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How This Office Manager Transitioned Into a Dream Job in Less Than a Year

By October 27, 2017 January 3rd, 2022 2 Comments

Think of it as the role that gives you access to every department within a company.

Whether it’s Operations, Marketing, Finance, or HR, working as the Office Manager means you’re working with multiple teams every day to make sure the office is running smoothly.

For some Office Managers, this can also lead to discovering a new role within the company that excites them and choosing to pursue that.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. Landing the gig in the first place can be a major challenge, and succeeding in the role takes the right mindset and a precise mix of skills.

So what’s the secret?

Maxwell Fiedel is here to tell you.


Max is the former Office Manager and current Supply Chain Manager of Field Trip Jerky. Based in Brooklyn, Field Trip makes delicious grass-fed, gluten free meat snacks.

For Max, working at Field Trip really is a dream come true. Right away he was able to have a huge impact on a brand he loves, all while discovering the next step his career would take.

(PS – If you’re an Office Manager, join our private FB Group here. It’s is a place to connect, collaborate, and share advice on how to overcome the wide spectrum of challenges you face in your role.)

Here’s how Max got the attention of the folks at Field Trip, the number one skill that helped him succeed in the Office Manager role, and how he transitioned from Office Manager to his current role of Supply Chain Manager in less than a year.


How were you first introduced to the Field Trip brand?

maxwell-fiedel-small“I moved to New York about four years ago. I was bartending in New York and trying to make a living as a musician. It still hadn’t panned out the way I had hoped it might.

But the bartending restaurant industry here in New York is very taxing physically, mentally, and spiritually. I left that industry to try something [else]…. I wanted a nine to five, the salary, benefits. All that stuff.

I got what was supposed to be a short gig at a company called Bonobo’s, a clothing company. And I fell in love with this culture at this place and I ended up working very hard to get hired.

[The company] basically camped every year [as an employee retreat]. They went to New Hampshire and they bring like 100 of the employees.

So I went to the camp and I’m unloading stuff and I open up this box, unlabeled, and inside of it is a bunch of Field Trip jerky. I love jerky. So I just ripped open the bag.

I still remember it was the honey spice flavor. This is like a Cinderella story, truly. There’s nothing but good vibes about it.

I opened up the bag and I was like, Oh my God, this is the best beef jerky I’ve ever had in my life. I’m like, ‘where did we get this?’

I hunted down the person and it ended up being Erica Donigan, [Field Trip founding partner] Tom’s wife. She did HR at Bonobo’s. And I asked her to tell me the story because it was the best beef jerky I’ve ever had.

So that was where I found it.”


How did you go from discovering the product to wanting to work there and then landing the gig?

maxwell-fiedel-small“When I came back to New York, I started ordering their product [at Bonobos]. I bugged Erica too – I would say, ‘Erica, come on now, I’m the biggest fan. You’ve gotta hook me up.’

So they start sending me shirts, and that’s when I started posting photos on Instagram. I’m in upstate New York. I’m here, in my basement apartment taking photos with a shirt.

One of the guys started commenting back to me on Instagram. We started conversing, and of course, to me, being there number one fan, that was like a member of your favorite band responding to a comment on social media.

So I saw online they had an ad for an Office Manager. I didn’t necessarily know if I was qualified for that position, but I knew that that would be the opportunity to reach out and test it. And I did.

The ending to my email to them was, ‘I love your company. I support what you guys are doing. To be able to work for a company that you believe in is truly a dream.’

[I interviewed] and then I got a call back and got the job as Office Manager.

I had a great connection with these guys from the moment that I met them and I was in a position at Bonobo’s where I wasn’t necessarily sure with where I was going or what I was going to do, especially coming from the background that I had which was not in an office but in a restaurant bar.

I wasn’t necessarily sure I even knew what I wanted. But I got this big opportunity and thought it could be kind of cool. I honestly didn’t have an idea what I wanted to do or what I was going to do. It was just like, this is a company that I love.”


So you got the job. What were the most important traits when it came to being successful in the Office Manager role itself?

maxwell-fiedel-small“I feel like any Office Manager knows that it’s a truly selfless position.

So, an Office Manager, the name of it sounds funny. What you’re doing is you are supporting the team. You are the foundation of this house that the team sits on. And you do whatever you can to support that, and you wear many different hats.

You utilize different goals because the team needs you to do that. Somebody that does sales, does sales. Somebody that does marketing, does marketing. You have engineers that build sites.They all have their specific roles.

But Office Manager is different. The boundaries are totally what you make yourself available to be.

So I feel like the selflessness is just like, you are supporting everybody but you’re not focused on ‘how can I do this, or what do I need to do?’ It’s more about what the team needs. And you facilitate that role to turn into that opportunity, whatever they need.

So, to me, that’s the selflessness of that position. You’re not out there looking for thank-you’s. And sometimes you’re working on big things to contribute to some project or you’re doing little things like making coffee and taking out trash.

I think that in my experience one of the most important things to [succeeding in the Office Manager] position was to kind of be a jack-of-all-trades, to make myself available to take on different tasks.

I’ve done a lot of different things at Field Trip, and I did a lot of different things at Bonobo’s that, when you told me what my position is, I wouldn’t necessarily know if I would have been doing that.

I always want to be seen as the guy that will say ‘yes’ to anything even if I don’t know what that means. I feel like that’s an important quality for that position.

That’s something that has definitely taken me from the Office Manager position to my position now, that I always made myself available. I always made myself curious to learn more – without the agenda that it’s going to advance my career somehow.

Just by showing curiosity I’ve opened up so many doors that looking back have brought me to where I am now.”


How much of your Office Manager role at Field Trip was being a steward of the company’s culture? Is that something that fell in your wheelhouse?

maxwell-fiedel-small“Yeah, absolutely. That was something that was cool to me early on that I would have an opportunity to contribute to – you know, build the culture of the brand.

We definitely have an outdoor aesthetic, and while I would definitely love to be that guy, I’m definitely more of the inside kind of guy.

I look around the office right now and I can see the small things that I feel like I’ve had an opportunity to contribute to at the company.”

Free Bonus: Get a PDF version of The 2018 State of The Office Manager Report. We surveyed 572 Office Managers to uncover 10 takeaways you can use to hit your goals and overcome challenges. Plus learn what other Office Managers are getting paid (and how you can earn more)!

How did you make your way to your current role? It sounds like your curiosity played a hand in it, just being exposed to different parts of the business. What was that like?

maxwell-fiedel-small“It was last year, a little bit over a year ago, it seemed that I was going into more of a sales role and that was where my trajectory was going.

I hadn’t even been at the company for a year and looking back in hindsight I think that was very generous of them to even give me an opportunity to start looking at moving up in the chain at such an early time that I’d been at Field Trip.

I was really excited about making sales calls and doing my research and doing all that stuff and I really loved it.

But at the same time I was handling some administrative stuff here in the office and I wanted to stop asking Scott (who was handling all of the QuickBooks and processing orders) with all these questions.

So I asked him if I could get some access to our financials and QuickBooks. They gave me the most basic access so that I couldn’t destroy all the files by accident and ruin all the information they had collected.

Something about working in the system on the computer here at Field Trip, something clicked and I started to take off with that. And all of a sudden a couple months went by and I started to process some orders.

All of a sudden, I was processing all the orders. And then we were having a conversation that was, ‘You’re still leaning towards sales but now you’re kind of doing operations and now we’re not really sure where you’re going.’ Now I had two opportunities, versus one. I still hadn’t even been at the company for a year.

October was when I transferred from doing the official Office Manager role to Supply Chain Manager.”


Were there any skills that served you as an Office Manager that you just carried right with you to your next role, and that helped you succeed?


Take doing something as simple as sample request. It’s very exciting in a sense, but the process of putting it altogether is also very kind of one dimensional.

But you have this opportunity to get to know our potential customers, and that definitely helped drive my knowledge of who we were working with, and to understand what they did as a customer.

Like, what products were they ordering? How were they ordering it? I was able to get the entire blueprint of all these drivers, just from doing something so simple as sample requests.

And just being part of a small company and being the Office Manager which, like I said earlier, you’re a jack-of-all-trades.

In a small company you’re really a jack of all trades because there aren’t enough people to do everything that needs to be done. So if you make yourself available, then you’re going to do a lot of stuff that you didn’t think you would do. And I did that.

And so that role really helped me get to know who our customers were, get organized, be able to have goals and meet them, to learn how to sell a product by going to trade shows, be able to talk to customers on the phone and do customer service.

It helped me do all that stuff, which my position now is handling all of our vendor relations. How I communicate with our vendors and how I communicate with our giant customers, I learned all that when I was an Office Manager.”


Any final thoughts to add for other Office Managers who might want to follow in your footsteps?

maxwell-fiedel-small“I think sometimes as an Office Manager, I feel like it could look like you’re at the bottom of the totem pole, but you have the opportunity to truly transcend where you are at that moment because you make yourself available.

To do anything and everything you can, that whole concept surely applies to the Office Manager position. And truly I’m so grateful that I had the experience I had at Bonobo’s, and that I’ve had the experience as an Office Manager at Field Trip.”


Special thanks to Max for sharing his story.

For more on the Field Trip story, check out the Brand Builder podcast featuring founding partner Tom Donigan.

Max is also an accomplished musician and producer. Check out two of his most recent projects, Tiger Daze and Denrei.


Free Bonus: Get a PDF version of The 2018 State of The Office Manager Report. We surveyed 572 Office Managers to uncover 10 takeaways you can use to hit your goals and overcome challenges. Plus learn what other Office Managers are getting paid (and how you can earn more)!


  • Christina says:

    This is a great write-up – thank you! Max, you truly captured what it’s like to be an office manager. Sometimes when people ask what I do for a living and I say “office manager,” they look at me like I have two heads. I just tell them, “I keep the physical office and the people in the office running smoothly.” I hope that someday an opportunity opens up for me where I can further showcase my talents.

  • Kavitha says:

    Thanks, Max sharing your wonderful experience as an Office Manager. Your experience motivates us as office manager.

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