It’s Friday, and my first week at my new gig as a Happiness Engineer for WordPress.com has just wrapped up. I figured it was a good time to post an update of how it went.
In some ways it’s much like any other job when you start. The first couple of days consist of pretty mundane stuff like signing up for health benefits. Did I mention health premiums are 100% paid for your family? 🙂 I’ll just leave this here: We’re Hiring
So, the first day was mostly about making sure I had all the access I needed, getting signed up for stuff, and generally getting my feet wet. Day 2 consisted of a few more hours of training via Slack chat. I spent the rest of that day getting some more stuff in order and get ready to take live chats on day 3.
I was fortunate in that my computer showed up in the middle of Day 1 (a shiny new MacBook Pro and all the trimmings). I was ready to begin on Wednesday. I’ll not bore you with the details of my other days this weeks (interacting with customers over chat, working tickets, etc). Instead, I wanted talk about my impressions doing a workday the Automattic way.
So, in case you didn’t know it, Automattic has an interesting work philosophy. There’s not set hours per se (though I do have to schedule when I plan to chat for coverage purposes). Instead, the idea is you get your work done on your own terms.
This freedom is amazing, but it’s also pretty weird coming from a 9-5 environment. Essentially, what I found is the border between work and not work is kind of fuzzy. Depending on what you’re doing, work and personal stuff can kind of ebb and flow and overlap each other.
Now, I’ve worked in situations where you were kind of expected to live for the company, so it always felt like you were working. This is different. I spent most of the week feeling like it was a weekend where I just happened to do work stuff.
Now to help myself aclimate, I’ve given myself a schedule (very important in any telecommute situation). So, I know I’m pretty much working from 7-4 or so. Still, there’s times I have to go run the kids somewhere, or do something else. And that’s totally ok.
Logically, I know how the system works, and I have a good work ethic, but I still end up feeling like I’ve found some kind of work cheat code.
The real big challenge has been getting the kids used to the idea that just because I’m around, doesn’t mean I’m really “here.”
Then again, there’s also no reason I can’t take a break to play a game with the kids. That’s pretty cool.
My old job already feels like it was 1963 there (minus the smoking and rampant sexual harassment of Mad Men.)
I think I’m gonna like it here!