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Audible Sound Bites with Jessica Johnson Gale

Audible Sound Bites with Jessica Johnson Gale

Jessica Johnson Gale is an Operations Manager on Audible’s User Experience Research team (UXR). She joined us in 2018 as a contractor and quickly realized how much Audible’s impact work (and our commitment to her beloved hometown of Newark) aligned with her own values. Now a full-time employee, she has been helping our Product and Insights org study and analyze our customers’ experiences so we can continue delighting and surprising them.

Can you describe your role at Audible and how it affects our customers worldwide?

Have you ever wondered how the Audible app’s sleep timers came about? How your library gets organized? Who decides where buttons go on the mobile app or webpage? Well, my team is right in the middle of the magic that shapes those experiences.

The UX Research team gets to study customer behaviors to help positively enhance and influence the experience. Through interviews, surveys and ethnography (in-home observations), we are able to learn what customers like, dislike, and could potentially need in the future. 

As an operations manager, I’m the “strategic logistical fairy” making those processes work smoothly for my team, stakeholders and customers, by managing recruitment for research projects, our vendors and tools, procurement, goal-setting and process improvement.

I also like creating a positive work environment, in which everyone shows up as the best version of themselves, by planning team-building activities and making sure that we give our customers the best experience while they work with our researchers.

My career journey has been full of growth and I’m thrilled to be joining the Strategic Programming team as an Operations Manager for Product and Insights where I will continue to apply my skills and experience in new ways.

What’s life like at the hub you are aligned to?

I was born and raised in this beautiful city of Newark, NJ (a.k.a. Brick City). This city is filled with ambition, art, character, culture, hard work, history, inspiration, integrity, lots of love and perseverance. It also a melting pot of amazing restaurants!

Most of our team’s social events are centered around the small businesses right here in Newark: Tinjune, Newark Local Beer, and Bar Vanquish are some favorites for afterwork activities. Some of my favorite places to grab lunch are Taino’s Kitchen, Tossed NJ, and the Green Chicpea, which Audible offers employees through Newark Working Kitchens Delivers (NWKD).

What made you choose to work at Audible and what makes you want to stay?

I actually feel like Audible chose me. In 2018, I was contacted by a friend about applying for a contract on the UXR team as a research coordinator. She was going on maternity leave, and I’d just gotten married and finished up an intense congressional campaign. I’m always open to new experiences where I can transfer the skills I’ve developed over time and learn new skills. I did some research on Audible and absolutely loved what I learned about their deep connection and relationship to the city of Newark, and that the founder, Don Katz, is a visionary and exemplary leader unafraid to innovate, challenge everyone around him, and take risks while staying rooted in his morals.

Right away, I fell in love with everything the company stood for. Audible is the first company I’ve worked for that aligns with my personal values. The People Principles had me at “hello!” Once I was able to really experience the culture here, the deal was sealed. I also loved the consistent acknowledgement and investment in the well-being of the employees. Five years later, and a full-time employee, I’m still proud to call Audible my home.

What was your first Audible listen and what inspired you to check it out?

You are a Badass at Making Money, by Jen Sincero. I was on a finance-binge, reading different books that focus on financial literacy, and a friend suggested this book. Around this time, I had become a full-time employee with Audible, and I listened to it while traveling to my family vacation home and enjoyed it. I’ve been listening to books ever since.

Have you participated in any of our impact activities in the community, and what has it meant to you, personally?

I was drawn to Audible because of the way it pours love and opportunity into the city that I’ve been blessed to call home. Growing up in a family of public servants made it super easy for me to embrace Audible’s “Activate Caring” People Principle. I’ve had the pleasure of organizing impact events for my team and our greater org through our PI (Products and Insights) Social Committee. We are no stranger to places like Newark Emergency Services for Families, Hawthorne Ave Farm, and Franciscan Charities, to name a few. It’s been amazing connecting the dots between the community and my job.

I know I was placed on this Earth to help people and be a blessing. Acts of service and kindness bring me joy. It costs nothing to put a smile on someone’s face. People may not remember what you say to them, but they do remember how you make them feel. Participating in impact initiatives here at Audible checks everything off my list. 

Other than the people, what do you love most about working at Audible?

My favorite thing about the culture here at Audible is the diversity. Diversity of employees, leadership styles, perspectives, programming, social activities, learning opportunities—and even the food offerings for lunch. You’re embraced for your unique qualities and perspective here. Everyone has a sense of respect, even when there is a difference in opinion.  

I am a big fan of the WE@Audible events. The guided meditations and special events throughout the year have been very helpful for me. Having healthy practices in place make it easier to navigate through the challenges.

Lightning Round!

Favorite genre? Memoir and Biography.

Listening from a speaker or headphones? If home: speakers. If traveling: headphones.

Favorite activity while listening? Cuddling with my fur-child, Coal.

Morning person or night owl? Hybrid.

Favorite snack? Hot Cheese Popcorn by Wise.

What’s your favorite listen so far?

Yvonne Orji’s  Bamboozled by Jesus.

Yvonne did an amazing job telling her story in such an authentic and humorous way. Her book inspired me in many ways. I’m also a big fan of the HBO series Insecure and the role she played in it.

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Imagine & Invent Before They Ask

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Play Video: Study & Draw Inspiration From Culture & Technology

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Play Video: Activate Caring

Activate Caring

Audible's People Principles celebrate who we are and where we've been, and guide the way we work shoulder to shoulder to enhance the lives of our millions of customers around the world. They reflect and apply to everyone who works at Audible—the entrepreneurs and operators, the dreamers and the doers, those who have worked here for 25 years and those who have arrived in the past few weeks and months.

View all Our People Principles