One-third of our lives — or roughly 90,000 hours in a lifetime — are spent at work.
Ideally, we’ll spend the majority of that time pursuing our professional passions. That’s easier said than done for a variety of reasons, of course — one of which being that people’s wants and needs change over time, and not every company allows employees to move teams or change roles so easily.
Raquel Zanoni found herself in such a position, contemplating a career move shortly after joining Bringg, a logistics delivery management platform company based in Chicago, Illinois.
WHAT BRINGG DOES
Bringg is a delivery management platform provider, serving over 800 customers globally. Bringg manages and unifies last-mile delivery, fulfillment and returns, empowering enterprises to manage and grow their delivery capacity, reduce cost and provide branded customer experiences. Bringg’s open SaaS platform and robust network of over 250 delivery providers enables enterprises to offer customers any delivery option — whether using internal drivers or external delivery providers — including 3PL, carriers, crowdsourced fleets or independent gig drivers.
Zanoni joined the company in a customer-facing role focused on product implementation, a perfect fit given her previous experience in similar roles. However, she also came with technical expertise and experience working with product teams, which, combined with a desire to do more strategic customer-facing work, led her to transition to the sales team in the role of solution engineer.
“Had Bringg’s culture not revolved around promoting curiosity and offering individuals the flexibility to explore other opportunities, I would not have landed where I am today within the company,” Zanoni said.
Built In spoke with Zanoni to learn more about that culture and the role it plays in professional development, along with her own career journey and the personal and professional milestones she’s achieved since joining Bringg.
I started in a development program at an investment research company right out of college. The program allowed me to rotate through different roles and organizations, and in my third rotation I had the opportunity to work more closely with a product team. In this role, I learned the ins and outs of product development and knew that was the direction I wanted to take my career. There is something very special about knowing I played a part in developing a piece of software that people use in their daily lives.
That interest, along with a bit of networking, led me to a professional services role at an AI startup. Of course, with startups you always run the risk of not finding product-market fit, and we struggled to adapt. I started looking for other opportunities when a recruiter from Bringg reached out. To be honest, I hesitated, but that changed when I spoke to my future boss and the CRO. Their passion for the product and belief in the company culture convinced me and I happily joined in 2019.
How has working at Bringg helped you progress toward your career goals?
My two career goals have always been to work with inspiring individuals and for a company that promotes opportunity, growth and flexibility. I have been at Bringg longer than any other company because it truly embodies these values.
“My goals are to work with inspiring individuals and for a company that promotes opportunity, growth and flexibility. Bringg truly embodies these values.”
A year into my journey with Bringg, I knew I wanted to move out of implementation; while I appreciated working with customers and the daily interactions with the product team, it was not where I wanted to grow my career or skill set. Instead, I saw myself working with customers as a subject matter expert but at a higher level, creating a vision of their future with our product at the forefront. The solution engineer position was exactly this and more.
The only challenge was that it was in sales and I had no sales experience. Despite this, the head of solution engineering decided to take a chance on me. In fact, he saw my experience in implementation and the relationship I have with the product team as perhaps more valuable than prior sales experience. Had Bringg’s culture not revolved around promoting curiosity and offering individuals the flexibility to explore other opportunities, I would not have landed where I am today within the company.
How has joining Bringg impacted your life?
I would not be where I am today had I not joined Bringg. I made a career leap, bought a house, grieved the loss of a loved one, traveled the world, literally climbed mountains and became a yoga teacher. Without the support of Bringg, these milestones would have felt impossible.
What makes Bringg a unique place to work from a professional development perspective?
Despite having employees all over the globe with different perspectives and experiences, we all share a distinct company vision and culture. That shared culture values collaboration, curiosity and people over product. Without an emphasis on those values, it would be very difficult to develop professionally or even personally.
At Bringg, I have the power to work independently but at the same time feel completely supported by my peers. One of my favorite examples of this was my second go-live as a solution architect.
A go-live is exciting but often challenging. For this customer we developed several new features that would be in the hands of real users for the first time. I led the go-live of an entire warehouse of employees as the sole representative from Bringg. What the customer could not see was the army of developers and product managers 12,000 miles away and 10 hours ahead in Tel Aviv on standby. I may have been physically on my own, but the team did not miss a beat when it came to crushing bugs, pushing updates and giving me much-needed pep talks.
How have you grown professionally since joining Bringg?
Prior to Bringg, I had zero sales experience. Technology sales and selling in general was a very foreign concept to me; I pictured adults sipping martinis over lunch and closing deals over steak à la “Mad Men.” To no one’s surprise, it’s nothing like that.
One thing Bringg does really well is “value selling,” which focuses on understanding customers’ pains and needs as opposed to pushing features and functions. In order to be effective at value selling you have to be able to listen carefully, play back information thoughtfully and at times read between the lines. It’s in these areas that I have grown the most both professionally and personally.
What role do managers at Bringg play in professional development?
Plenty of studies dive into the impact of managers on their direct reports’ productivity and willingness to stay. Personally, I have found that my managers have always had the biggest impact on the areas that matter most to me: growth, opportunity and flexibility. Those values, along with a sincere desire to know me professionally and personally, are the characteristics of a great manager. I have been extremely fortunate to have found those qualities in all the managers I have worked with at Bringg and it’s been one of the strongest contributors to my success. My current manager is always in my corner, promotes me internally and doesn’t hesitate to give me open and honest feedback. More than that, I have always been able to rely on my managers as teachers, collaborators and even friends.
“My current manager is always in my corner, promotes me internally and doesn’t hesitate to give me open and honest feedback.”
What about the future at Bringg excites you most?
I am most excited to see where Bringg will be in 2025. One of the most compelling aspects of working for a growth-stage company is that everyone is working toward the same goal — an exit. That exit could be in the form of IPO or acquisition, and my actions today have a direct impact on the success we make toward that goal.