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

With a four-day workweek, she proves you’ll be able to 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 may please introduce your self along with your identify, what you do at Buffer, and the place you’re at present situated.

Aloha! My identify is Karinna Briseno and I work inside the Buyer Expertise Workforce on the Buyer Advocacy group. I work carefully with product, engineering, and advocacy groups to assist enhance the general expertise for patrons utilizing our platform. I at present 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 at some point, I stumbled upon the hiring web page whereas shopping the weblog.

Intrigued by their work tradition, I utilized for a Buyer Advocate position 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 stored you at Buffer for seven years?

I studied enterprise and advertising and marketing in faculty. I’ve stayed with Buffer for a number of causes through the years, one among 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 immediately in my position and positively influence our prospects has been actually rewarding. The assist I’ve obtained, particularly as a girl getting into the engineering area, has made my expertise at Buffer actually distinctive.

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

My position has developed through the years. 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 inside the Advocacy division, together with reside chat and social.

Extra lately, I shifted to the Escalations group, which grew to become a proper sub-team about two years in the past, and my position 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 group developed into the Buyer Expertise group, the place our sole focus is working carefully with the Product, Engineering, Design, and Advocacy groups to enhance the general expertise for Buffer’s prospects. It is at all times partaking, and I get to work alongside some good colleagues and advocate for our unbelievable prospects, which is why I find it irresistible.

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

What actually stood out to me had been Buffer’s values. Over time, they’ve developed as the corporate and its individuals have grown. The principle attraction was not simply the cool app but in addition the chance to work with a group making an actual influence 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 the direction of these values.

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

I deliberately keep away from on-line aspect tasks to take care of a wholesome work-life stability and honor the 40-hour workweek. I get pleasure from spending time open air, going to the seashore, and hanging out with my household/buddies and canine on my days off.

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

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

Remote work has given me the pliability to form my life round my core values and what’s necessary to me on the time. Based mostly on my priorities, I’ve had the chance to plan strikes to totally 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 developed, I felt it was necessary 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 areas based mostly on our values (household, buddies, or companions) and needs, a privilege I do not take with no consideration. There are totally different seasons to distant work, however it basically presents the liberty to journey as a digital nomad or transfer nearer to household, buddies, or a companion. In a phrase, it is life-changing, because it permits us to decide on our location based mostly on what actually issues to us. With distant working, we will decide our areas based mostly on “this AND that” moderately than “this OR that.”

It is fascinating the way you select areas 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 couple of years; California; and New York.

Final yr, I used to be additionally working from Greece for an advocacy group meetup, which coincided with my thirtieth birthday. These are the primary 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 developed through the years. 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 group inside Advocacy, we now have to be aware of our protection and venture time.

I normally allocate about 4 hours every week for engineering duties and tasks, largely in the direction of the beginning of the week. Tuesdays are meeting-heavy, whereas I give attention to engineering or inbox time on Wednesdays. Thursdays, I primarily work on inbox duties and protection. It is busy however numerous enjoyable.

As a technical advocate, how has your position modified over time in comparison with while 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 prospects guarantee they’ve an excellent expertise and in addition offering mentorship and assist for Buyer Advocates on the group.

We work one-on-one with prospects 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 tasks, testing new options previous to launches to make sure a easy expertise for patrons. There is a better sense of duty, scope, and possession in my present position in comparison with once I was a buyer advocate.

Have you ever encountered any distinctive challenges in your position, notably as a technical advocate working inside a smaller group 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 group, can generally be difficult. We should be aware of once we step away and give attention to particular duties.

I am basically pursuing a full-time profession inside a restricted variety of hours every week, which requires dedication and the power to make a major influence 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 via an identical course of, serves as a task mannequin and reveals that it’s potential to attain progress on this approach, regardless that it may not be the simplest path.

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

The transparency at Buffer positively caught me off guard to start with. I needed to get used to working for an organization the place anybody may 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 comfy with this stage of transparency, and now, if somebody asks me about my wage, it isn’t 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 contemporary 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 group dinner, the camaraderie, and the sensation of being in the identical room with individuals who had been beforehand simply in a bit field on my display screen.

Considered one of my favourite reminiscences was going to a karaoke bar after the group dinner. We crowded the small bar, and the entire group 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 fearful 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 group understood and welcomed that want.

Some individuals consider that you need to sacrifice one side of your life, comparable to your private life, to attain 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’ve got achieved skilled success with out making important sacrifices, regardless that some consider success requires a extra demanding schedule?

I consider the way in which individuals outline success can change over time. My definition of success has developed through the years. After 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 progress, relationships, and prioritizing my psychological well being as nicely.

I really feel that I’ve achieved a stage of success in my present state of affairs, however I do know there’s nonetheless extra room for progress. 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 take a position extra vitality into different areas of my life.

The four-day workweek has helped me discover a higher stability between my private {and professional} lives, and I consider it is potential to attain 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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