From Bar Manager to Office Queen
At TrustYou, we come together from across the globe and from very diverse cultures and backgrounds. While we all work towards the same goal, our differences is what makes our team unique and our interactions exciting.
We recently sat down with our Office Manager in Munich, Danielle Williamson, to learn more about her interesting background, her previous job, and the transition from it to her new position within the TrustYou team.
1. What were the major drivers for changing your career and leaving the bar space for an office environment?
Various factors really. I thought it would be nice to find a line of work that combines my hospitality background with my other previous experience in administration and organization and a place where I can actually contribute and make a difference. Although the constant action in the hospitality and hotel industry is very exciting and admittedly good for keeping you in physical shape and keeping you on your toes mentally, it is a bit exhausting after a while. You burn bright but you burn out fast. I also wanted to get back into an office environment, to join the world of the day-walkers again, and to have regular hours and a social life.
2. What was your biggest challenge at the beginning, when you started working for TrustYou?
First of all, it was tough getting up in the morning to go to work as my body clock was still on night-shift mode. However, I joined the company right after the headquarters moved buildings and there was a bit of unfinished business that I inherited. The circumstances around my arrival meant I really didn’t get much of an onboarding so I just had to jump in, wing it, learn my basic tasks, and deal with whatever came up, one step at a time. I would still say I am learning, but it is never dull.
3. Which skills did you learn during your time as a bartender that now help you in your role as an Office Manager?
You learn how to react very quickly and calmly to things, how to prioritize what needs to be immediately taken care of and what can wait. Also, how not to take things personally when you strike difficult people or situations. When there is a huge crazy rush in a bar or restaurant or biergarten (which I have also worked in) you don’t have time to think or panic, you try to prep as much as you can before the rush, so when the wave hits you, you just grab a board and surf.
4. In what way is managing an office different or comparable to managing a bar?
Managing an office is generally less stressful - that is not to say that it doesn’t get busy but it’s a different kind of stress. Also the people can be much kinder and more relaxed. The things you have handle when managing an office tend not to be things that need to be rushed or taken care of right that minute. You have time to think about tasks and how you will approach them. It is not such a reactive environment.
5. What do you enjoy most about this career change?
Pretty much everything. On a superficial level, the only real downside is the weight gain and lack of muscle tone from not spending 12-13 hours continuously on my feet, running around (often up and down stairs), carrying loaded trays of food or big glasses of beer - all on an empty stomach because you don’t have time to eat.
6. You’ve traveled a lot, lived in multiple countries and places - what made you stay in Munich?
Munich was the first city in Germany I visited as a tourist and then later came to live here and I still have friends from back then who I hang out with today. I loved it immediately and I consider it my German home town. It is very pretty, clean, safe, close to beautiful scenery like mountains and lakes and if you like to travel is it a convenient place to base yourself as well.
7. Is there anything radically different in terms of your expectations how office life compares to a nightlife job?
Not really since I had worked in office jobs before. I anticipated the type of environment but I wasn’t expecting it to be as open and friendly as it is.
8. At the heart of TrustYou - regarding products and teams - is our very vivid feedback culture. Would you have any advice on how to give and receive feedback?
For receiving feedback: Listen. Listening and showing that you are listening without interrupting is very important. Even if you do not agree with what the person is saying it is important to hear them out, not take it personally, and not be already forming verbal responses in your head to argue back with them. In the case of a guest complaints that would pop up in hospitality, I would also summarize what the guest/customer said back to them to make sure I understood the issue correctly and so that I could offer an appropriate solution quickly. For giving feedback: try to take any emotions out of what you are saying so that the people receiving the feedback can concentrate on the facts that you are trying to communicate. There is a saying that goes something like: ‘Before you open your mouth, run it through three filters: is what I am saying true, is it necessary, and is it kind?’. I think this is a very good rule of thumb to work by.