Headshot of a woman (Jean) with a blue and purple gradient background


A day in the life of Jean—a Product Manager @ Zeal

We had the pleasure of sitting down with an early-stage Product Manager at Zeal—Jean to learn more about what her day-to-day life is like here.

Headshot of author, a woman with glasses and red lipstic

Grace Turner

NOVEMBER 23, 2021

Jean's Stats

Full Name: Jean Yu

Past Positions: Various roles from product and design to analyst and associate in industries ranging from fintech to digital healthcare.

Hometown: Seattle, WA ☔️

Interests and Hobbies: When I’m not at work I love getting outside to rock climb! Also, smash burgers. 🍔

On a day-to-day basis, what are your responsibilities and priorities as a product manager?

Every day is different! But there are a couple of things that are a part of my everyday work routine regardless of what else is going on.

👀 Checking in on recently launched features

We recently launched some really exciting new features. I make sure to make time to check on usage, potential issues, and customer feedback on those on a regular basis.

💻 QA

We’re working on a full redesign of our app. We’re an API-first company but for customers that have limited development resources or want to stand up their payroll service quickly, we offer a product with our own UI. In an effort to make our UI more consistent and usable, we’ve built a design system with all new UI components and are rebuilding all our app pages. I normally spend some time every day reviewing design wireframes, QAing newly built pages, and syncing up with the dev team and design team on any blockers.

🚀 Executing Q2 roadmap projects
  • We’re in the middle of Q2 so the product team is busy executing on all the projects our team set out to implement in this quarter. That looks like a lot of things for a PM here, mostly documenting requirements, working with design and development teams to identify jobs to be done, and project managing projects in work.
  • Working with customer-facing teams on comms for features that will be launching soon
🔎 Discovery for Q3 roadmap projects
  • Thinking about what we’re building next!
  • We’re always looking for new opportunities for our product to add more value to our customers. That could look like new features and products, or improvements to our existing services. I really enjoy the part of my day where I get to dig deep into research and look for new opportunities for our product.
☎️ On-call week
  • The PMs at Zeal take turns being on-call
  • On our on-call weeks, we’re working with our on-call engineer lead to triage bugs, incidents, and other on-call tasks.

On the days you do come to the office what is the first thing you do?

  • Coffee ☕️☕️
  • Pet dogs if anyone’s brought them into the office 🐶
  • Check-in on the previous evening's deploys to ensure bug fixes or new features went out smoothly 💪

What is the product team culture like at Zeal? Any traditions?

The Zeal product culture is heavy on documentation.

Written communication is really important here for so many reasons.

It’s a way to get all stakeholders aligned on product vision

Many of our team members are remote and clearly written docs are a great way to asynchronously communicate

It’s what all other teams use to determine what work their teams need to complete in order to build this new feature, for example

  • Design uses it to create wireframes
  • The development team uses it to put together technical design specs
  • Customer-facing teams use it to write public comms

Most importantly, documentation is so vital for the journey of a PM to determine what’s in the scope of a project and what the customer experience will ultimately be. It’s a way of really scrutinizing and getting clear on the requirements for a new feature.

Product team traditions

Our team really celebrates all the wins, big and small. There’s an internal Slack channel that the product team uses to communicate to the whole org when a new feature is going to launch. We include a little overview and a demo of the feature. People get really excited about those posts! Lots of celebratory, and often custom, emojis. The product team is pretty loud about how proud we are of each other's hard work. It makes you feel really supported.

Any big projects or goals you’re currently working on?

One project I’m particularly excited about is rebuilding our onboarding experience! We’ve learned so much about our user's journey between looking for payroll providers and going live with a payroll partner. Finding the right payroll provider for your business is a big decision so it’s critical that we provide a smooth onboarding experience and demonstrate our value add right away.

What advice would you have for any PM who is considering joining #teamzealot aka Zeal?

Bring questions and don’t be afraid to ask about the culture! Interviewing is about both parties trying to find the right fit, so you’re interviewing us too. We’re a pretty transparent group of folks here and we’re more than happy to help you determine if we’re a good fit for you. Also, apply even if you don’t check all the boxes.

Thanks for sharing Jean it was fun to learn more about your work and day-to-day life here as a PM and we can't wait to see how much you as a Product Manager and person grow during your time here!

Interested in becoming a Zealot 🦓

💻 Apply for a product role ➡️ Our Careers Page

The article was written by Grace Turner (she/her) Lead Recruiter about Jean Yu (she/her) Product Manager here @ Zeal

Share Post:

Twitter logo

Launch your own payroll service now.