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Beyond the Job: Product and Engineering Team

Our “Beyond the Job” blog series gives you insight into what it’s like to work at Shiftgig. Learn about different positions at the company, our culture and more! Today, we’re speaking with Jill Swanson, our Product Manager in Chicago. Welcome, Jill!



How long have you been a Product Manager?

I have been in Product Management for the last five years. I started out in more of a product analyst role and gradually assumed more responsibility through building out business requirements for products and working with engineers and designers to build them. Now, I am a Product Manager at Shiftgig!

What's your favorite part about being a Product Manager?

You have the distinct role of helping improve the lives of your end users, while ensuring that your operation is scalable over time. Particularly, at a high-growth company like Shiftgig, you will become familiar with all the needs and wants of your users as well as the process of nearly every internal team within your company. Unending curiosity is a definite requirement for this job!

Can you briefly describe your day-to-day activities?

Most of my work is collaborative in some shape or form. This means I am working with some cross section of business stakeholders and design/UX and engineering teams to push a product through to launch. If a project is just getting kicked off, I might be meeting with a combination of clients, Specialists or internal Shiftgig employees to learn about their needs and get a sense of what we should be building. I could also be reviewing the initial design approach that our UX team has created to ensure it’s helping us achieve the objective of the project. Or I could be helping guide the technical planning for how our Engineering team will build it.

Additionally, I am doing other tasks independently such as writing up documentation or doing analysis. Documentation may include writing Scope documents, end-user testing scripts, or marketing materials. Analysis might include determining which metrics we want to measure a project’s success will be successful or building a business case for why we should tackle a new project.

What has been your biggest learning experience in this role?

Honing my ability to prioritize. When you have a backlog a mile long of all the exciting things you need to build, you have to focus on solving the highest-priority problems and actively choosing to tackle the rest later

Can you share a story about your most successful or exciting moment on the job?

There are moments when you see that your work is having a tangible impact and that it’s actually bringing joy to someone. Recently I saw a social media post from one of our Specialists. She had taken of a screenshot of the email she received when a client marked her as an all-star after she did a great job for them on a shift. She talked about how excited she was to have gotten all-starred. This email did not take a whole lot of effort for us to build, but in this moment it was clear that it had a positive impact on her. That’s the kind of moment that you want to build more of as a product person.

What are the key attributes for success for your position or within the Product team?

First and foremost, having the ability to get to the root cause of your users’ problems as well as operational ones so you can solve them most effectively. Second, having unending curiosity and interest in learning about every aspect of our business. Third, being willing to do whatever tasks it takes to get your product launched and to ensure it’s a success.

Finally, being committed to improving the work lives of our Specialists and providing a smarter way for companies to get the help they need to operate most efficiently. This truly drives what I do and I can confidently say the same about everyone who helps build our products here at Shiftgig!

Does this type of position sound like a good fit for you? If so, check out our corporate job opportunities for the product and engineering team here. We’d love to have you on our team!

September 26, 2016 | Tricia Cagua