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Zappos Milestone: Profiles of 10 Employees

From free lunches to personal improvement, Zappos team members reflect on the best things about working at an Internet phenom.

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Vanessa Lawson, lead trainer.

Photo By Jim Laurie

Vanessa Lawson, lead trainer

Joined: 2007 as facilities assistant, shipping and receiving
Responsibilities then/now: “I was hired as a temp in the shipping and receiving department. I moved to the content team, where I wrote descriptions for outdoor products, then made another move to the training department, called the Pipeline team. We’re responsible for creating and delivering classes [for employee advancement]. I’m currently an instructor for Zappos’ company culture, history and prospective [company growth] and public-speaking courses.”
Biggest change: “We offer more than 10 classes for employees [to help them advance] within their departments. It’s an incredible initiative to roll out courses created for [employee advancement].”
Favorite perk: “We are all encouraged to be ourselves. On a daily basis I hear employees’ stories about how they worked for companies where they felt beaten down by their managers, were unhappy with the environment and felt like they needed to fit in to the company mold. I love watching employees come out of their shells and really find themselves here.” 
Lesson learned: “I found a passion for people, not necessarily for shoes. I really believe Zappos has revolutionized the online shoe business and has been the leading innovator throughout the years.”

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