Working in Product Management

Vasiliki joined Customer Support in Feb 2015. She finished her post-grad degree in Project
Management a year or so later, and is now one of our Senior Product Managers.

Workable is...
Exciting, inspiring, and busy
- Vasiliki Iliadi

Where were you born?

Argos, Argolida, Greece.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

A singer.

If you had a catchphrase what would it be?

“Don’t worry. We’ll make it work.”

What was your first job?

It was an internship with a young start-up company. I did all kinds of things and learned so much. There was just a handful of people so we all tried our hands at different stuff.

What do you for fun?

I like to run and read, but not at the same time!

What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Hmmm, I travelled around the UK with my brother on a kind of whim, without much money – does that count?

What do you feel strongly about?

Always learning something new.

What’s your favorite food?

Fish soup!

What’s your role at Workable?

I help design new features, I translate requirements into customer stories, oh, and I keep the team working.

Describe your team:

My core team works on the main functionality of the ATS part of Workable. They’re a great bunch who are passionate about making features our users will love.

When did you join Workable?

February 2015. I think I was the company’s 43rd hire. Lots of things have changed since then. We’ve grown fast.

What was your first impression of Workable?

When I came in for my first interview I was really nervous, but I shouldn’t have been. It was such a lovely experience. Seriously. Everyone was very sweet. I remember, they served up fish for lunch that day so they were all apologising about the smell. Ha! I learned so much from the interviews themselves. Everyone was very open, positive and accepting.

Describe your first day:

What I remember were so many welcome smiles and chats. On my desk there was a little box of bits, with a t-shirt, a book and a welcome pack. Oh, and a nice, shiny laptop. It felt very modern and progressive, but also really warm and welcoming. Oh, I did spill two cups coffee! It was my first job so I was kind of anxious.

It’s exciting to think that we’re building features that people have a real need for. So when we achieve that it’s such a good feeling. It’s exciting to celebrate when we have launched something successfully.

So, what’s the Workable atmosphere like?

Workable is… warm, welcoming… and fascinating! It’s been a real journey being at Workable. This was my first proper job. I’ve been so lucky to start out here. Working here has helped me discover new aspects of myself, skills I wasn’t aware I had, things I didn’t think I’d be able to do.

For example, my first role was in customer support. I loved it and learned such a lot on the job. But before I started working here I was considering taking a postgraduate degree in Project Management. I mentioned this to my manager, Thanos, and he encouraged me to pursue it. He arranged for me to start work earlier so I could fit in my Master’s class at the end of the day. I didn’t know much about the role of a project manager until I came here. The more I found out about it the more fascinating it became. Such a great position. So many skills that it requires. And overall the magic that a project manager can do. It really fascinated me. Thanos was a great mentor. He knew I was interested in the Product team so he arranged for me to participate in some of their meetings so I could find out more about how exactly things worked. Then an opportunity came up for a Junior Product Manager. They offered me the position and I very gladly accepted.

There are lots of examples like this across the company. Dimitrius for example had a very similar path. He was in the technical support team (Dev Ops) and last year around the time that I shifted teams he moved to the core team as a back-end developer. The company is definitely interested in how to better manage the talent that they have available and help them grow.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Working with people who are passionate and great at what they do.

What or who can you see from your desk?

I can see right out onto the street, and the DevOps team.

What’s on your desk?

My water bottle, phone, laptop, screen, laptop case, my glasses, a phone pouch, my agenda, a note pad, Post-its, lip balm, hand cream, a book on product management.

What’s the highlight of your working day?

It’s exciting to think that we’re building features that people have a real need for. So when we achieve that it’s such a good feeling. It’s exciting to celebrate when we have launched something successfully. Oh, and lunch! Lunch here is great. A real social gathering. It’s fresh and hot - I definitely wouldn’t have the time or energy to cook something like that myself everyday.

Who in the company has had the most influence on you and why?

During my time as a customer support representative it was definitely Thanos. He’s great. He is an amazing manager. He not only helped me with any issues I had with my job, but he mentored me as well. He helped me through one-on-ones and meetings to realise where I’d like to go and he even helped me with the application for my Master’s degree.

One of the biggest inspirations for moving to the Product team was Maria. She is just so good at what she does – inspiring and hard working. Just sitting next to her and seeing how she works has taught me so much. She’s also been patient in teaching me about how things work. But, really, the whole team inspires me to become better myself.

The best thing about Workable?

The people I’m lucky enough to work with.

Want to join the Workable team?

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