I can finally say this 🙂
In the last year or so, the stress around trying to reconcile my family life with the requirements of my career has led to intense burnout. The burnout led to anxiety. This has led me to rethink priorities, and ultimately to the decision to leave this career I have built in the last 9 years. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was centered in core values that I believe and trust. If you’re in this place – have no fear. I’ve been there, I know it’s tough – but we can talk about it. There are many resources out there that discuss the topic, and I would recommend this one in specific – “Want to quit your job?”, posted on the great Relevant.
Whilst in the middle of all the anxiety around these tense times, I heard about this company, Automattic – the company behind this very vehicle of communication I am using to share this story with y’all: WordPress.com. They’ve got this job called “Happiness Engineer”, and while reading about it, this caught my attention:
“As a Happiness Engineer, helping people is your passion.”
“I DO like to help people!” I said to myself. “But I never worked from home… can I do this?”
I then proceeded to do what I always do when intrigued by a possibility – research. I remember reading many articles about remote workplaces and talking to some people about it. This article caught my attention, and I would recommend to anyone intrigued by this topic – “Making the Most of Working from Home”. I had spent a considerable amount of effort in the last year or so in my career to develop my organizational skills, GTD methodology, and goal setting abilities. I could do this.
I thought that it was worth a shot. Although I didn’t have a ton of experience, I like a challenge. They make you go through a trial, and while in this trial, I felt at home. It was refreshing. After some time experiencing burnout in my life, I was excited again.
“Is it tough?” you would ask. Heck yeah. It’s tough. It’s super tough, but it has to be! If you wanted to be the best company in the world, wouldn’t you make sure you had your hiring process down to almost perfection?? They’ve got this trial process pretty well figured out. It will take everything you have to give, and it will show not only them, but most importantly YOU, if this is the right job for you.
At this point, you have to hold on to your convictions to survive a process like this one. Something that helps you find strength when there is none left. Let me share with you three things that helped me continue until the end:
- God, and the trust I have in Him and His plan for me;
- My wonderful family – in special, my wife for her support, always;
- The personal connection and identification with every word in Automattic’s creed:
I will never stop learning. I won’t just work on things that are assigned to me. I know there’s no such thing as a status quo. I will build our business sustainably through passionate and loyal customers. I will never pass up an opportunity to help out a colleague, and I’ll remember the days before I knew everything. I am more motivated by impact than money, and I know that Open Source is one of the most powerful ideas of our generation. I will communicate as much as possible, because it’s the oxygen of a distributed company. I am in a marathon, not a sprint, and no matter how far away the goal is, the only way to get there is by putting one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.
After a crazy month working two jobs at almost 60 hours a week, with some of the most smart-helpful-amazing people I have ever met in my career…
I got the job.
I cried like a baby when I found out.
I felt too good to be true! I am a happiness engineer, and I can say it now, but I still can’t believe it. I am so, so happy to be entering this new chapter in my life!
Funny note – my mom always called me “happy” growing up. I guess she knew a thing or two about me 🙂
I wish I had paid attention sooner – but God knows the right timing for everything 😉
I can finally say this. I got a job with Automattic! Thank you all who have supported me along the way!
Oh, and did I mention? We’re hiring 😉