Having a good first day/first week/first month at a new company is key to an employee’s long-term success and happiness.
So, it’s critically important that the right person is there to welcome your new hires and make sure they start off with the best possible impression. The person who fills that role at PetRelocation is our three and a half year veteran, Rebecca Klenk.
Rebecca relishes new experiences. On the last weekend of March, she could be found on Town Lake paddling a kayak alongside our Client Care Manager, Bethany Tucker.
When telling the rest of the team about that outing, she mentioned how many Austin dogs were enjoying being out on the water in various floating devices. (No surprise, given how dog friendly Austin is.) Her descriptions were so vivid in our Monday morning team debrief, that no one should be surprised to see an uptick in PetRelocation staff following in Rebecca’s footsteps over the next few weeks!
As one of the busiest people in the office, supporting our team with information updates and educational materials in Salesforce when she is not conducting training, Rebecca is regularly booked in back-to-back meetings. But, excited about sharing her story at PetRelocation with our customers, fans and future employees, Rebecca found the time to relate the highlights of her time with the company and her thoughts about what it means to work here.
Why did you decide to apply to PetRelocation initially?
I had been job hunting for a quite some time and looking for an opportunity that I could be passionate about and grow from. After working in the service industry for 8 years, I was ready to be challenged and purpose driven.
When I saw the ad on Craigslist, I was highly intrigued and applied for a couple of postings hoping to learn more and see if there was a mutual fit. I was ready and excited to just get my foot in the door and start building a career around the amazing industry of pets and travel – my two favorite things! I had often romanticized the idea of having my own TV show and teaching people about the amazing world of animals and the countries they inhabit.
What’s your first memory of working at PetRelocation?
My first week was filled with training -- I was hired for a part-time support position, learning all the back end day to day tasks associated with the logistics of pet travel. I was hired in August, which is right in the peak of the pet travel season. So the sheer volume of tasks that needed to be accomplished along with the steep learning curve was what I remember most.
Rebecca and PetRelocation Consultant Maegan doing a pet pick-up
What would you say is the favorite part of your day at the office?
My favorite part of the office day-to-day is collaborating and building solutions with my co-workers. A great sense of accomplishment and pride comes out of recognizing challenges and overcoming them on a daily basis.
You started as a Departmental Assistant when you joined the company and now you help with improving our systems and processes as the company Trainer. What was it like making that role change?
Being a part of multiple role changes has always been exciting. I came in to the company not exactly sure how I wanted to progress in my career or how I wanted to make a bigger impact, but was always keeping an open mind. Working my way through multiple roles allowed me to not only learn an immense amount of knowledge about the industry itself, but also what it takes to be successful in multiple roles. I believe this ultimately empowered me to recognize my passion for training and enable me to apply for the position.
What do you think is the most challenging aspect of onboarding new hires and setting them up for success here?
One of the more challenging aspects of onboarding new hires is teaching them confidence and how to be the expert. Initially the majority of new hires will have little to no industry experience but are expected to work with clients in their first month. I remind our new hires that training here is not about knowing everything; it is about knowing your resources and how to use them. But by the end of the onboarding process, new hires are much more comfortable speaking with clients as the experience begins to match what they’ve been discussing for several months.
Rebecca & her dog Stryker
You have contributed to a lot of impactful changes in how we do things at PetRelocation. What project are you most proud to have been a part of to date?
There have been so many projects over the years, but the one I am most proud of would be developing our onboarding program. Structuring a 30-60-90 day plan for each new hire in a way that sets them up for success and allows the company to have a productive member of staff as quickly as they can learn is incredibly rewarding.
What do you think will change about pet travel in the next five years?
Pet travel will only become more and more of a trend. As the world continues to shift its awareness toward recognizing pets as members of the family, industry partners and vendors will work toward elevating the pet experience.
What advice do you have for people who want to join PetRelocation?
My advice is to be yourself! We have a lot of fun here but work really hard as a team. You won’t be successful here working as an island and operating on your own, so it is always in your best interest to be committed to the mutual fit and you won’t truly be able to determine that unless you are yourself.
What do you wish other people knew about the company?
I wish more people knew how much we strive toward excellence in everything we do. This includes our commitment to the client experience, to the way we establish processes, and even to our interview criteria. We are constantly working toward improving ourselves for a greater good.
What’s your best hidden talent?
I wasn’t sure of my hidden talent, but thinking on this question, I found out I can draw with my feet!
Stryker bringing his friendly vibe to the office
What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I enjoy quality time with my friends and family and of course my dog! But otherwise, I often find myself learning and enjoying new experiences -- whether through books, movies, music, practicing meditation, traveling, photography and everything else I find myself getting in to.
Say you have friends coming into Austin for the weekend. What one thing do they absolutely need to do or see so they can get the “Keep Austin Weird” experience?
I would tell my friends to just go out on the town! Working in bars on 6th street has really shown me what a melting pot this town is. It only takes a walk down the street to see all kinds of “weird” people.
Hollywood wants to make a movie about your life. Who do they cast to play you?
Well, I’ve been told I resemble Katharine McPhee from American Idol or Minka Kelly from Friday Night Lights. But considering this as a Hollywood movie, I think I would choose Katharine McPhee so my life could be told in song.