Welcome to the latest installment of the How I Work series for the month of August! I am excited to present as our next guest, Tracy Maurer, a Jive guru with several years of Community Management experience under her belt. Tracy is an integral part of the JiveWorks community and always asks great questions in addition to helpful recommendations on how we can do better. Thank you for taking the time to help us out, Tracy! Keep reading to find out more about the wonderful, passionate Tracy Maurer and how she works!
Where do you work?
Right now, I'm working for Commvault as a temp. I work from home, which is in Solon, OH. I have a basement office. Lots of people ask me if it is hard to work from home. I actually find it easier to stay focused when working from home, because I don't have the typical office distractions. And it also allows me to work odd hours to support global employees.
How would you describe your current job?
I'm working as a Community and Knowledge Manager. As other CMs know, much of what we do supporting community is about capturing and sharing knowledge. Helping people understand how to do that can help keep your community from drowning in disorganized content. I also do a lot of troubleshooting, documentation, videos and enablement. It's funny - when I first started doing troubleshooting, like running, I hated it. Now I love both running and troubleshooting - go figure!
How did you get into Community Management?
We added a Jive community at work, which at first I was very unexcited about. I was a product manager, and we decided to move all of our content into Jive (from a Lotus Notes DB) to help employees find it and it make it more useful. In the process, I found that I loved community, and kept looking for an opportunity to "join the dark side." Ted Hopton gave me that opportunity in 2010, and I've never looked back!
How do you use Jive at work (internal community, external community, etc.); what use cases does it serve for your company?
Internal community; sales and sales engineering enablement and internal communications are currently the primary use cases, and as we begin our second year of having a community, we are expanding beyond these initial use cases.
What about your community/communities are you most proud of?
The amount of employee engagement we've got in the community; and how Keeley and the team still manage roll-outs of spaces and groups to ensure less overlap and confusion. I think these two things go hand in hand.
What's your computer situation... Do you use a Mac or PC (or something else)?
PC all the way. I'd be too sad without my Jive for Office and Jive for Outlook.
Tell us what you use for your mobile device?
Apple iPhone. I also couldn't live without my iPad. This is me reading on my iPad, with my constant companions Bella (foreground) and Blaze
Pick one word that best describes how you work.
Thoughtful. I struggled to come down to one word. I don't mean "thoughtful" only in the sense of helping others, although there is that as well. More broadly, I mean thinking about what is being asked instead of responding off the cuff. This is a skill I've had to continue to hone over time. For example, when someone says, "I can't edit documents." I don't assume that Jive has suddenly stopped working for people. I ask for clarification - is there an error message; what happens when you click the Edit link at the top of the page; what is the link to the document you are having trouble with. Sometimes it is user error (they didn't see the Edit link and thought they should just start typing on the page); sometimes the author has restricted editing; sometimes it is a bug with a specific browser. Understanding more about the problem they are having helps me provide a quicker and better answer for them. And reminds me to provide more detail when I'm reporting problems to others.
Besides Jive, what apps/software/tools can't you live without?
For software I use Snagit, Camtasia, Chrome (or FireFox), Gmail. For apps: NPR One, Starbucks, Garmin, Words with Friends
Do you have a favorite non-computer gadget?
Does my Garmin 230 running watch count? It tracks steps, sleep and running, so is a constant companion of mine. Here's a collage of running photos while wearing my watch There are just so many beautiful places to run in Cleveland that it is hard to choose where to run, let alone what picture to show. This doesn't begin to scratch the surface!
Or how about my new SkyBell? I work from home in my basement, so knowing someone is at the door and whether or not I need to answer it is great!
What you surround yourself with is important, what's your work space like?
I'm an "outta sight, outta mind" person, so many would refer to it as cluttered. Don't judge! I also have lots of photos of friends and family, my running medals, and books.
What do you listen to while you work?
The dehumidifier, since it has to run all summer long. In the winter, or if I really need to focus, I listen to classical music on Pandora.
What's your best time-saving trick?
It isn't specifically a work trick, but when I've got a morning meeting or some other morning thing I need to do, I set out my clothes the night before. Then I don't have to think about that and distract from getting ready and in the right frame of mind for whatever is on deck.
How do you balance work and life?
It changes all the time. I'm not the one to offer advice, other than to make sure you take care of yourself. You should not be last on your list of priorities. I do like to spend time with my kids, one of whom is an amazing artist.
One thing that I did in 2016 was to travel with a Community Manager friend to Zion National Park the weekend before JiveWorld. We had an AMAZING time!!
What's your sleep routine like?
With rare exceptions, I average 7.5 hours of sleep a night. My husband snores, so I use ear plugs and sometimes white noise. And I sleep with a stuffed animal my family gave me for Christmas one year. It is a nice reminder of them, and also helps keep my arms elevated so they don't fall asleep.
Are you more of an introvert, ambivert or extrovert?
Ambivert, leaning toward introvert.
What's the best advice you've ever received (and from whom)?
I can't choose 1.
- "What would you do if you DID know how?" Although at first read it might sound dumb, it does help you refocus. It was from a boss I had 17 years ago when I was learning a new role and doing a lot of things that really had not much to do with that actual role and that I had little or no experience with.
- "Assume best intent" from my boss at my last job, and also reading about it in a business book (probably the one where she learned it). We tend to take things personally and jump to worst conclusion about people's words and actions. What if there was an opposite meaning?
- "Choose laughter," from Keeley Sorokti
Thank you for your time and showing us more about your work style, Tracy! It was great getting to know you. I'm glad to hear someone else lays their clothes out the night before! I find that I'm so lazy in the morning I just throw on whatever is easiest to grab which sometimes turns into an interesting fashion statement.