Please introduce yourself.
Hi, my name is Joe Williams and I’m the Office and People Experience Manager at Wonolo in San Francisco. The Experience Team at Wonolo focuses on providing the Whammies (employees of Wonolo) a comfortable, enjoyable environment to work in.
What events in your life have brought you to your current role today?
I was in the army from 2009 to 2015 and was an Aviation Operations Specialist. That job entailed many things, but mainly we made sure that aircraft went off safely and returned safely, as well as managing an aviation office and unit operations. It’s somewhat similar to what I’m doing now. One of the main things that you learn is responsibility. You need to be able to admit your fault and correct the mistakes. I had to remember that I was taking care of myself, but also the team around me.
Once I got out of the military, I was looking for what I was going to do next and what my journey was going to be. Someone told me that I should look into office management. I found a drone company in Berkeley and they had a position open. I decided to apply considering I was already in aviation. The experience at that company opened my eyes to the potential of what could come from being in a position or a role like that. The effect an office manager can have on a company and its people provides is immense! I could provide an experience that allows them to not just fulfill their work, but be happy at work. I was able to help them be able to do the best they can in an environment that makes them feel at home.
When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?
When I have to make a difficult decision, what do I lean on? I would say perspective. I think that it’s easy to look at things in one way, but I try to see them from different angles. What the positive is, what the negative is, and what my options are. Then make the best decision from there. I think that it’s very easy to get overwhelmed with a negative situation or distracted by a positive one. Leaning on that perspective will push you forward in a positive direction.
What is one life advice you can give to anyone?
You have more power than you know, and you need to own your power. What I mean by that is that sometimes I think like we don’t feel like we have control over a situation. Being able to speak up, voice your opinions, and express your emotions help to present your power. Being able to display your own power will give you a lot more leverage in different situations. It’s really important that we speak up and that we put ourselves in situations that make us feel comfortable. If we’re in situations that might not necessarily make us feel comfortable, speak up and say so. It’s not so much of what you say, but how you say it.
It can also go both ways. You could be in a situation where you are down talking to yourself and making yourself feel like you’re not good enough. People shouldn’t do that to themselves. Always make sure that you give yourself credit and continue to work hard. Own your power in the situation!
Please finish this sentence: If you really knew me, you would know that ______.
If you really knew me, you would know that I’ve played baseball for 17 years. I was a pretty good baseball player, but it turned out it wasn’t really my thing. That’s how I ended up in the military. I still play softball today.