Starting my Happiness Trial Tomorrow

Tomorrow morning at 9am I will being my trial employment period with Automattic, the creators of WordPress, as a Happiness Engineer. After three full days of training I will fit in an addition 30-40 hours a week of work in around my normal 8-5 office job for the next 4-6 weeks.

I’m not terribly excited about the upcoming lack of sleep or tensions this may cause around my home as I lean heavily on my wife during the trial, but I can barely contain how enthused I am to finally start.

I first learned about Automattic, its culture, and about the Happiness Engineer position almost a year ago. The combination of freedom and agency was intoxicating, and caused me to spend many a night dreaming of this job. The ability to work anywhere in the world on whatever schedule I prefer while also helping millions of people spread their messages is very empowering. The benefits are nice too.

I’m hoping I do well and make it to the “Matt chat”. If the trial goes well, I will have an interview with Matt Mullenweg–the CEO of Automattic and creator of WordPress–that usually lasts three or four hours. Most of the people who make it to the Matt chat are extended an offer to become a permanent Automattician. This would be wonderful, but even if it doesn’t work out that way I’ll have a few weeks of getting my hands dirty working tickets and assisting customers for the team that powers around one-quarter of websites and the $25/hour I get for trial employment will make a nice addition to our upcoming house down payment.

It wasn’t very long ago that I felt stuck in a career and mental rut and felt that I was merely going through the motions. In the midst of that melancholy I applied for this position at Automattic, didn’t hear anything back for a few weeks, and promptly moved on. In the time since I’ve learned new skills and made a few good contacts at my current job and laid the foundation to move toward a new role there.

About a month ago, I heard back from Automattic and quickly went through an initial interview, a small project, and another interview which led to the offer of trial employment. Almost immediately after I accepted the trial offer, I received an offer for a position at my current employer writing documentation and maintaining a social media presence for one branch of the organization. I start this position in just over a week after my trial at Automattic begins, so I will be learning two jobs at the same time.

The old saying goes, “be careful what you wish for”, and while I’m sure I’ll be mentally and physically drained by the end of this process I can’t wait to go forward and either fish or cut bait. It shall be quite a journey and I will share as much as time allows. Wish me luck!