Charlotte Kight, Growth at Tracksuit
From professional athlete to lawyer and now SaaS sales, Charlotte Kight has had a really interesting and winding journey into working in tech.
In her own words, she still doesn't really feel like she works "in tech" and the concept of sales to her is more just getting a chance to tell people about a cool product her friends have built.
We caught up with Charlotte to learn more about the zigzags she has taken to get into her current role, what a typical day in her life looks like as well as some sage advice to others thinking about a career transition. Thanks for sharing your story, Charlotte.
Firstly, how would you explain to a five-year-old what you do for work?
I tell people about a really cool tool that will help them be great at their job, and then give them high fives when they decide to join our cool team!
“I actually don’t really feel like I work in tech now! More like I get to tell people about the cool tech product my friends have made!”
And for the adults, what does a typical day-in-the-life look like?
Spreading the good word of Tracksuit (I’m in sales, if you can’t tell). I spend my day telling people that Tracksuit is a tool to help brand marketers be even better at their job.
Which is usually followed by “What is a brand marketer?” - to which I answer, they create the ads that aren’t “come into our Wild Waitangi Weekend sale!” but instead make you feel something for the brand - like a gorilla going all out on a drum solo!
Was working in tech something you dreamed about doing as a kid, if not what was?
Definitely not. I actually don’t really feel like I work in tech now! More like I get to tell people about the cool tech product my friends have made! I’ve been an athlete, and a lawyer, but have spent the most time working in sport. So Tech seems pretty far removed from my career to date.
“The other challenge I face daily is walking the tightrope of ‘Hi there marketing friend, this tool could really help you!’ without wobbling over into ‘p*ss off with your sales email…’ - a fine line!”
What are some of the most interesting challenges that you face in your role currently?
My day-to-day challenge is getting cool marketers to take notice of Tracksuit. They’re busy and there are a lot of SaaS tools competing for their attention.
One specific challenge I have is dispelling people’s assumption that brand tracking is ‘scraping’ what people say about you on social media, or that it’s super expensive - when Tracksuit is neither!
The other challenge I face daily is walking the tightrope of ‘Hi there marketing friend, this tool could really help you!’ without wobbling over into ‘p*ss off with your sales email…’ - a fine line!
Tell us a little bit more about your career pathway and ultimately how you got into your current role at Tracksuit?
- Played netball here in NZ for a few years while studying law, until injury sped up the (fleeting) transition into law.
- A more appealing option of studying sports management in Europe popped up so I jumped on that. A year of learning about international sports management and struggling to explain netball to the rest of the non-commonwealth world (especially with my Kiwi accent making it sound like knit-ball) ended with a role at the HQ of FIFA (the round football) in Zurich.
- Organising world cup football tournaments around the world - UAE, Japan, Canada, Colombia, Korea - learning about the level of preparation required for mega sporting events. From pitch maintenance at training sites, being underqualified security for world cup trophy tours, to running live televised award ceremonies - a huge range of experiences.
- When the learning curve flattened out I left for a new challenge.
- Ended up back home working in rugby - but from a different angle. Player representation, for the NZ Rugby Players Association. Managing the use of player IP by teams and sponsors. The last few years have been very interesting for the rugby commercial scene - and some exciting times to come!
- But time came for the next challenge. After some shadowing during covid-flex-time, jumped into a completely different role with Tracksuit.
- SaaS. Marketing. Startup. Sales. Zero experience in any of those - so the learning curve has been steep! But a great team, fantastic product and a healthy dose of don’t-think-too-much-just-do-it has seen me through some uncomfortable learning moments and I’m loving it!
What do you love about your role and why should others consider the career path?
I’ve still got my sales trainer wheels on. But I love how quickly it moves. The pressure of targets and numbers has taken some getting used to, but if you can manage that, the challenge is good fun.
“Finding your next challenge is often more about being comfortable taking a step backwards to go forward.”
For people interested in following a similar path, what are the key skills or attributes that you think are important and where can people get started?
I’m not sure my ‘path’ is recommended - seems to have been less of a path, more like a series of random zigs and zags following whatever catches my eye.
But I guess for someone throwing themselves into an unfamiliar role/industry/type of organisation, it sounds a bit cheesy, but if you’ve got the courage to give it a try, who knows, you might just love it!
Finding your next challenge is often more about being comfortable taking a step backwards to go forward. I got this role because I spent time finding great people doing interesting things, who I wanted to spend my time with. Finding those people is sometimes the biggest hurdle.
Once you find the right people, you don’t always need to have all the right skills. Sometimes you just need to convince them you’re hungry to learn alongside them. I started at Tracksuit with shadowing, then joined as a junior growth member.
“It’s about being a good human that people want to work with. The rest you can learn along the way...”
Lastly, are there any key traits or characteristics of people that do well in the Tracksuit environment?
It’s about being a good human that people want to work with. The rest you can learn along the way (except maybe if you want a career in eye surgery… or simultaneous translation).