Trust & Safety Specialist Žydrūnė: The Real Reason I Learned German
Žydrūnė Juodvalkytė

​Žydrūnė started at Vinted as a Community Support Agent. One year ago, she transferred to another position - Trust & Safety Specialist. We caught up with her to talk about her career path and her attitudes to life and work.

What’s your story of joining Vinted?

​Before joining Vinted, I was studying for a master’s degree in German Language for Specific (legal) Purposes. At the time, a friend of mine was working at Vinted and kept mentioning what an amazing place to work the company was, so when I was thinking of where to apply for a job, Vinted was the first company that came to my mind. I wanted to put my German language skills to good use, so when the opportunity to join Vinted as a Community Support Specialist for the German market came up, I immediately applied and was successful in getting the position.

In addition to my direct responsibilities - supporting Vinted members - I also had the opportunity to work on fraud prevention on our platform. The company was growing and a new position of Trust & Safety Specialist opened up. The skills I gained during my first year at Vinted helped me land this new position and I’m happy I get to continue growing here.

What were your first memories of Vinted?

I came to my first job interview with blue hair and I had dyed it pink before the second one. My interviewers didn’t mind that at all - quick changes surprised them a bit, but they were very accepting. Now I know that life at Vinted is as colourful and dynamic as the colour of my hair back then.

It was easy to find my way around in a new environment, because I already knew some people from Vinted before I joined. Besides, my team was super approachable from the very first day. Whenever I had a question, there was always someone I could ask for advice.

What would your perfect day be like?

If it was a workday - I’d wake up early, the weather would be warm. My workload would be reasonable, with no unexpected stressful situations in sight. I’d manage to do everything that I planned to and upon leaving the office I’d think “It was a good day”.

If I were on holiday - I’d wake up after a good night’s sleep and spend time in the company of my closests friends and family, since they are the people who matter most. I’d also like to discover and learn something new on that day.

What’s one thing you are proud of, but wouldn’t put on your CV?

​I hated German lessons at school, but my beloved band Tokio Hotel was my main reason to learn the language. At one point in my life, they were the centre of attention: I used to translate their lyrics and closely followed the programmes on one German TV channel hoping that Tokio Hotel would be mentioned. That, in turn, made me watch movies and TV shows in German. So I’m proud that I mastered German not because people told me I would need it in the future, but solely driven by my own determination.

Who do you consider to be your role model?

At Vinted, it would be Aurimas, our Head of Community Support. He’s a person who is able to persuade anyone, whatever he talks about. I am also impressed by people who stay humble no matter what their achievements are. Aurimas is like that, it’s always fun to have a conversation with him - you never feel any distance.

I’m mostly inspired by strong people who’ve had negative experiences, overcame them and managed to build fulfilling lives. One of them is Oprah, who, despite having a hard childhood, became the star she is today, admired by many.

I’ve also had struggles in life, but I never complain about what has happened and try to forget negative experiences. I want people to value me for what I know and am capable of. I try to focus on the present and the future - what has already happened doesn’t matter much, there’s no use spending mental energy on it.

What do you like about working at Vinted?

The main thing that keeps me motivated is believing in what I do. Our aim is to ensure safety on Vinted’s platform and I enjoy being part of this process. In a way, my unfulfilled childhood dream of becoming a policewoman came true here.

I believe that at Vinted, there are always opportunities to grow. I started off as a Community Support Agent, but my responsibilities weren't limited to helping our members - I got to do diverse work every day. Everyone is encouraged to develop.

It’s also a lot of fun to work with people who accept me for who I am. I couldn’t work in a place where I would be expected to dress differently (for example, wear pencil skirts) or hide some aspects of my personality. I don’t like wearing masks. It’s easy to be open here and share thoughts on any idea - you’ll always be listened to. Making new friends is easy here, too - not just among colleagues, but also managers.

There’s also the possibility of working remotely, which I love. However, I normally choose going to the office. What can be better than those morning chats with my colleagues, plus a cup of coffee?!

What are the principles you follow in life/work?

In one of his poems, Kazys Binkis wrote that we should always finish what we start. That’s also what my aunt always encouraged me to do. So I always try to avoid procrastination and make sure that I complete what I start doing. I also think that multitasking is a good thing if you can make sure that, at the end of the day, you achieve the goals you set for yourself.

Overall, I don’t have many ideas on how we should live our lives. I think we should just go with the flow, as it’s impossible to foresee everything that might happen. Life is life - there are ups and downs and it’s impossible to have everything under control. I believe that we unavoidably make mistakes, but if we live with good intentions in mind, life will reward us.

So you are not afraid to make mistakes?

I’m not afraid of what other people will think if I make mistakes, but I don’t feel good about myself if I fail at something. It was hard to handle writing my master’s thesis and doing a good job at work - I became more sensitive and blamed myself for not being the version of myself I’d like to be. But when everything passed, I realized that there had been no need to be so hard on myself. We need to learn from mistakes and then move on.

I also learned that sometimes I feel frustrated when I don’t achieve my goals due to the unrealistic expectations I set for myself. When I changed my team at Vinted, I wanted to excel in my new position, just as I had done in the previous one, and feared that I wouldn’t be enough. However, now I understand that it’s normal to not wow everyone all the time - it always takes time and effort to become an expert in any new area.

At the time, I was also glad to be surrounded by people who had gone through similar experiences and could understand me. One of them was my manager - she always encouraged me and helped me keep going.

If you could ask any person a question, who would it be and what would you ask?

There’s probably no such person. I could ask Bob Marley why was he happy, but how do I know if he really was happy? Neither am I interested in asking anyone questions like “How did you earn your first million?” The person that I need answers from most is myself. I’d like to find answers to more than one question.

What’s your most memorable Vinted purchase?

I was on Vinted before I even started working for the company. I didn’t just use it for my own needs, I also helped my mom sell my brother’s clothes. We had a ritual with my family: when I’d be back home on the weekends, we’d iron clothes and take photos of them together, then list them on Vinted.

I am a very impulsive buyer, so outfits I’d never wear often end up in my wardrobe. Once, I bought shoes on Vinted for my graduation. Unfortunately, I didn’t graduate and only put them on for my friend’s graduation. The shoes were extremely uncomfortable, I had to take them off. The party lasted until morning and I came back barefoot!

Do you try to make more sustainable choices in other areas of life?

I try to live ‘greener’ by reducing my use of plastic. I don’t buy veggies that come in plastic wrapping, always say no to plastic bags and bring my own backpack that seems big enough to hold a universe. I also stopped using plastic plates and cutlery. If you can’t reuse, refuse it! Besides that, we recycle at home and always try to use public transport or walk.

What makes you happy?

I’m happy when I can be myself, with my friends or family, in my comfort zone. Even though there are many advantages of getting out of your comfort zone, I feel happiest being within it.

What qualities must a person have to succeed - in your position, or in any position?

Be passionate about whatever they do and have a goal. Goalless efforts are useless.

One fun fact about yourself!

I think and dream in English mostly.

The podcasts you love listening to?

I’m not crazy about podcasts, but I recently liked listening to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o

Is there any book you could recommend?

I’m not a book reader to be honest (school trauma), but if you’d ask about movies - anything directed by Christopher Nolan (my faves are Inception, Interstellar, The Prestige). I’m into superhero movies and Harry Potter.

A movie to recommend? Sure - I watched this one during the last Kino Pavasaris Film Festival, it left me speechless https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7213936/


A Netflix treasure - https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5753856/

What music do you like to listen to?

I like rap, hip hop, RnB and a little bit of indie rock like alt-J. My guilty pleasures are Beyoncé and most MTV hits from the 2000s.

My usual “at work” playlist:

A song to dance to:

A song to cry to:

A song for a throwback party:

A song to chill:

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