Each quarter, Skilljar’s executive team recognizes those “Skillets” who have gone above and beyond in demonstrating one of our core values. We’re thrilled to spotlight one of Q4’s Core Values Award winners, Jeffrey Richmond, for demonstrating Team Mindset. Congratulations, Jeff!
We took a few minutes to sit down with Jeff for a quick Q&A to learn more about what he loves about his role as a Product Manager and a few fun facts! (See all of our Core Values Award winner blog posts here.)
Q: You’ve been with Skilljar for more than four years—congrats! What drew you to Skilljar initially and do you have a favorite Skilljar memory you can share with us?
Skilljar was recommended to me by a few different people while I was looking to make the transition to another company from my previous employer. At that time, I was very interested in joining a startup to experience a working environment in which I could get to know and interact with everyone I worked with. Additionally, I really appreciated Skilljar’s mission of helping people learn.
One of my favorite memories at Skilljar would have to be from the days we were in an office and had a daily/hourly “handstand group” to get everyone’s blood flowing. It was not uncommon to see a group of Skillets upside down periodically throughout the day.
Q: You’re part of the Product team. What does a Product Manager do at Skilljar?
As a Product Manager, I focus on discovering and validating problems and opportunities that could help our customers do their jobs more effectively. This involves learning from our customers and prospects about what they do and what they need to be more successful, and then working with our team to define and prioritize changes to keep improving our product.
I enjoy owning the full product lifecycle from concept to adoption of my assignments to launch successful features. I also enjoy partnering with other teams internally, like Development, Customer Success, and Marketing, to define user stories, prioritize the team’s backlog, collaborate on feature implementation, and enable our internal teams to understand the release and help our customers get the most out of them.
Q: Your managers and teammates have commended you for your ability to support and enable other people’s tasks with selflessness and drive, and caring for the good of the team and our company over your own personal ego or goals. It’s clear that you’re passionate about supporting new product team members as they come onboard Skilljar. What’s been one of your most satisfying moments as a Product Manager?
As the team has grown significantly, it has been amazing to see some of the ideas and initiatives that have been on our minds for years (even predating my time) finally start to take shape and even become a part of our product.
It’s also quite satisfying when I get to hand off one of my focus areas/initiatives to other team members to drive to completion. I still continue to observe and consult on these areas, while also learning about the various ways our work in Product gets manifested. Seeing these features released and helping our customers achieve the outcomes they are looking for is always a good feeling.
I have also learned more from watching how my teammates approach problems I have spent time thinking about.
Q: You started out at Skilljar as an Implementation Manager in the Customer Success organization. Can you distinguish between the two roles and what led you to make a move to the Product team?
I joined the Implementation team as we were creating this function at Skilljar. This aspect of our customer success organization consults on the planning and tactical launch of a customer’s training program. In this role, I learned a lot about the ins and outs of how the Skilljar product works. Additionally, I obtained a deep understanding of what our customers’ pain points are, what they are able to solve with Skilljar, and what they would love to see in the future to continue to help provide value to their companies.
I had been curious about a role in Product Management prior to Skilljar. Having the ability to learn from and participate in some small initiatives while still on the Implementation team helped me understand that this type of work was something I wanted to keep doing. When the opportunity to move over to the product management team came, I was excited to take this on, learn more about the Product Management process, and continue to drive improvements for our customers and our team.
Q: Almost three years ago, Skilljar went fully remote. What’s your favorite thing about working for a remote-first company? Have you picked up any new hobbies during the pandemic?
Over the past year, I invested in a walking treadmill for my home workstation. I have always used standing desks (even back when we were in the office) but having the option to move all day while working has been amazing.
Q: Given that Skilljar is a learning platform, it’s no surprise that a lot of Skillets enjoy learning new things too! If you could become an expert in something overnight, what would it be?
I would love to be an expert in some type of string instrument. Live music is one of my favorite things and being able to immediately play an instrument and create music with others would be amazing.
Q: What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend for fun?
Skiing in the winter, running/hiking/mountain biking in the summer.
Thank you, Jeff! Congratulations on being named a Core Values Award recipient for Q4 2022! See who else was named a Core Values Award recipient for Q4 2022!