Humans of MacKeeper: YeeZee, Display and Affiliate Team Lead
Position: Display and Affiliate Team Lead
Random fact: YeeZee has a habit of thinking about work after hours. He says that thinking outside the office—in the fresh air, at home, before falling asleep or right after waking up—is what helps him come up with solutions he wouldn't be able to uncover in the office.
Tell us about your first day at MacKeeper. What was it like?
It was four years ago. On my first day, there were two more newcomers. We all were the recent graduates from the sales school organized by the company.
I felt uncertain. It felt like I didn't understand anything, like I didn't know what I was supposed to know (that's how it felt). We had an onboarding and a tour around the office. Then folks from HR introduced us to our team. Eventually, we came to our desks and started to work.
Your nickname is YeeZee. What does it mean for you?
[Laughing] To be honest, I wanted another nickname. I planned to call myself Yezus. It's just that I like it better. However, I had concerns that some people might associate this nickname with their religion. I didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so I called myself YeeZee. It does not mean anything for me, I just like the way it sounds. Plus, it's one of Kanye West’s nicknames.
Let's talk business. What team you are a part of? What role does your team play for MacKeeper?
I am the lead for the Display and Affiliate team. We're a part of the Digital Marketing department and our focus is to bring traffic to our website and promote our product on the web. Frankly, it is our team was responsible for the hundreds of pop-up and pop-under MacKeeper ads people used to see in the past. We still run a form of these ads but with much more care and consideration.
Has anything changed in the last year? Yes. In summer 2018, we got rid of a huge segment of our pop-under traffic. The problem was that this traffic was coming from our affiliates and we had very limited control of what they were doing. These affiliates, in their turn, wanted to make the most out of our partnership and used scammy creatives and scary ads to make more money. We didn't want people to learn about MacKeeper this way. That's why we no longer work with them.
Describe your typical day at work.
Most of my days at work are similar to one another. I keep regular hours. The "every day is a different story" style doesn’t apply to me. [Laughing]
I guess my mornings are always the same: I head to the office, have my breakfast, drink coffee, drink water, sit down at a computer. Then I check statistics, look for any problematic points, and check the results of current A/B tests we’re running.
I am on the lookout for any fluctuations, and I make sure everything's working appropriately. As soon as I ensure everything's fine, I take a deep breath and leave my desk for a lunch. Sometimes my work routine is interrupted by meetings, but my days are mostly about operational tasks and analysis.
What are your most and least favorite tasks?
I've been working here for four years—long enough to understand what you like and what you don't.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that I don't like working in Excel, but I'm a little fed up with it. It's something I do every day, for hours. There are lots of files and a huge amount of data. On the one hand, it gets dull because I’m doing this every day. On the other hand, though, it's become a routine for me. I’m so used to it that I no longer get too bothered about it.
Speaking of what I like, I get used to the good things really fast. Anything good quickly becomes the new normal for me, so it's a little difficult for me to highlight great moments.
How did you end up working in marketing?
I used to work on a cruise ship. It started to feel boring, and I came home. I was job hunting for a long while, but there were no good vacancies on the market. But, then I came across something really interesting. I found out about a sales school organized by some company. Those who passed all the tests could study for free. I sent my CV, succeeded in a personal interview, and was admitted to the school.
Looking back, I realize it all came easily to me. I'm not a super-communicative person; I don't talk much. I guess most of my classmates and lecturers did not even notice me. I didn’t ask questions and was mostly quiet. However, I am good at doing what I’m told, doing what I had to. That's how I managed to graduate and become one out of four (or five, I don't remember) students who was offered a job.
What helps you keep up with industry trends?
Not so long ago, I started to attend conferences. In my opinion, they are super helpful. At these events, you see what the current state of the industry is. Plus, you meet people who are beyond experts (I mean, you listen to them for five minutes and learn more than you normally learn during half a year). It's helpful and motivating.
Name three character traits or skills that are necessary for your job.
Analytical mind. When you work in digital marketing, you have no choice but to work with data. You need to be able to read data, analyze it, and find patterns.
Good social skills. It's crucial to be able to effectively communicate with people, to express your point of view in words people will understand. I'm not saying I'm very good at this, but I'm getting there.
Diligence. Since we work with data, it’s important to have enough patience to spend hours sitting and staring at Excel.
If you could choose any superpower to help you with your job, what would it be?
Oh, I'd want to be tireless. I'd want to never feel the need for sleep. Lately (I think it's weather-related), it has become really hard to get out of my bed in the morning. If I were tireless, it would be cool.
Once we had a conversation about superpowers in our team. At that time, I chose immortality. I guess I still want it, but now I understand it would only be cool when combined with tirelessness. I'd be able to live forever, sleep as much as I want (or don't sleep at all), and never get tired.
Describe your job in 3 words.
Second home. Family. Warmth.
Is there something about your job you feel proud of?
Not so long ago, I had a meeting with my lead and I had to evaluate my work on a ten-point scale. It’s a regular process, we do it once per quarter or so. For the first time, I gave myself ten out of ten—later I realized I should have given myself a 9.
I'm proud that I've managed to grow into the position of Team Lead (although I think it was a matter of luck). When I first got the position of Local Team Lead, I was not ready, I was scared, I had no idea what to do. However, with my team, we managed to deliver according to expectation.
Now I'm leading another team, but I work with people I've known since the first day here.
I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm proud of all of it. As I've said before, I get used to good things quite fast. I guess I should do something about it. Should I try writing all my achievements and failures down? It would be useful, I think.
On days when you lack motivation for work, what helps you?
For me, Mondays are the hardest. Any Monday is a difficult day for me. It comes right after the weekend, so it's hard to get back to your desk and spend the whole day in front of a computer. However, I found a way to dive into work. I put headphones on, find the right song, and just start working.
What is your personal anti-stress recipe?
For me, it's going to a bar where my friends are. This is my anti-stress pill. I get there and, a few hours later, I’m a different person.
Describe your perfect job.
I think my current job is perfect. Everything's great. The only thing I'd change is the strict 40-hours-per-week policy. Everyone works differently, at their own pace. Someone can get things done in an hour, while someone else will need five hours to do the same work. I would call my current job perfect if only there were more flexibility in our schedule.
Ideally, though, I'd like our company to have 100 offices around the world [smiling]. It would be cool to be able to keep working in the same company but change cities all the time. The world is so big and there are so many beautiful spots to see. It seems insane to pick just one place and stick to it for your whole life.
Now imagine you've got a job offer of your dreams. It's too good to reject, so you're leaving. What piece of advice would you give the company and your team before you head out?
I wouldn't just stand up and leave. I wouldn't just say arrivederci and slam doors. If I were to leave, I would say thank you to everyone involved in the sales school. It turned out to be my lucky ticket. I'd say thank you and good luck. That's it.