My Life at Netflix: Moving from Buenos Aires to São Paulo
It was an ordinary Saturday in April 2017, that was about to become extraordinary. I perfectly recall that I was at home enjoying the afternoon with my family when, out of the blue, I received an unusual message on my cell phone. When I looked at it I could read a message from LinkedIn with the headline: Opportunity @ Netflix. Marketing Lead for South Cone of Latin America. It was such excitement that I had that I started screaming as if I was celebrating a goal from Argentina’s national team during the World Cup. My one-year-old daughter stared at me and started to scream along with me as well. It was an unforgettable moment because deep inside I knew everything was about to change.
At that period I was working at Coca-Cola, and I was happy with my job and enjoying the projects I was handling. However, I still had that feeling something even better was just around the corner. And like a magic trick, Netflix popped up at the best possible time.
The interviewing process took almost 3 months, and during all that journey I had the chance to internalize more about Netflix, its amazing culture and in turn, to meet really inspiring people, which blew my mind and made even more eager to be part of that team.
In the end, when I realized I was the one chosen to work at Netflix among all the candidates that applied for that position, I had indescribable happiness, of those rare times in life when something you have always dreamed, becomes real.
Right away after that feeling, an inevitable question started to bounce in my head: so now what’s next?. It was the first days of July and I only had one only certainty, September 4th was the starting day so I had to be already settled in Sao Paulo with my wife and two daughters before that day. I‘m not going to deny that I felt overwhelmed. That sensation when you know a winding road is waiting ahead and the only thing you want is to cross it as fast possible and be already there. Too many things to do, so little time. Because aside from the move to another country, I needed in parallel to close all the pending stuff in Buenos Aires. Despite all this, at the end there’s something I've always believed: when you yearn for something with all your heart, the path to get there is much easier. And I was mindful that the main goal was already accomplished, now I just had to focus on the rest. On top of that, my wife never felt any doubt about moving to Sao Paulo, because she had high confidence in my aspiration and willing to take the leap of faith with me.
Therefore with that conviction, I prepared to face what was ahead. Something that is worth mentioning is that I was the first foreign headcount hired to work in the Brazil office. Fortunately, Netflix knows what it does and they have a dedicated team to support you in every step of the process, which means among other things, the move, the VISA issued, the search of a temporary house in Sao Paulo. In every detail, there’s a person ready to help you 24/7.
Now looking in hindsight, I have to say that there were 2 intense and exciting months, but it wasn’t as stressful as I imagined. An so, in the blink of an eye, I was taking a plane to Sao Paulo with my family. Finally, the moment had arrived, my dreamed job at Netflix, a new life in a new country, with a different culture and language, and with the confidence that every day as of now was going to be something completely new and challenging.
So you probably wondering how were the first days and if working at Netflix met the high expectations I had? I would say that everything was strange but in a positive way. First thing, our temporary house was super comfortable and close to the office, which was something fundamental for my family and me. Secondly, one curious fact, my first day at work was the same day were the new office was opened, so in a way, it was a new beginning for everyone.
I think one of the main challenges I had to face when joining Netflix is that is a whole new world completely different from anything I knew before, and this could make you feel a little out of place. No wonder that the first thing people say to you is that every new employee feels exactly that way, which is quite a relief; that’s why during the first three months of on-boarding they encourage you to focus on only three things: read, learn and ask whatever comes to your mind. I believe it was the wisest advice I received.
Another challenge I had to deal with while I was adapting to Netflix was that I had a lot of pending personal things going on: basically looking for a house and school for my kids, opening a bank account and handling all the paperwork to issue my Brazilian documents. I would say it was not easy, but exactly as what happened in Buenos Aires, Netflix helped me by having a group of people dedicated 100% to advise me about all these matters. To be completely honest, and aligned with the Netflix's culture, if I could go back to those days, I’d try to have more time to settle down and manage all personal stuff and then start working. Fortunately now for new hires, Netflix is handling this way, in it’s working much better.
Now when it comes to things that amazed me during the first days, of course, the projects I started to manage were insane (my first Marketing campaigns were for Stranger Things and Bright, no kidding); however, I’d definitely say that it was my “stunning colleagues”: always willing to help, highly capable, easy going and with a fully open mind. And this is something that until now it still surprises me.
Lastly I would say that this has been an incredible journey, in which I grew as a professional in ways I never imagined, things so important as giving and receiving feedback, be part of highly efficient meetings (you’d be surprised how meaningful is to go to a meeting with a clear agenda and a great level of mindfulness), think constantly out of the box, being curious and give the best of myself, because you are part of a dream team, and you don't want to be left behind. And as a human being, I feel that I finally found my place in the world, where I can be 100% myself, where I can challenge things, being transparent, enjoy my work, and most important be a better person that is open to give and receive help from others. Now almost a year and a half later I’m still learning new things every day and pushing myself to continue being the best possible "stunning colleague". And I always keep reminding myself how lucky I am to work in what I’ve always loved.