On October 4th, 2011, I got that equally terrifying and anticipated “pong” from Matt Mullenweg after completing my Happiness Engineer trial. A few weeks prior, I’d quit my day job to bet the farm, so to speak, and go all in for an opportunity to work for this intriguing, unique, and, frankly, surreal company.
On October 10th, 2011, I officially started as a full-time Happiness Engineer. Four years later, I’m still here. And still happy.
Before applying to Automattic, I was working in the non-profit field in women’s rights and reproductive health, and juggling some freelance writing gigs on the side. I loved the work I did then, and still do, but wanted a change. I had just randomly adopted a dog I found in the Bronx and was majorly caught in a psychological rut. I’d spent the previous year in Washington, DC, and the move back home to New York wasn’t all that different. I was basically doing the same things, just with a different backdrop.
My life changed completely after joining Automattic. I’m not entirely sure who I can pin that gratitude on, but it’s there and it’s something I feel with various coworkers, projects, discussions, ideas, and jokes every single day. It still feels unreal to sit at home on my computer and talk all day with some of my best friends that I’ve either never met or only met a handful of times.
By that time I had been with the company two and a half years. In that short time I had been pushed into management positions, when I had no experience and wasn’t looking for that in a job. In hindsight, I’m thankful they pushed me there.
I knew that Zappos trusted me, maybe even before I could trust myself in certain roles. Because of that, I was able to learn and grow by leaps and bounds, both personally and professionally.
From Delivering Happiness
In preparation for our Grand Meetup this year, where everyone at the company gets together in person to meet and collaborate, I read Delivering Happiness. It blows my mind that after all this time here, I still hadn’t read this book — it’s one we often recommend and one that, I know, highly resonates with our company culture.
In reading Delivering Happiness, I stumbled across the quote above from one of the Zappos employees and I’m pretty sure I had an audible reaction while reading it on the train. Over the past few years, I’ve been able to contribute to a wide variety of projects, collaborate with lots of different people, and take responsibility for work in ways that I never imagined — oftentimes in ways that I didn’t think I was ready for, but was challenged to trust the faith that others had in me. And I was never disappointed for doing so.
It’s crazy to think of how much that’s changed since I first started here, both personally and professionally. It’s impossible to predict the future, but all I can say is that I’m grateful for the past. Here’s to four more years.