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By: KnowBe4 HR
Published: 1 Feb 2023
Last Updated: 1 Feb 2023
At KnowBe4, we recognize that people are at the heart of our success. We celebrate the creativity, innovation, and increased performance that come from a unique workplace culture. In today's post, we hear from Jason, VP of Product Support at KnowBe4. In our interview, we learned about Jason's career journey and some of the lessons he has learned along the way!
Well, that’s a long, and potentially boring, story. :) I started my first tech support job in 1998 as a Service Coordinator, a job similar to our Tech Coordinators here at KnowBe4. This experience led me to pursue a career in technology. Before this, I was pursuing a career in the music industry, working for a radio station and a record label. I eventually landed at a large telecommunications company working in the Network Operations Center. Going from music to Service Coordinator was an exciting journey, but this intersection sealed my interest in tech that later led me to KnowBe4.
I had the opportunity to learn from seasoned tech professionals with 25-30+ years of experience, and I soaked up everything they were willing to teach me. I was shortly promoted to Tier 2 Engineer and was able to take advantage of a company benefit that paid for a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Systems and a Master of Business Administration. The combination of what I learned from my coworkers, leaders/mentors, and my education prepared me for leadership roles, and my career with this organization lasted about ten years.
Shortly after, I found myself managing a Support team at Sunbelt Software, a company founded by the same guy that started KnowBe4. Yes, that guy, Stu! The leadership, culture, and environment were a breath of fresh air, unlike anything I had ever experienced. When Stu decided to start KnowBe4, I knew I wanted to be a part of it regardless of what job was available at the time. I joined KnowBe4 in 2012 and quickly learned that when you work for a startup, you find out that if something needs to be done, that IS your job. :) For the most part, I never lost that spirit as KnowBe4 continued to grow, and I continued to grow and lead Product Support at the VP level.
Briefly stated: ensuring continued success. When I was responsible for supporting KnowBe4 customers, I had to learn to “do it right the first time.” Next was to teach others to do it and manage the growth and scalability of support. Now that we’ve grown significantly and have the best managers leading the best global support team, I’m responsible for making decisions that help maintain that success.
I am constantly reviewing our statistics that lead to overall success in the areas of customer satisfaction, median reply time, backlog, and customer callback percentage. I project future outcomes, so the Support staff is prepared for success today. Most importantly, I’m responsible for listening to my Support Directors/Managers' ideas and feedback to ensure we embody KnowBe4’s “Right, Fast, Fun” culture and continue to be successful.
I receive support from my direct manager, extending up through the chain of command and throughout our various sectors. I’m also supported by the leaders that report to me, and having this overall feeling of support continues to make KnowBe4 a fun place to work. Specifically, I feel like my executive leaders listen to my concerns when it comes to the success of my team and act to provide the best possible outcomes.
There is no question that every effort is made to allow employees to feel seen, heard, and appreciated. This includes the attention placed on career development, work/life balance, and availability of employee resource groups. My past experiences afforded me the opportunity to differentiate between being treated well and being treated as if I work for a company that genuinely cares about its people. That’s tough to articulate, but you know the difference when you experience it yourself.
Family! My wife, three boys, and baby girl are always finding fun things to do when we can get settled and free from our individual distractions! I like to run and exercise, and when I have friends and family over, we turn up the music and pass the microphone around for karaoke.
"The first thing you should know about me is that I am not you. A lot more will make sense after that." - Unknown
This has become one of my favorite quotes by an unknown person. People tend to get angry with each other because they choose not to understand the other person or quickly disagree if they do things differently. Then unsuccessful attempts to change minds lead to arguments, lost friendships, or worse. Social media has amplified a growing sense of divisiveness among friends, family, and complete strangers.
First, understand that we are different people with different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives. Listen with an open mind and accept that you may broaden your understanding or learn that you can disagree without being disagreeable.
Do extensive research on what KnowBe4 offers to its customers, then answer the question, “Why do you want to work for KnowBe4?” honestly. If it’s for “fun” or “money,” those things are a given, but my vote would be for a long and rewarding career. Yes, it’s a lot of fun, but only because we love what we do and “why” we do it.
Be willing to learn and do what you’re hired for exceptionally well, take advantage of professional development opportunities, and it’ll be the start of a long, rewarding career!
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