I never thought the day would come when I would quit what I thought was the best job in the world. Automattic will always mean so much to me. It was my first “real” job – salary, benefits, and everything! It was the place where I learned about technology. It was the place that made me realize that “work” doesn’t mean being stuck in any particular city, stuck commuting back and forth, and/or stuck working the traditional 9 to 5. I think I was incredibly lucky that Automattic was my introduction into the “real world”. Who ever gets to say that? I do have to admit though, I’m pretty stubborn. I could never imagine going to a job I hate every day. I refuse to do it. You spend most of your life at work, why do something you hate?! Maybe I’m naive, but no amount of money or prestige in the world would keep me from enjoying life.
During the past three years, I mostly worked from home in LA, but I also traveled to Europe during my 2nd year where I worked/traveled throughout my time there. Honestly, I don’t like the idea of “vacation”. The whole process of looking forward to your next vacation day, counting vacation days, and cashing out vacation days sounds crazy to me. You probably want to punch me right now. Hah. But, in Europe I would work for a couple hours in the morning, go sightseeing during the day, and then work again at night. When you have a schedule like that traveling becomes sustainable long-term. You can have fun traveling and sightseeing, but you also feel productive because you’re working. I know most people don’t have that luxury, so I consider myself very lucky.
When I first started this job, I was pretty “green” as they would say in the entertainment industry. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was ready to work. I was scared every single day probably for the first 3 months that someone would figure out that I was a fraud, and that I should never have been hired. To say that I had imposter syndrome was an understatement, but this was a brand new industry for me. I remember sweating in my living room staring at my laptop wondering if I should ping someone or not in IRC. Btw, I love IRC. I don’t really know why, other than maybe nostalgia. Anytime I got a ping from someone outside of my team, I thought, “This is it – they finally found out!”. But, somewhere between those 3 months and 3.5 years, I became pretty damn good at my job. I’m really proud of the work that I’ve been able to accomplish at Automattic, and how far I’ve come. I have my coworkers to thank for that. I’ve learned so much from them that I’m really at a loss for words when showing my gratitude.
The coworkers that I’ve become so close to are what I will miss the most. I know many will think that it’s not possible to get so close to people you just “chat” with and meet maybe once a year, but it’s not true. I’ve met coworkers here who will be my friends for life. Some live in different cites and even continents, but I honestly talk to them more than some of my friends and family. My biggest fear was that once I left, I wouldn’t talk to them, and I truly hope that is not the case.
Now, it’s time for me to move forward. I will starting training with GitHub this coming Monday. Again, I’m nervous and that imposter syndrome is starting to fill my brain again, but it’s not like when I started 3+ years ago. I have more confidence thanks to Automattic, and I truly think I’ll do a great job. I hope to learn just as much as I did from Automattic, and I really think I will. 🙂
In about an hour my access will be cut off to all the internal stuff at Automattic. They say it can feel a bit harsh, but being the weirdo that I am, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m dramatic in that way. 😉 The word “bittersweet” never felt so real to me. I truly hope to cross paths with Automattic and my colleagues again soon.