Mentor Day in the Life: Steph @ DoorDash

A Day in the Life

Skillful Mentor Steph currently works as a Senior Strategy & Operations Manager at DoorDash, the high-growth food delivery company.

Her week generally includes lots of cross-functional meetings, 1:1s and carve-outs for interviewing and meeting new hires 👇

A typical day in the life for Steph looks a little something like this...

8 AM: Wake up and check my phone. I start with Slacks and emails to triage for anything urgent or time sensitive, then spend a few minutes on non-work activity before getting out of bed. 📲

8:30 AM: If working from home, I try to squeeze in a 30 minute workout a few times a week before starting work. If commuting to the office (once a week), I spend 20 min commuting and 10 mins grabbing breakfast from a local coffee shop in Liberty Village (Toronto) before heading up to the office. 👟

9 AM: Set up my diffuser and settle into my desk. Check dashboards for operational performance yesterday and ping my team if anything looks off and warrants investigation. Clear out urgent emails and zero out my Slack messages. 

10 AM-noon: Focus time with no meetings. Fortunately, I’m on the east coast with a largely west coast-based team, so blocking off this big chunk of time daily doesn’t significantly impact my ability to collaborate with others. How I use this time varies, but generally includes working on specific deliverables ranging from planning, preparing for leadership reviews, doing SQL analysis, to providing feedback to my directs on their work.

12 PM: Lunch time - leftovers if at home, or open up my DoorDash app to order lunch if at the office (a nice work perk if coming into the office). Catch up on non-urgent emails about what other teams are working on (internal news, if you will) to stay up to date.

12:30 PM: Daily planning standup. We’re in the midst of annual planning right now, so we’re meeting frequently as a large cross-functional pod to hash out what we want to work on as a team next year and how we’ll achieve our aggressive goals. We use the OKR framework at DoorDash. 👥

1 PM: Weekly 1:1 meetings with my directs and my manager to review priorities for the week and discuss any blockers that may need help resolving. I space these out throughout the week as I have 4 directs to avoid having them all on the same day. 💬

2 PM: Weekly workstream meeting to review progress last week, whether we’re on or off track, and how to accelerate (if on track) or get back to plan (if off track). These progress updates are critical to ensure we’re tracking well to the aggressive goals we set.

2:30 PM: Interview - At DoorDash, hiring is everyone’s responsibility, whether you are a hiring manager or not. I’m currently hiring, so I am spending at least 30% of my week on phone screens, evaluating take-home assessments (a critical part of the S&O interview process), and interviews. Getting actively involved makes the whole process faster and more effective.

3 PM: Weekly product/engineering meeting, focused on reviewing the progress of product-specific initiatives across all workstreams. (We don’t have a product ops role on my team, so S&O is very actively involved in working with our product/eng teams. It’s one of my favourite parts of the job!)

3:03 PM: Sneak downstairs to make my afternoon strawberry matcha latte while listening to the first few minutes of the call from my phone, before heading back to my desk. 🤫

4 PM: S&O leadership meeting to share knowledge with other leads and get critical updates that I’ll later disseminate to my team.

4:30 PM: Holiday ops planning. Christmas is coming up, so we’re meeting to prepare for what operations will look like and ensure that our customers have a great experience despite all the challenges that come with running our business on a holiday.

5 PM: Intro meeting with a new hire. Given the pace at which we’re hiring, there’s almost always a new hire to meet every week. Part of our onboarding process is encouraging new hires to set up intro calls with different people that they may end up working with, even if indirectly, as a way to better understand the matrixed team dynamics and build your network internally. You never know when your work might overlap with someone else’s, so it’s always good to have a rolodex of sorts of who’s who. 📞

6 PM: Time for a break! (A side effect of my morning focus time is nearly no breaks in the afternoon due to all the meetings I need to cram in.) Either do a quick workout if I didn’t fit one in in the morning, commute back home, or have dinner. 

7 PM: Wrap up any work or lingering Slack messages. The time I end work varies seasonally and depending on how our metrics and projects are trending, but I try to ensure I’m only working late (past 9PM) no more than half the week. 

8 PM: Giving back to the community via Skillful! 💚

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