Venturing Into New Waters at Netflix
Best things come when you least expect them. I wasn’t actively searching for a new job opportunity when Netflix came along, but the surprise turned out better than I imagined.
Career shifts aren’t easy. Most of my background has been focused on digital journalism, from writing to editing to social media and people managing. Shaping the voice of a brand wasn’t something I had really done in the past, and I was so excited that Netflix was summoning me to be part of an international editorial team that hopes to make entertainment shareable, relatable and part of people’s daily conversations.
Netflix also knocked on my door when I wasn’t interested in moving away from home. After almost five beautiful years in the US, learning a lot at BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Univision and CBS Interactive, I was happily back home in Buenos Aires leading TKM, a millennial outlet.
But the challenge Netflix offered me was so compelling that ‘yes’ was the natural answer. I think the most difficult part was changing location, again. Brazil seemed like a close foreigner to me, only a couple of hours away from Argentina but a different language that I am still learning. In the end the moving part didn’t feel like moving at all: I come back to Buenos Aires every other month, I talk everyday with agencies and freelancers down there, and I fly often for business purposes.
Netflix offers a candid, honest feedback environment, the company values high performance, and it seemed the perfect spot for an entrepreneurial spirit, because we are given the opportunity to try out new things, experiment and learn by doing. There’s also free Uber for those like me who hate driving, and the flexibility to manage your own schedule and holidays. The company offers lots of travel, the chance to meet new people and to learn all the time because each team shares learnings publicly. I never seen so much exchange of information, it is eye-opening.
We aren’t given a job description but a challenge to solve, and peers and managers support you. Decisions are all yours. It sounded too good to be true on paper, but it actually works on a daily basis. I could produce this Argentine-specific social viral video about Bandersnatch, we tested editorial assets like this video of several experts talking about harassment in the series You, and I was given the freedom to publish pro-LGBT narratives like this piece posted on the day of pride. Let alone women empowerment pieces like this video. And fun is always there, like asking the Stranger Things cast to learn Argentine slang.
If I weren’t here, I would probably be trying out my own thing. But at Netflix I feel part of a culture that values the same principles that I look up to, and that’s amazing: respect for others, creative freedom and direct feedback that aims at improving your work, no grudges attached. People never tell you “no”, or try to constrain your action in any way, so the feeling that you are being trusted is really empowering.
All in all, joining Netflix in Brazil meant a great opportunity for me to grow, both professionally and personally. I am, of course, facing challenges while getting to know one of the most innovative companies in the world and --- at the same time --- all of this is a chance to reflect back on my own country, my own culture and values. Every month looks like six months in a business that changes so fast, and I am glad I am also evolving with them as we move forward together.