Powered by People Like Jess 01/23/2020

Jess interviewed with EWEB on Halloween 12 years ago, and there couldn't have been a more perfect day to make it clear it was a great next step in her career.

"I interviewed for a senior office assistant position with residential energy management. I had a zombie on the interview panel and had my skills test with a mummy," says Jess. "And I thought, this is the place for me."

Jess was coming off of a rewarding, but stressful job as office manager with Lane County animal control and knew she needed the right mix of feeling like she was showing up for her community, but also able to show up for herself-as herself.

"I have some anxiety," says Jess. "There were a lot of great adoption stories with Lane County, but it was also a really challenging job for me. I had to take leave, and ultimately decided I couldn't go back. You might not want to share that part of the story."

Jess pauses, and then reconsiders. "No. Actually, share it. People should know that you can manage anxiety and be professional in the workplace. We need to talk about that kind of stuff more. You can also have pink hair," she laughs.

And that's Jess. In her current position as an administrative assistant for a number of teams including customer service, accounts receivable, advanced meter services, continuous improvement and the diversity team, Jess supports team success, and she does so as 100%-authentic-this-is-me Jess.

"I like showing up for other people, making decisions that make sense and have our customer-owners in mind," says Jess. "I also believe happy workers are more efficient, effective and provide better service. There's room for hard work and fun."

In customer service Jess started the "coordination station" where staff who accidentally show up in coordinating-or sometimes fully matching-outfits take fun photos and post them on a bulletin board. She also started the practice of "gratitude cards," which have spread throughout the utility. Messages of thanks and gratitude are printed on small colorful cards with a blank side for staff to write a personalized message to a colleague.

"They are visual reminders letting people know we appreciate them and how special someone thinks they are. If you're having a tough day, you can read those words and remember you are bringing something to the table." says Jess.

Jess brings a lot to the table, and for that we are grateful.

Thank you Jess for your role in providing customers with vital services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.