Support Driven Changed My Life

My life was in a very different place at the beginning of this year.

After living and working in South Florida for a few years, I had the opportunity to work remotely if I desired. My lease was ending and with my only sister getting married soon, I packed my bags and headed back to Massachusetts for what I expected to be a few months. At the same time, I saw an increase in reasons for me to consider transitioning to a new organization. I wanted to remain happy in my career.

I spent almost three years with the company and after careful consideration, decided it was time to move on. This decision was made more difficult because if I wanted a new job, I had to put my plans to move on hold (and I am not a fan of winter in Boston.) I started to think about what my ideal job looked like and browsed new opportunities. I found Support Driven and was thrilled to find a community of like-minded support professionals, striving to be the best they can be.

One of the reasons I love Support Driven is that it is filled with people who view support as an art and a career decision, not just a default job while you look for bigger things. -Brianne Villano, Spreedly

The Slack community is chock-full of resources but most importantly for me, featured a #jobs channel. In order to have a leg up in today’s competitive market, I realized I had to be quick. If I saw a listing at 9am and waited until that evening to tailor my resume and cover letter, there could already be hundreds of applicants. Anyone that has tried to find a new job while still working full time can probably relate to the struggle. Progress was slow and I needed results. I grew more frustrated by the week.

Something had to change and it did in a big way. On Cinco de Mayo I was laid off along with nearly half of my peers. I was overwhelmed with emotions in the moment, but there were two amazing things about this: 1) it was exactly what I needed, 2) it was a holiday that deems weeknight margaritas socially acceptable, if not encouraged.

Thankfully I was prepared with an updated resume ready for same day delivery. The job hunt became full time and this time around, I knew exactly what I wanted. I continued to spend 8 hours a day seeking out opportunities to match my preferences and only those. A few days into June I saw an opportunity in the #jobs channel, posted by fellow community member Brianne Villano at Spreedly. By applying to a company that was represented in Support Driven, I felt we already had something in common and I could trust that their team valued continuous improvement. Immediately upon reviewing the job description for a Technical Customer Support Manager, I knew my experience fit the role and that I was interested. I reached out to Brianne directly in Slack to let her know I was very excited to apply and would have my application over shortly. She thought to herself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if the first person who contacted me about the role is the one I wound up hiring. Nah, never happen!”

Brianne’s enthusiasm for Spreedly, this role, and creating an amazing team was contagious. I participated in three interviews and completed a work sample that month. The level of communication and transparency during this process was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Immediately this set Spreedly apart from other employers.

We place emphasis on learning and excellence, not mistake avoidance and blame. That makes Spreedly one of the most unique companies I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. -Brianne

Fast forward to today and I am approaching my two month anniversary with Spreedly. I began working remotely mid July and at the start of August made my first visit to headquarters in Durham, North Carolina. I knew during my first call with Brianne in June that we had plenty in common both professionally and personally (unapologetically obsessed with the canine species, for one). This trip only solidified that our dynamic was an ideal foundation for building and scaling a team second to none. We had invigorating brainstorming sessions at a favorite local cafe, Cocoa Cinnamon, which ended with my first attempt at practicing face yoga. Disclaimer: Hours of intense and caffeinated shop talk combined with belly laughter can cause facial cramping with possible tears.

Brianne was shocked at the amount of times we both chimed in with “me too!” through out conversations. Knowing that I also value strategic and scalable support practices — and dogs — affirmed her decision to welcome me to Spreedly. We share a vision for our team and with the help of our peers, we are bringing it to life.

Entrance and patio of Spreedly HQ, located in a repurposed space formerly home to a dry cleaning business from 1948. More history on 733 Foster St here.

Last summer on my drive from Florida to Massachusetts, I planned a little extended stay in the Carolinas. There was so much to love about the area and I wanted to gauge my interest for relocating there after my Massachusetts detour. It’s not the worst problem to have, but when you can work remotely and you want to relocate, the choices are overwhelming to say the least. It felt strange to pick a place at random.

While my trip to HQ was a great confirmation that Spreedly was where I wanted to be, I also unexpectedly found that Spreedly is where I want to be. I fell in love with Durham, too! I’ve moved around the country now enough that I can say, “when you know, you know!” I got in around midnight my first night; I didn’t even see much but highway on my Uber ride to the hotel but I already had a feeling I was going to like this quirky little place. This feeling grew stronger each of the whopping 3 days I spent there. Maybe it was the view of the Old Bull neon sign or Lucky Strike water tower on the American Tobacco Campus, seen from my room on the thirteenth floor at 21C (amazing museum hotel full of.. you guessed, 21st century art). Maybe it was how dog-friendly the city is, proven by the pooches gathered at Full Steam brewery or Bark in the Park night at the Bulls stadium. I could go on.. or you can check out 34 reasons Buzzfeed loves Durham.

Durham has been undergoing a huge revitalization in recent years. Brianne is proud to already call this unique city home. We’d be happy to show any visiting Support Driven-ers around if you find yourself in the neighborhood!

Now with a freshly signed lease and dog and cat in tow, I am Durham bound in a matter of weeks. I look forward to resting my nomadic hat and enjoying my new role and home. Thanks to Support Driven, I’m exactly where I want to be.