June 11, 2024

PRIDE 2024 EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT: JEFF NACA

Jeff Naca (He/Him)
Internal Communications Manager

Pride 2024 Employee Spotlight on Internal Communications Manager, Jeff Naca.
Hometown: Washington, DC
Last book: The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs
Most-used emoji: ?

How have you grown professionally while at Zynga?

Zynga does an amazing job of promoting internal mobility which I’ve gotten to experience first-hand. I started at Zynga as a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner in our Austin studio where I focused on staffing our Engineering roles for our North American teams. I was fortunate enough to have been made an offer to join our EMEA Talent team at our NaturalMotion studio in the UK and was relocated with my family to Brighton in 2022. Most recently, I was offered a secondment to join our Internal Communications team to develop and expand my skill set.

What’s the best career advice you’ve been given?

“It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission”. Early on in my career, one of the VPs of the company shared this with me and it holds true to this day. Granted, you need to take it within reason of your role and duties and company values.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

Hands down, the people. I’ve worked with some amazing individuals who I’ve come to learn from and admire. There are no egos here, and you can interact and collaborate with all levels of employees which really broadens your perspective. Zyngites work hard—but we also know we’re making games and with work, there must be some play. ☺

What is it like being diverse in gaming?

Being diverse in the gaming industry can be challenging. There are a lot of toxic gamers out there that can make you question your sanity. Luckily, Zynga supports diversity and inclusion within our company—and in our games. Our games are made for everyone, to be played by everyone. Representation matters—it’s important for players to see themselves in our games. Additionally, it is highly important for players, who may not see that diversity in their daily lives, to know there are different people and cultures in the world. Diversity is not something that takes away from you, but challenges you to grow your perspectives and embrace coexistence.

What advice would you give to others who may be navigating challenges related to diversity in their careers?

Navigating the corporate world as a Queer employee can be challenging. Depending on the company, leadership or team, you may not feel as open about your sexuality—or you may even alter how you act and what you say. We grow up having to hide part of who we are and that can transition into the workspace, which reminds me of a quote from the most recent book I read: “In learning to hide part of yourself, you lost the ability to trust anything or anyone fully. Without knowing it, you traded humane innocence for dry cynicism.” ― Alan Downs

Don’t let the cynicism win. One cannot find true happiness without being one’s full self.  Seeing how we spend a good portion of our lives at work, do not settle for a job that does not accept you for you.  I am lucky enough to be in a company where I can be my entire self.  Find a company, like Zynga, that allows you to be yourself without restrictions and understands that our differences make us better.