WorkStep Team & News

My Steps To WorkStep: A Story of Finding Your Voice

March 29, 2022

RESOURCES My Steps To WorkStep: A Story of Finding Your Voice

Welcome to our March edition of “My Steps to WorkStep.” Each month we feature a member of the WorkStep team and dive into their role and what led them to it, tips for applicants, and a fun fact about them.  This month we talked to Jessa Graves, our Operations Lead, who sits in Portland, OR. She shared her journey to find the tech startup world and the impact that had on her career trajectory. Jessa also reflected on the importance of finding and using your voice to implement changes you want to see within your organization.

What is your role at WorkStep?

My title is Operations Lead. Right now my focus is on the people team. So working on lots of people initiatives. For instance, I’m working on our team’s offsite, working on a program for folks to gather in workspaces, working on an employer branding strategy – things that relate to our team and their experience.

What is your typical workday like?

As of late it’s been a fair amount of research and evaluation, and making recommendations. And from there putting a plan together to execute them. It’s a pretty zoomed out lens, but day-to-day is working on one of those steps in the process of executing on a new program or initiative.

What was your path to this role like?

Going far back, I left a 7-year career in the natural food industry. I joined my first startup, it was a cloud-based point-of-sale system. All the while I was the first hire of a teeny-tiny Fintech startup and eventually stopped working for the other startup and just made the Fintech startup my main focus. That was my intro into the tech world and the startup world, and then later I found myself at a vegan cheese company startup, which is one of the most Portland things I’ve ever said.  And then from there, I found WorkStep. So I left an industry where I felt like I didn’t have the growth that I wanted, and found the tech industry where I really valued not only the progressive ethos of the companies, but the potential growth. I have also kind of always been in operations in one way or another, so also realizing that those skills are just completely transferable to really any industry. And then, here I am, almost 4 years later.

Do you have any tips for aspiring WorkSteppers?

I would say, your feedback is invaluable. The more you are willing to give, the better. Things happen, changes can be made when you put yourself out there and communicate to your leadership. Your feedback is important and it matters.

What is something people may not know about you?

I am in a band, and we are releasing an album this year! That is what I do when I am not WorkStepping. So right now I manage the band in parallel with a booking agent, and I am the songwriter, the vocalist and the guitar player. We’re a three-piece post-punk band.

What advice would you give to your past self?

Kind of in line with telling aspiring WorkSteppers that their voice matters, I would tell myself that my voice matters. I would also tell myself to ask for help sooner, I think that has been an area of growth for me. And it’s okay to make mistakes. Those three things would have been very helpful to know as my younger self.

What do you enjoy the most about being a WorkStepper?

I’ve been on a couple of panel interviews these past two weeks, and when I’m introducing myself I often tell people that I’ve been here for almost four years and my role by nature is often cross-functional / can involve anything, so I pretty much have my hand in every aspect of the business. I really enjoy the unique projects and problems that I have the opportunity of solving and/or helping other folks solve through collaboration. It’s exciting to get to work on new things all the time. I’m constantly learning, which is also really neat.

We are hiring

If you would be interested in learning more about open job opportunities at WorkStep, please visit our careers page. We’d love to hear from you!

Kristina Finn

Kristina Finn, Content Marketing Manager |