not be afraid to voice your opinions to your leaders. I think that’s a big one here that folks at all different levels of the organization can worry about too much around like what is the right thing to say, what is the right timing, who do I share this with? And you start to overthink versus just being vulnerable and honest.
Jacob: Yeah. I do think we get in our own way sometime of that. I feel it comes down to like a comfort level where we don’t want to go out of our comfort zone. But I don’t know, maybe I’ve outgrown my comfort zone since I started working because I’d never been afraid to speak up and say, “hey, respectfully, why are we doing things this way? Why don’t we look at it a different way?” There’s no progress without that. There’s no growth without that.
Janelle: Yeah. Why is such a powerful question. And I’m so glad that you asked that. Even if that’s the one question that you can find yourself to be brave enough and courageous enough to ask your leaders, ask it. Ask it. And you’re deserving of that. That’s your job. Don’t be afraid to just ask the simple question. Why? Because you know what? That’s you showing interest and curiosity and getting involved and better understanding the direction and the decisions. And I think leaders want more folks to ask why.
Jacob: The fact that we all see things through different lenses. Maybe the way you see one solution or rather the answer to a problem, maybe there’s a better way, maybe the suggested way isn’t the right one. And so I don’t know, I just feel like if we’re not afraid, we can really make change.
Janelle: 1000% agree. Okay, last question. What is a common myth about your job, department or field of expertise?
Jacob: Not so much a myth, more so something that I think is overlooked. I feel like it’s easy to overlook the foundations and the goal, I should say, of the foundations that we’re trying to set with these onboarding classes. The real foundation is behavior. I feel the real foundation is attitude and good practice and how to really put our customers first and see them through this lens of this is a person trying to provide for their family. So I’m going to invest the time in getting to know them and getting to know their business. The reason I say that is because ultimately when we focus on that, rather than seeing them as numbers, it makes our conversations more organic, it builds better trust and then in turn, they’re more likely to trust our recommendations. And I think that foundation is easy to be overlooked. It’s easy to say product knowledge is going to be what gets these guys to be successful, but really it’s the behaviors.
Janelle: No, I think that’s so correct and so impactful and so valuable in what you’re teaching them, I guess, on the long term, over the whole course of their career. Maybe not just in this role, but in the next role and the role after that, and also just getting down to the bottom of what is going to make us most successful in serving our customers, period. Are these behaviors, whether it’s on the phone, via email, training customers, building website on our engineering team, making our tools better, all of that, right? They’re going to be better and more successful when we’re focused on the right behaviors and not just kind of tasks or even just information.
Jacob: Yeah, human first approach. These are people and I think when we view them as people, it makes it easier for us to care and feel more connection to them.
Janelle: And that’s got to be one of the things that really sets GoDaddy apart in this industry, is the way that we have the human first approach to everything we do, especially in care and services and hopefully our customers around the world really feel that. And so thank you for your impact in training and coaching and developing the folks who support our customers on the ground.
Jacob: Happy to do so.
Janelle: And thank you Jacob, for being on the podcast with me today and talking with me about your career journey and it’s been super fun. Can you share with our listeners the best way to reach out to you if they’d like to connect and learn more about what you do or for networking?
Jacob: Yeah, absolutely. Feel free to message me on Slack anytime. You can look me up. Or email me. Happy to talk anytime.
Janelle: Excellent. Thank you for listening to the own Your Career Podcast. We aim to inspire, motivate and empower our employees to meet and achieve their professional goals. If you are interested in being a guest on a future podcast or know someone who might, please visit the My Career Portal Career Spotlight page and complete the interest form. While you’re there, please check out the many resources and articles available. And as always, reach out to us with feedback, questions and ideas. We would love to hear from you. Thank you, Jacob, for spending time with us today.
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