Hi, My name is Connie. I sit in Dallas, Texas, and I am the market manager for the Northwest region that encompasses North Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Washington state. I work with Requestors on the ground to ensure their success on our platform, which can mean a variety of things. I troubleshoot issues that are happening on site, as well as providing fill rate support. I am an internal advocate for our Wonoloer community within these markets and regions. I also make sure that we are making the right strategic growth decisions to ensure that these markets are growing in a way that is positively impacting both the Wonoloer community as well as our marketplace Requestor community.
What events in your life have brought you to your current role today?
How I came to be where I’m at today and why Wonolo’s mission means so much to me can be traced back to when I was a child. I am a first generation Asian American. I’m the daughter of two immigrant parents that emigrated to America in the 80’s as refugees. When you grow up in that environment, you’re not only a child at that point, but you’re also your parents’ interpreter, their accountant, their assistant and more. My sister and I were writing checks and applying to jobs for them. We were even writing their resumes, as much as a 10 year old knows how to. We were doing all of that in grade school.
One of the memories I can vividly remember is when my dad had been laid off from a company and a few days later he was already working at a different company. I didn’t fill out that application for him, so I thought it was so strange. I asked him, “Dad, how did you find this job?” He said, “Well, actually, there’s a company out there that you give them your resume, and based on your qualifications, they place you at a company that needs your help, but it’s temporary. It’s only for two weeks, but at least in those two weeks I’ll be able to pay the bills.” As a first generation child, you’re thinking, this is amazing! I can play outside. I can read books now. I don’t have to worry about doing job applications for my parents. That was my first introduction into staffing. My dad’s two week stint at that company actually turned into two months, and then he was able to find a company that did very similar work. He was hired there and worked at that company for 17 years up until the point that he retired a few years back. Staffing did that for him and it helped so much!
When you grow up and you see your parents work minimum wage jobs and earn $7.25 or $8 an hour and barely are able to provide things like safe housing and the necessities, you want to break out of that mold. When I went to college, I thought that I would work in nonprofits. I wanted to impact change, and help families like myself. So when I was in college at San Diego State, I interned at a nonprofit that helped refugee children and families in America. I was there for three years. The change was slow, and I think nonprofits are amazing in their own right. However, the change was slower than I wanted to see. That’s when I changed my major to entrepreneurship because I wanted to impact change really fast and in a big way. After I graduated school, I moved to San Francisco, worked in startups, moved back to Texas and continued to work in startups, and then Wonolo found me two years ago. When I interviewed with amazing people at our company, such as our CEO Yong. That’s when my dad’s story resurfaced for me. I related so much of Wonolo’s mission to my own. I saw that Wonolo was helping folks that looked not so dissimilar to how I grew up. Wonolo’s mission was and still is to improve lives every step of the way, so that people can provide for their families. It starts with paying the bills, education, and then moving towards a more sustainable, stable life. This not only helps families, but the actual person who is making incremental changes. That’s what my parents were able to do for us, and that’s what I want to do for others. I see that when I visit client sites and I talk to our Wonoloer community that a lot of their wishes for their own children are exactly the same as my parents. It’s amazing how it came full circle. That’s what led me to Wonolo and why I feel so strongly about not only helping my Requestors, but also the Wonoloer community on our platform.
When you have to make a difficult decision, what do you lean on?
When I have to make a difficult decision, I always go back to the intent behind it and I ask questions, such as:
Am I going to make a positive impact?
Am I going to improve a process?
Is it to streamline something new?
What are the negative long term effects?
What are the positive effects?
Have I thought about what could happen in the short and long term?
I think about these questions, my intentions, and the consequences. If the positive effects line up with my intention of what the decision is supposed to solve, then that’s the right answer for me.
If there’s still a crossroads, I will ask co-workers, friends, and people in my personal life for their feedback. I think it’s important to gather different viewpoints, but not too many or else I just become indecisive. I also make sure that there’s alignment between intention and impact.
What is one piece of life advice you can give to anyone?
The biggest life advice I could give anyone is you never have to worry about being the smartest person, the most analytical, or the loudest speaker. You just have to be the person that cares the most. Think about it in terms of your personal and professional life. Your friends that are closest to you in your personal life are probably folks that care the most. In your professional life, the folks at your company that are doing really well are the people who are putting a lot of intention and care into the work they do. They care about the mission. They care about their teammates, their co-workers, and the projects they’re working on. Pick something you care about. Invest in it. Cultivate your learning, and improve each day. You’ll be sure to see your life flourish into something beautiful.
If you really knew me, you would know that…
If you really knew me, you would know that I’m a self proclaimed expert hobbyist. I know a little about a lot of different random hobbies. For instance, cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, painting, furniture making, jewelry making, fashion design, alcohol brewing, painting, gardening are all hobbies I know a little bit about.
In all of those different hobbies, I know how to start and complete projects. I’m always within that amateur to intermediate level. I never reach the next echelon of expert level for any of these things. You can call me a Jane of all trades of random crafts. I have all the supplies to do these things. Hopefully, I’ll pick one hobby to become an expert in, but so far it’s nice to know a little about a lot in terms of hobbies and fun things to do around the house.