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Career Story: Chief Operating Officer Of A Software Company

Chief Operating Officer Of A Software Company

Job Title: COO Of A Small Software Business

Type of Company: My company created a computer software program for subscription management. We are the sole suppliers of our product. We also provide technical support and product updates for our customers.

Education: BS, Mathematics, MIT

Previous Experience: After teaching for several years I went to work for a magazine publishing company. In this job I learned about subscription management. I also had the opportunity to work with computers and databases.

Job Tasks: Being the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of a small company requires me to be familiar with the job responsibilities of all of the company's other employees. Even though I may not be able to do everyone's jobs (for example, I am not a programmer) I have to be knowledgeable about their responsibilities. At least once a year I sit down with each employee and have a one-on-one conversation about how they are performing. Obviously this requires that I stay tuned-in to their performance.

There are times when I have to fill in for people who are out of the office. I find that this helps me to understand the day-to-day pressures that my co-workers deal with.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Sometimes a customer will be so impressed with either our product or the services we provide that he or she will call or email me just to say something nice. One of the best things I get to do is share this information with the employee(s) responsible for the customer's satisfaction.

The worst part of my job is having to deal with people who do not own up to their responsibilities. There have been times when I have had to deal with employees who did not do their jobs well. I never mind helping someone who wants to learn but I get very frustrated when anyone tries to avoid doing his job.

Job Tips: Work in an industry that you are interested in. You will probably end up spending a major portion of your adult life working, so doing something you enjoy makes life more enjoyable.

It may seem like an old-fashioned notion, but treat your job like you owned the company.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. When I first started with my current employer I would always ask our customers questions about how they were using our product. I

Additional Thoughts: Being a good manager means knowing your people, but that is not the same as being social friends.

Remember to compliment your co-workers when they are working hard. It is amazing how much better everyone does when their work is appreciated.

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