Meet Karinna Briseno, a Technical Advocate at Buffer who redefines success by balancing private development, psychological well being, and profession accomplishments.

With a four-day workweek, she proves you may have thrilling roles, a digital nomad way of life, and even time for off-the-grid hobbies. Dive into Karinna’s distinctive journey at Buffer.

Thanks for becoming a member of me for Buffer Diaries, Karinna. If you happen to might please introduce your self together with your title, what you do at Buffer, and the place you’re presently positioned.

Aloha! My title is Karinna Briseno and I work throughout the Buyer Expertise Staff on the Buyer Advocacy staff. I work intently with product, engineering, and advocacy groups to assist enhance the general expertise for purchasers utilizing our platform. I presently reside in California, and I‘m from Hawaii.

When and the way did you get began working at Buffer?

I have been at Buffer for seven years, and it began again in 2016 once I was in faculty working part-time as a social media supervisor. I used Buffer to handle my purchasers’ social media, and someday, I stumbled upon the hiring web page whereas looking the weblog.

Intrigued by their work tradition, I utilized for a Buyer Advocate function simply after graduating. The interview course of was pleasant, and I had conversations with a number of pretty Buffer teammates. Quick-forward seven years later, I am nonetheless fortunately working right here!

What did you research in faculty, and what has saved you at Buffer for seven years?

I studied enterprise and advertising in faculty. I’ve stayed with Buffer for a number of causes over time, one in all which is the chance to develop and evolve with the corporate.

I began exploring coding and engineering about three years in the past, and Buffer has been extremely supportive. They even paid for my engineering boot camps. Having the ability to apply these abilities straight in my function and positively affect our clients has been actually rewarding. The assist I’ve acquired, particularly as a girl getting into the engineering subject, has made my expertise at Buffer really distinctive.

How has your function at Buffer advanced over time? Have you ever moved between departments like a few of your colleagues?

My function has advanced over time. Initially, I used to be employed as a Happiness Hero, however the title modified to Buyer Advocate about three or 4 years in the past. I’ve additionally been a part of varied sub-teams throughout the Advocacy division, together with stay chat and social.

Extra lately, I shifted to the Escalations staff, which grew to become a proper sub-team about two years in the past, and my function title modified to Technical Advocate. We work on tickets within the inbox, prioritizing software program bugs, coordinating with product and engineering, and mentoring different buyer advocates.

About six months in the past, my staff advanced into the Buyer Expertise staff, the place our sole focus is working intently with the Product, Engineering, Design, and Advocacy groups to enhance the general expertise for Buffer’s clients. It is all the time partaking, and I get to work alongside some sensible colleagues and advocate for our unbelievable clients, which is why I like it.

What particularly made Buffer a lovely place to work if you had been making use of, contemplating you used the app to handle your social media?

What really stood out to me had been Buffer’s values. Over time, they’ve advanced as the corporate and its individuals have grown. The primary attraction was not simply the cool app but in addition the chance to work with a staff making an actual affect and doing one thing particular.

Our price of “Dwelling Smarter, Not Tougher” actually resonated with me because it impressed me to “select to be on the single place on Every the place you’re the happiest, and most efficient, and also you’re not afraid to search out out the place that’s.” Working at Buffer has made me higher by embracing and actively working in direction of these values.

Apart out of your work at Buffer, do you have got any facet initiatives, or how do you spend your days off?

I deliberately keep away from on-line facet initiatives to take care of a wholesome work-life steadiness and honor the 40-hour workweek. I take pleasure in spending time outside, going to the seaside, and hanging out with my household/mates and canine on my days off.

Having grown up across the ocean, I take pleasure in spending my weekends within the water, paddleboarding, browsing, snorkeling, or scuba diving. I like partaking in off-the-grid actions that hold me away from my telephone and permit me to take pleasure in my hobbies. I’ve additionally began coaching to change into a Pilates teacher as a interest.

How has working at Buffer, with its four-day workweek, distant work, and versatile hours, contributed to your way of life as a digital nomad or traveler?

Working at Buffer has really been life-changing. The four-day workweek permits me to relaxation, recharge, and spend extra time with my household and family members. It gives an even bigger house exterior of labor to have a satisfying life.

Remote work has given me the flexibleness to form my life round my core values and what’s essential to me on the time. Primarily based on my priorities, I’ve had the chance to plan strikes to completely different locations, like Portugal, Hawaii, and California. Earlier than COVID-19, I deliberate to maneuver to Portugal within the spring of 2020. However, because the pandemic advanced, I felt it was essential to maneuver nearer to my household, so I packed up my canine and me and moved again to Hawaii.

Distant work permits us to choose our places based mostly on our values (household, mates, or companions) and needs, a privilege I do not take as a right. There are completely different seasons to distant work, but it surely primarily presents the liberty to journey as a digital nomad or transfer nearer to household, mates, or a associate. In a phrase, it is life-changing, because it permits us to decide on our location based mostly on what really issues to us. With distant working, we are able to decide our places based mostly on “this AND that” relatively than “this OR that.”

It is fascinating the way you select places based mostly on values. Are you able to listing the nations you have labored from or visited whereas at Buffer?

Positive, some locations I’ve labored from embrace Madrid, Spain; Singapore; Portugal; Italy, the place I spent a month working in Rome; Hawaii, the place I lived the previous few years; California; and New York.

Final yr, I used to be additionally working from Greece for an advocacy staff meetup, which coincided with my thirtieth birthday. These are the principle ones that come to thoughts, however there could also be extra.

How do you construction your workday and week at Buffer, together with your hours and timezone?

My work schedule has advanced over time. Final yr, I had a singular four-day workweek, taking Mondays off and dealing from Tuesday to Friday. This yr, I modified my work schedule, and I work Monday- Thursday, utilizing Friday as an additional “overflow” day. I usually begin at 9 am Pacific time and finish round 6 pm. As a part of a small Escalations staff inside Advocacy, we’ve to be aware of our protection and venture time.

I often allocate about 4 hours every week for engineering duties and initiatives, largely in direction of the beginning of the week. Tuesdays are meeting-heavy, whereas I concentrate on engineering or inbox time on Wednesdays. Thursdays, I primarily work on inbox duties and protection. It is busy however loads of enjoyable.

As a technical advocate, how has your function modified over time in comparison with if you had been a buyer advocate, and are there any particular concerns to your present place?

As a technical advocate, our focus is two-fold: serving to clients guarantee they’ve a terrific expertise and likewise offering mentorship and assist for Buyer Advocates on the staff.

We work one-on-one with clients on trickier technical points, troubleshooting, documenting steps, creating bug studies, and serving to prioritize high-impact bugs for upcoming Engineering cycles. We additionally work one-on-one with Advocates, clarifying any confusion and making certain they’ve the required assets to really feel assured dealing with particular points.

As Tech Advocates, we deal with extra high quality assurance initiatives, testing new options previous to launches to make sure a easy expertise for purchasers. There is a better sense of accountability, scope, and possession in my present function in comparison with once I was a buyer advocate.

Have you ever encountered any distinctive challenges in your function, significantly as a technical advocate working inside a smaller staff and a four-day workweek?

The largest problem I face is maximizing my time. Having nice concepts is one factor, however managing the time and assets to deliver them to fruition, particularly inside a four-day workweek and a smaller staff, can typically be difficult. We should be aware of once we step away and concentrate on particular duties.

I am primarily pursuing a full-time profession inside a restricted variety of hours every week, which requires dedication and the flexibility to make a big affect inside that point. It is a distinctive problem I’m grateful for, because it permits me to develop and proceed difficult myself.

Having somebody like Mick, an engineer who was initially a customer advocate and went by means of an identical course of, serves as a job mannequin and reveals that it’s potential to realize development on this method, despite the fact that it may not be the best path.

Trying again on seven years, what was one thing that caught you off guard if you first began at Buffer?

The transparency at Buffer positively caught me off guard at first. I needed to get used to working for an organization the place anybody might simply discover details about it, like salaries, as an example. It took a while to regulate to being extra open about my wage with my family and friends.

After the primary yr, I grew to become extra snug with this degree of transparency, and now, if somebody asks me about my wage, it is not a query that catches me off guard.

What’s your strongest earliest reminiscence of Buffer?

My strongest early reminiscence of Buffer was my first retreat in Madrid. It is recent in my thoughts as a result of I lately discovered a video from that point. There have been round 80 individuals, and we had been working on the Google campus in Madrid. I bear in mind the staff dinner, the camaraderie, and the sensation of being in the identical room with individuals who had been beforehand simply in a bit of field on my display.

Considered one of my favourite reminiscences was going to a karaoke bar after the staff dinner. We crowded the small bar, and the entire staff sang karaoke collectively. These are a few of my fondest reminiscences at Buffer – not solely working with wonderful teammates but in addition sharing experiences and feeling like we have identified one another for a very long time.

On the Madrid retreat, I used to be initially nervous about having to be extroverted on a regular basis, as I’m each introverted and extroverted (an ambivert). Nonetheless, I discovered it is okay to step away and recharge my batteries, and the staff understood and welcomed that want.

Some individuals imagine that you need to sacrifice one side of your life, comparable to your private life, to realize success in one other, comparable to your profession. Given that you’ve got a four-day workweek at Buffer and time for actions exterior of labor, would you say that you have achieved skilled success with out making important sacrifices, despite the fact that some imagine success requires a extra demanding schedule?

I imagine the best way individuals outline success can change over time. My definition of success has advanced over time. Once I was youthful, I assumed success was decided by cash, hustling, my profession title, {and professional} accomplishments. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to grasp that true success in life encompasses private development, relationships, and prioritizing my psychological well being as effectively.

I really feel that I’ve achieved a degree of success in my present scenario, however I do know there’s nonetheless extra room for development. My notion of success has modified, particularly after taking a seven-week sabbatical earlier this yr. I used to be burnt out and realized I wanted to speculate extra vitality into different areas of my life.

The four-day workweek has helped me discover a higher steadiness between my private {and professional} lives, and I imagine it is potential to realize skilled success with out sacrificing one’s private life.


Thanks for studying! If you happen to loved this, take a look at the opposite Buffer Diaries interviews.

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