How to Seamlessly and Successfully Make a Transition in Your Career — From a Senior Manager

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T. Rader

Photo courtesy of Roku.

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April 13, 2024 at 6:13AM UTC

T. Rader, Senior Manager at Roku, says that her transition to the company almost a year ago was “surprisingly smooth.”

“My manager was extremely supportive, empowering everyone on our team to take initiative and run with projects we identify will drive reach, engagement, monetization or improved processes,” she says. “I was very happy to discover that the culture at Roku is very collaborative and fast-paced — two qualities I look for in a workplace.”

Here, we caught up with her to hear more about her career journey leading up to Roku, why she made the switch — and what her day-to-day looks like now. Here’s what she had to say.

Where did you start your career journey? What were your previous roles and experiences like?

My career has always revolved around a few key passion areas: entertainment, partnerships, tech and data-driven marketing. I started my career journey working for a traditional marketing research firm, where I supported major studios' marketing and tech development strategies. One of my largest projects was with a studio partner looking to determine how heavily to invest in Blu-ray vs. HD DVD vs. the (at the time “emerging”) digital format. For the record, my recommendation was to invest in digital as the research correctly indicated the other content formats would be short-lived!

Following this role, I pivoted to a marketing agency, which leveraged online communities of brand or network enthusiasts to source information for content development, investment and merchandising. After having worked on the agency side with a variety of big-name partners, I was interested to go in-house. I had a desire to understand the full picture of how strategy recommendations are executed, and I wanted to have more influence over final decision making.

I worked at the NFL for seven years, during which I operated as a partner consultant to NFL teams helping them achieve their revenue, brand and engagement goals across digital media platforms. All 32 football teams' web and mobile sites were hosted on a league-managed platform solution, which gave me an opportunity to work on product and engineering initiatives. I worked on biz dev centric projects, which included helping facilitate agreements involving all 32 football teams for video/audio content licensing, cable TV subscriptions and content discovery platform deals. I also led strategy for the NFL team affiliate marketing program for the league’s Game Pass streaming and on-demand video subscription product.

I greatly enjoyed working on the NFL Game Pass initiative and was interested in learning more about the subscription-model business, so, following the NFL, I joined Hulu. At Hulu, I led the account and growth strategy for Hulu distribution partners and strategy around premium content partnerships.

What made you decide to make a career change and pivot to your current role?

In terms of transition from Hulu to my current role at Roku — I knew I wanted to continue working in streaming content, but I wanted to learn more about the ad-supported side of business. I was also looking to return to a medium-sized nimble company, and Roku was a great match.

I believe it's important to identify what type of work environments you enjoy the most: small vs. medium vs. large companies, agencies vs. in-house, traditional vs. more innovative. The same role can be very different depending on the organization. If you are looking to make a career pivot, I think it’s easiest to make a larger pivot within a company for which you’re already working. After all, you’ve already proven yourself and cultivated relationships, so colleagues will feel more confident entrusting you with responsibilities that you may have little prior experience in executing.

Tell us a bit about your current job. What’s your current role, how long have you been in this role, and what is your day-to-day like?

I made the switch from Hulu (Disney Streaming) to Roku in August 2021. I currently sit on the Growth Strategy team for The Roku Channel Business (ad-supported). I’m specifically focused on partnership growth and account management. We have both VOD (video on demand) and Linear ad-supported content, which we receive from over 300 content partners. Partners can range from large studios to smaller niche licensing houses.

We leverage analytics data around content performance to help us merchandise and determine what new content we bring. We also work closely with product teams on platform enhancements that can improve content discoverability, the viewer experience and brand awareness. Bringing in new viewers (reach) and growing the engagement and retention of existing viewers are the main drivers for Roku and our content partners.

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