Hi, I’m Lindsay Konsko (@lindsayk)! I’m the head of User Operations at NerdWallet, a financial technology company whose mission is to provide clarity for all of life’s financial decisions. Basically, if you have a question about your personal finances, we can answer it!
I lead a small, fully remote team of Nerds who do a kick-ass job of helping our members use our product successfully and make good financial decisions. While I do some direct work with members, most of my day typical days are spent making sure that my team has everything they need so that they can do their best work with our members.
This means that I spend most of my days engaged in strategy or other high-level planning. I also spend a lot of time working directly with my team members or our fellow Nerds in the San Francisco office to share information, offer guidance or otherwise advocate for our members.
Here’s what a day in my life looks like:
My alarm goes off for the first time. I snooze it a couple of times before actually waking up.
I scroll through my email and check Slack on my phone to see if anything pressing needs my attention. Most of the NerdWallet’s employees are located in our San Francisco office, and my team members are all on the west coast. Since I’m on the east coast, I usually wake up to a fair number of messages that came through after I ended my workday on the day prior.
I make myself an iced red eye and do a little bit of work on a consulting project. I’ve started doing some management coaching with new support managers, and the work is incredibly rewarding. I’m looking forward to doing more of this in the future.
Fuel for the day ahead
Time to dive into my NerdWallet email inbox. Email (along with Slack and Zoom) is one of the main ways that I connect with my team and other Nerds as a remote employee, so I spend a fair amount of time on it each day. I find that I express myself best in writing, so I don’t mind.
Dive into the ticket queue and respond to a few messages from members. We answer members’ questions about how our product works, but we also help members understand their credit scores, offer credit card recommendations, help people manage their debt, and much more. Finances are confusing and scary for a lot of people, and I take the responsibility to respond with care to each message very seriously.
I chip away at a project I’ve been working with in conjunction with HR to revamp our team’s job architecture. It’s hard work, but it’s really important to me that my team understands how they can grow their careers in support at our company.
I also take intermittent breaks to say “good morning” to each of my team members on Slack. We have a habit of sending morning-themed giphys to each other every day as a way of saying “hi, I’ve signed on for the day.” It’s a fun ritual that I hope we never tire of!
I jump into a Zoom meeting with a couple of engineering managers to discuss how we’re going to upgrade and maintain one of our internal support tools. I’m really lucky that I have so much HQ-based support for the work our team does.
Lunch time! I take a break and dig into some leftover Indian food.
I highly recommend the frozen naan from Trader Joe’s to stretch out leftover Indian food
I don’t have any 1:1s today (rare!) so I take my afternoon La Croix out to the porch and spend some time before my next meeting working on a couple of different tasks.
One of them is an internal knowledge base resource, mostly for other Nerds who need information about who to contact on our team for different types of requests. The other is planning an initiative for NerdWomen, one of the employee resource groups I’m involved with at my company.
View from my porch – I love working outside when I can
I move back inside for a Zoom meeting with a few of my fellow Nerds in SF to discuss the launch of a new product feature, and the best way for my team to support it. I take a lot of notes so that I can relay the relevant details back to my team.
My cat, Gloria (named after feminist icon Gloria Steinem) is by my side the whole time. She never helps me with the note-taking, though…
Gloria in her usual spot on the couch, with her usual grumpy expression
Time for a snack-and-chat with one of my team members. It’s important to me that even though we’re a remote team, we spend time connecting with each other personally. One of the ways we do this is by planning regular “snack and chats” with each other.
A snack-and-chat is a 15-minute Zoom meeting where we don’t talk about work things. We grab a snack, jump on a video call with one of our team members, and chit chat about books we’re reading, shows we’re watching, what we’re doing over the weekend, etc. It’s fun!
Spend some time responding to team members’ questions in various Slack channels and working with one of my team members, a PM and a couple of engineers to root out a bug.
This is the kind of conversation that can take a while, but ultimately benefits both my team and our members because we’ve gotten to the source of problem and know how to move forward. It’s a good example of why I tell my consulting clients that support managers shouldn’t allocate 100% of their time – you need at least 10% of your time unallocated so that you can deal with issues as they pop up.
Team meeting time. I get together with my team once per week to share certain types of information, have discussions, and align on stuff.
I’m a firm believer that meetings can be a good use of time if they’re planned and executed properly. I generally don’t conduct meetings unless there’s a clear agenda and goals, and the goals I’ve identified can’t be achieved efficiently via email/Slack.
Time to start wrapping up for the day. I circle back to Slack and email and respond to everything I can before signing off for the day.
The truth is, I often struggle with being disciplined about really signing off by 6:00 PM. This is an issue for a lot of remote workers, regardless of how much the company culture encourages work/life balance (which NerdWallet absolutely does). It’s hard to ever really feel “done” when you work from home, but I’m working on it.