Six years to the day that I started my Automattic trial, I’m no longer a Happiness Engineer.
The past six months need a fair few posts on their own (sabbatical, rotation, other stuff), and I realise I’m dropping this in here after silence but felt it was a clean start to dust off the old blog again.
So after a (minimum) of 20K interactions, 120K Slack messages, 241 created GitHub Issues, 37 Pull Requests, commenting on 740 unique GitHub Issues, 1604 internal p2 posts with 4564 comments, and three team meetups and four Grand Meetups, I’m closing up my Customer Support days.
To say I landed on my feet at Automattic is an understatement, it has been the most rewarding work of my career so far, and I remember the chat I had with Matt Mullenweg when I finished up my trial; he asked where I’d like to be in 3-5 years:
If I was hired full time, within 2 years I’d like to be very experienced in my role, being a buddy, and offering my experience and help to Trials. 3 years I’d like to have tried out a few teams and see where my skill-set fits best, and by 4 years I’d love to try out being a team lead. I feel like the way Automattic is set up that, being a team lead in time would suit my personality and skills. At 5 years I’d love to maybe be in a similar role to [head of support].
Aside from the traditional team lead part, I’ve ticked those boxes, I was a trial buddy a few months after I joined, I’ve helped a few more since then, I “led” and co-led some guilds/squads, and went from “WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin, right?” to “I know a fair bit about this”.
About a year leading up to my sabbatical, I started thinking about where I wanted my career to go. I was enjoying co-leading the WooCommerce.com Documentation guild, handling product liaison work with project feedback, and working with the developers on prioritising the backlog. I knew I wanted a “Product” focused role but wasn’t sure how to move into that given my non-traditional background. I left on sabbatical at the start of October knowing that was my focus when I returned, either at Automattic or elsewhere. I’d thought about doing the internal Developer Apprenticeship but after some discussion and thought, I’d need more time to work on my basic coding knowledge, and although being an engineer was something I’d dreamed of yers before, I wasn’t there any more.
I came back from Sabbatical, with the cliched but unintentional “New Year, new start” mentality, and 10 days later I was on another rotation, this time to Day One support team. A week later, a new job posting went live. I paused many times and almost brushed it off but I applied. I managed to get two interviews, did some trial work, and then a final discussion with the team, and then a short chat with the HR wrangler for that team.
That is all to say, starting today, I’m joining the internal Transact team as a Product Operations Manager for WooCommerce Payments. It is a brand new role in a small team doing huge work and I cannot be more excited.
And yes, as ever, we’re hiring.