One year ago I started my journey as a full-time employee at Automattic. Having the privilege of working on WordPress.com.
A year later, I’m even more convinced that Automattic is just such an amazing place to work at. As a company, they are so kind and generous with their employees. Offering so much respect, learning opportunities, and a culture that is so focused on open-source and democratizing publishing. I’m so thankful to them for that. I know how rare it is. I am still pinching myself, in disbelief that I get to work here.
Instead of just writing a mushy love letter about Automattic (which I could totally do, because they’re amazing) I decided I was going to look back on this past year, talk about the areas I’ve worked in and what I’ve learned along the way
This past year I worked in a variety of areas:
- Live Chat for WordPress.com is where I spent majority of my time
- Replying to emails for users of WordPress.com
- Training our new Happiness Engineer Trials & Support Rotations (which I consider my passion project)
- Supporting users of our WordPress app
- Short one-week rotation helping users with WooCommerce support
I remember being so overwhelmed by everything when I first started my Trial at WordPress.com. Not always knowing the correct answer or knowing where to search for the answer. Now I definitely know my way around a bit better. I feel like I’ve grown leaps and bounds knowledge-wise on WordPress and learning everything it’s capable of doing. Every single week I’m learning something new. Which is an amazing feeling.
I still need to grow leaps and bounds more, I’m especially focused on mastering how I troubleshoot issues and how I communicate with our users. I regularly like to test my phrasing when I’m explaining complex issues. Making sure I’m constantly improving in this area. I don’t think you can ever completely learn everything there is to learn in communication, which is part of the challenge.
Life Lessons from Year 1 at Automattic:
- Embrace the chaos. Change is a constant at Automattic, in a wonderful way. If something is broken, we fix it. If we want to try out an experiment, we try it. Due to this, things change. Learning how to stay on top of the changes and move quickly along with the changes is something I am still trying to master, but it’s getting easier each day.
- Communicate like it’s your oxygen. Being a remote company makes communication so vital to everything we do. When I first started, I remember being apprehensive about pinging people on Slack that I didn’t know. Now, I do it without a second thought and love getting to know/communicate with my fellow Automatticians. Who truly are an amazing group of people.
- When it comes to remote working, focusing on the most important things first. I’m going to have to write a whole separate blog post on this. I structure my schedule so that the most important tasks are at the forefront on my day. It’s one of the first things I do, and I also make it the main thing that I’m measuring my own personal impact in. It’s so easy to get distracted and end up spending time in an area that isn’t as effective. By keeping focused on my goals I’m finding I’m way more impactful.
- Fighting imposture syndrome. It’s a real thing y’all. I’m so grateful to be working for this company, side by side with some brilliant coworkers. For a time there, I focused on what I couldn’t do, and became paralyzed by it. I let it hold me back for a while. While I still have a very grateful and thankful heart, I focus more on the person I want to be each day, than the person that I think I am. This helps me in continuing to grow and move forward, rather than holding myself back.
I’ve also done wayyy more traveling this year than any year before. It was kinda an amazing feeling. I grew up in a hard-working Latino family and I never saw my parents take a vacation or travel, ever. So having the opportunity to travel was mind-blowing and such a privledge for me.
This past year I travelled to:
- Kauai, HI (personal vacation)
- New York, NY (personal vacation)
- Park City, UT (For Automattic’s Grand Meetup)
- Philadelphia, PA (for WordCamp US)
- Austin, TX (for team meet up)
- San Diego, CA (for WordCamp San Diego)
I also volunteered at 4 WordCamps:
- WordCamp OC
- WordCamp LA
- WordCamp US
- WordCamp SD
And finally… here are a collection of photos from some of my favorite Automattic moments this past year
Leaving this comment as a Blogging University student assignment, so let me know if I commit any comment faux pas…
Congratulations (belated) on completing your first year at Automattic! You did an excellent recap of what your year was like. Thanks for taking the time to do that.
I’m looking forward to reading your separate blog post about focusing on the most important things first. Especially interested in how you prioritize all the stuff you have to get done in a day or week, and how you get back on track if you start working on easier or more fun things that are lower priority.