Business owner to Automattician

Moving into a new job always comes with a lot of different emotions during the transition process, this can include uncertainly, excitement, doubt and many more. A new job can also bring changes to your personal life which you, and your family, will need to adapt to.

The key when moving into any new job is to be positive and excited about the change, even a completely new adventure can be scary, but if your gut feeling is that you are doing the right thing and the new opportunity is the right direction for you, then putting all your efforts into making it work out will help you achieve your long term professional goals.

This was definitely the case when I applied to become a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. It was a different direction from previously running my own web design company, and came with a lot of changes for myself and my family. It would be longer working hours, weekend work and navigating remote work with a team based around the world.

I was first introduced to the Happiness Engineers role when I attended WordCamp Europe in Paris, June 2017. It was my third year volunteering at WCEU and I was able to attend the speaker and organizers meal before the event. Until then, I had not heard much about Automattic in the WordPress.org world, so I was keen to learn more and hear about the different positions available, working with WordPress.com.

WCEU Paris

If you work with WordPress, I would highly recommend getting involved with the community. Working with the Open Source software WordPress offers many ways to get involved, not only for developers, but designer, copywriters, video/audio experts…

My own web design business, at this point, was going well, growing, and I was expanding to create my own plugins in a defined service niche. It was only when I became a mum, my focus changed. I was no longer able to go out to networking events, or had the flexibility to set up appointment with clients at the drop of a hat. I was juggling being a mum and running my own business and wasn’t enjoying the process, my workload or my daily routine.

A change had to come, but first I had to look into my different options, find something I loved to do using the skills I had learned over the years and staying flexible, so I could work from home. After analyzing what I was currently working on, I came to the conclusion that my favorite area was working with clients directly, helping the end-user and supporting them to create a website they could use, which fitted their unique requirements. I wanted to offer support for WordPress.

With my goal defined, I wanted to put aside time for additional research. I was not the first to make a career change and move from being an entrepreneur, back to being employed, so learning from others was the next step. I purchased two books, Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins, but did not finish the book at the time as I became fascinated by my second book choice, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. This was the push I needed to find the courage to go for my dream job.

Why offer WordPress support for other companies, when I could do this at Automattic?

In late September 2018 I applied to work as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic. The process, including the trial, took around 3 months, this can vary. Looking back now, it was such a busy time, I had great support from my husband and was able to organize my days to separate working and being a mum.
During this time I pushed any negative feedback I received from other family members to the back of my mind, I was focused on my goal and getting my new dream job. It was a roller coaster of emotions, hard work and the imposter syndrome did kick-in, but it was well worth it and in early 2019, I started to work at Automicattic.

I gave myself time for the adjustment and time to close my current web design projects, offering my clients alternative web developers to continue to work with. On one hand, it was sad to be saying goodbye to clients I had worked with for many years, but the new prospect of working from home, no clients calls out of office hours and establishing a new routine with a fixed timetable was exciting and a change I was looking forward to.

I am very happy working as a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, it offers the flexibility I was looking for and I get to use my skills to help people everyday!
Does it sound like a good fit for you? We are always hiring 🙂

Published by Rachel Winspear

I have a passion for learning new things, WordPress and open source, as well as reading business and personal development books. In my spare time I also like to run (not too far), play badminton and help out with WordPress support questions.

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