Four Years at Automattic

This past November marked a work anniversary for me. It kind of passed quietly under the deafening election results the next day and a back injury I’ve been struggling with since. But I made it 4 years and I’m still happy at where I work as a VIP Wrangler.

My previous software job I held from 2001-2011. It was in a traditional office with local staff. It was a niche product offered internationally. I learned how to build websites, do phone/email/forum support, write small blurbs for advertising, write and edit articles for specific page counts in magazines, write multiple 300 page books and not flinch, give back-to-back television presentations in one take, teach software to end users, teach software to teachers, teach software to sales people. It showed me what I liked to do and what I did not excel at. I will be forever grateful to my previous employers for their trust and giving me wings to do what I wanted to try.

But that job did not allow for telecommuting. So I found myself as a new mom, in a new state, with the desire to get out of freelancing. It was one of those moments when some sort of divine intervention swoops in and saves you — too many coincidences to attribute to chance.

I was canvassing job boards, applying many places, checking LinkedIn for friends at other companies I could apply at. A gentleman asked to be a LinkedIn connection. I took one look and thought “who are you and why do you have over 500 people in your list?” I scoured his profile wondering if infant-sleep deprivation was keeping me from remembering we had actually met. We hadn’t, but #yolo. I clicked it. Accept!

Over the next few days, I came across a job listing that was perfect…for him, not me. And sticking with my theme of “what’s the worst that can happen?” I contacted him and told him why I thought he should apply.


In the interest of paying it forward, I saw this and thought of you while I was doing my own job hunt…
Check out: link
Best wishes,

He wrote back:

Thank you so much for thinking of me with regard to this position. It seems like a great fit and I have applied for it. May the good Karma you generated by passing this along to me stand you in good stead in your own job search. Stay in touch and let me know how your search is going. Who knows, perhaps we will meet each other in a corporate boardroom someday!
Warmest Regards,

Not 24 hours later after our email exchange he shared this link to his LinkedIn connections:

I often wonder if I would have stumbled across the article on my own or found Automattic on my own.

It sounded like the perfect fit. I applied, started my trial at the end of September 2012, and was hired by early November. I was assigned to a team having a meetup almost immediately, so not only did I find myself with a new job but needing to book flights to Lisbon, Portugal on short notice.

It’s been a whirlwind of fun, changes, and new friendships. I have not had this kind of job satisfaction before.

About a month after my work anniversary, I had the pleasure of volunteering at WordCamp US in Philadelphia and wrangling room staffing. I walked up to Matt after the State of the Word and said, “you know I don’t think I have a photo of us together”.

So here goes. Thank you Matt. You’ve got a great thing going on here at Automattic.

Published by Andrea Lee Bishop

Andrea (pronounced On-dree-ah) leads Automattic's Support Leads and works in hiring. She's a fixer, traveler, mom, math geek, aspiring-polyglot, musician, and coffee lover.

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