Stephanie is the Office Manager and the Executive Assistant to the CEO and COO at Seer Interactive in Philadelphia, PA. She’s also a finalist in our Office Hero of the Year competition, where she stood out among hundreds of nominations as one of the best of the best. Growing up in the restaurant industry, Stephanie learned a lot about patience and providing good service. She decided to take her skills elsewhere, taking a secretary job, and got hooked as an Office Hero from there. She moved onto a couple startups and landed at Seer two years ago.
We got in touch with Stephanie to discuss her favorite productivity hacks and why her job at Seer is her dream job.
What’s your favorite time-saving trick?
Being fast and efficient. If I’m in the middle of doing a task and another task comes up, but I know it will take less than five minutes, I’ll just do it. I like to get the small things done as quickly as possible so I can get them off my plate. I can’t take having my inbox over 20!
What is your workspace setup like? Is there any tool or device that you can’t live without?
I work in an open workspace. My desk is the Mecca of where everything goes and passes through – from packages to my tool box – so it’s not always beautifully organized. As for tools, I can’t live without my cell phone. I’m constantly connected. I also use Boomerang for Gmail – it helps keep my inbox small.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
The people I work with are the favorite part of my job. It’s really easy to work hard for good people who you know have your best interest at heart. I know my boss genuinely cares about me. I don’t mind going above and beyond for him because I know he would do the same for me.
In our experience, office heroes are constantly busy and wear a lot of hats. How do you stay focused at work?
Being able to prioritize is really important. Early in my career I thought every task was equally important. But as I’ve matured, I’ve been able to figure out what can be pushed down the list. By making actual lists and prioritizing, I give myself of picture of what needs to be done and so, I can focus much better.
“No one knows how she does it, but she does. Stephanie continues to single-handedly manage both our offices on the east coast and the west coast. She is always one step ahead of us, thinking about the unforeseen and handling disruptions like a champ! Steph is amazing and we could not be more thankful to have her!”
Office snacks: sweet or salty?
Both! I’m personally a salty person, but there’s definitely a sweet tooth at Seer since those tend to disappear the fastest. I also like to keep a candy dish at my desk a way to have people come over to talk and visit, but it does go really fast. The sweet tooth is real is Seer!
How do the personal relationships you have at work help you maintain your office hero status?
Personal relationships are really helpful because, well, they are personal. I’ve found that I get a lot more open and honest feedback with the people I have good relationships with. They don’t feel like they need to sugar coat things, which enables me to get the feedback I need to do the best at my job and align with their expectations at a higher level.
As an EA, knowing my boss personally helps me manage his life so much better. I don’t have to ask to many questions since I already know him, his preferences, his likes, and his dislikes.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
In general, to always think positively. It sounds cheesy, but to me it’s the absolute truth. If you remain positive, positive outcomes are always more likely. It applies to every part of my life, not just at work. The best career advice would be to treat your job like you own the business – own everything you do, and every mistake you make.
Who’s your hero?
My heroes are the people who built me. My grandparents and my parents. They lead by example and taught me everything I know. My grandmother and mother are both hard working women who managed to both be mom and still make a living for themselves. My grandfather and my father are hard working men who put family first. They all taught me that you can have it all, if you work hard enough and stay true to yourself and your values. I try to exemplify their same characteristics in all aspects of my life.
Do you think Stephanie should win Office Hero of the Year? Make sure you vote for her here! The winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.