Roughly two and a half years ago, I was in a marketing role at my previous employer. I did not have any experience in a customer-facing role, but I had my eye on Automattic’s open position for the role of a Happiness Engineer. I have used WordPress since 2010 and had a strong platform knowledge, but I knew clearing this trial wouldn’t be an easy task.
I realized I would need actual experience in working in a customer-facing role to succeed in my application. As most Happiness Engineers might recommend, I started contributing on the WordPress.com community forums.
First few months as a forums contributor
I had a rocky start. I wasn’t getting the right answers — sometimes the question was actually about a WordPress.com site, but I assumed that it was a WordPress.org site, or sometimes I mentioned that a certain feature was unavailable, when it actually was available.
The Automattic Creed’s first line reads “I will never stop learning“. In that spirit, I spent evenings after my primary job reading replies from other contributors and Happiness Engineers. I learned where to look for answers, how to test before answering, and how to empathize with customer’s challenges.
Fast forward a few months, I felt confident in submitting my application.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get beyond the first interview stage.
Gaining experience in live chat support
Back then I had a free WordPress.com account. When I visited the support page instead of chatting with a Happiness Engineer, I had the opportunity to chat about my WordPress.com account with a representative from a third-party service.
That’s when it struck me, I could join that service too! After all, I was already answering customer questions on the forums. Eventually, I was able to join and learn how to tackle real-time support requests, and collaborate with others to find solutions to the customer’s goals.
Of course, I applied for the Happiness Engineer position after a few months, made it through the interview stage, and landed a trial. Roughly a month and half later, I was offered the full-time contract, and here I am!
Automattic looks for one’s ability to learn and adapt so that one can help teach others. So, I could say that my experience with the program was tremendously helpful. It was similar to what I do as my core work today.
Core work at Automattic mostly revolves around supporting customers in live chat. It can be intensive, but if you are someone that enjoys chatting with others, you may like this job. It has been helpful for me to converse in a way similar to how I converse with a friend in real life. And, not surprisingly, customers are typically easy talk to!
If you think you resonate with this role, don’t hesitate to apply! If you have experience with WordPress (either WordPress.com or WordPress.org), excellent English language writing skills, fast typing skills, HTML and CSS knowledge, prior support experience, and a genuine passion for helping others you may be a good fit for the team too.