My Name Is Steve Dagless — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
I have always known that the pursuit of money for money’s sake will ultimately result in unhappiness. My parents taught me these values. The messages were clear — if you value something, work hard, and make informed choices, then you will create opportunities that deliver intrinsic value.
If you get paid well for it too, then great. But the work itself is what you will remember and enjoy.
My dad is an emeritus professor at the University of Bristol and my mum was always at home doing the hardest work of all, looking after the kids. Dad lives out these values each day, choosing not to take up higher-paid opportunities in the industry in favor of the rewards he treasures working in academic research.
It sounds corny, but when I left university, I wanted to get a job where I could give back and help other students who perhaps felt that they didn’t achieve as well as they could in school.
So I followed in my father’s footsteps and trained to become an instructor in the further education sector. My dad’s subject was digital electronics, so we always had computers around the house right back in the 1980s. It was a natural progression for me to become an education consultant working with local government to implement career guidance and planning software.
After taking a career break to travel with my wife, a recruiter matched my CV to a role at a company building management information software for independent schools. And so, I got my first job as a product manager. I loved product management because of the variety and autonomy of tasks and skills involved.
Most of all, I loved talking to customers — learning about what they really needed and how we could help them to be successful.
Years later, after joining an email archive migration company, I found myself looking for tools to practice product management more effectively. I knew we needed to significantly improve the transition between strategy and implementation. In my search, I found the community of product managers at Roadmap.com and saw a job thread that included an open position as a Customer Success Manager at Aha!
I signed up for an Aha! trial and loved what I saw. As I researched more, I knew Aha! was the place for me. The values tied in so closely to my own. I read the stories of team members such as Scott Goldblatt and Donna Sawyer and thought, “Wow! These guys are seriously impressive!”
Since joining Aha!, I have enjoyed injecting my personality into my work, sharing product management best practices, and building relationships with our customers in a professional yet relaxed manner.
In many ways, my work at Aha! is the culmination of all my professional experiences and personal ethos. When I learned that a core focus of Lovability — Aha! CEO Brian de Haaff’s book for product and company builders — was grandpa-inspired business practices, I had to smile.
It was my parents, my children’s grandparents, who gave me my values. I feel proud to work for a company that validates the values I hold dear.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.