Part 3: Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! What Happens in a Year!

This is Part 3 of the series Journey to Happiness Engineer at Automattic! You can find the first part and second part!

The Roots

This day last year, I wasn’t the happiest person. I followed the rules of graduating college and getting a job; however, it seems rules are meant to be broken to get further in life.

After graduating college with a BS in Information Technology, I got a full-time Systems Engineer job in the city. It would have been great if I got paid more for being in the city, but I didn’t. As a result, the struggle to pay my bills, having trouble adjusting to the real world, and the long hours I worked provided no assistance to a healthy and happy mind.

One day in July, I came back from a strenuous day of work. I called my significant other, Holly, and complained again about my current life situation. She listened intently, paused, then said something so simple, yet so powerful.

“Then do something about it!”

It shocked me back to reality. I realized I was one of those graduates that blame everything on outside events instead of focusing on what’s inside and changeable. This realization lead me on a path of pursuing meditation, business, and positivity. It progressed to the point of finding Automattic.

In April 17, 2017, I managed to grab my life and change direction. I became a Happiness Engineer for the distributed company Automattic. I began working from home, traveling the world, and experiencing a world beyond imagination. I decided it’s time to let y’all know what’s happened since becoming an Automattician and how 2017 changed my life!

Remote Work

Working from home is like the new American Dream. When I mention I work from home, people always say “You’re soo lucky! I wish I could work from home!” To this, I usually say, “Yeah it’s pretty cool but it’s still tons of work.”

There is a misconception that working from home equates to work getting ten times easier. Rather, it’s easy in some aspects and harder in others. Working for home is NOT for everyone. It requires mental strength and focus. Being able to switch from work to home mode is not a simple task. You’ll be working and mail comes to the door or you notice your room is a mess or you notice the dishes need to be cleaned. Small distractions can get you out of your flow easily, ending in little or no work done.

Personally, I remedy this mainly with music. There’s a select few playlist I use to really get me in the zone. These playlists are usually instrumental in the genres of chillhop, funk, jazz, or hip-hop. With my noise-cancellation headphones, music bumping, and work windows open, I transport to my own world. Other ways are by working outside the house at a cafe. This also opens opportunities to meet new people consistently and change your environment often. It’s all about keeping the balance of work and play.

Traveling

It’s been a decade since I’ve been in the sky. Two weeks into Automattic, I was on a flight to San Diego. I’ll admit, it was my first time on a plane alone and don’t remember the feeling of taking off from the ground. However, the adrenaline of being on my first work trip and meetup with my new colleagues was enough to diffuse the worries of the trip there and back!

My first team meetup with Automattic is a trip that will be an ingrained memory. It symbolized that my life changed for the better. I entered the world of remote working for the best distributed company in the world! During my trip to San Diego, I danced on screen at the Padres game, saw gorgeous red pandas, visited a zen garden, and had some of the best fried chicken to date! Since this trip, I’ve gone to Boston (work), Whistler (Grand Meetup), Ecuador (Personal), Nashville (WCUS), and Miami / Norwegian Cruise (Personal). I’m super grateful for what I get to experience now and do not take it for granted. I even get to take small trips to see my family more often which, even though I need to work on, helps bring me closer to them. This experience of traveling and going around the world at my age is very rare and I find myself lucky where I am now in my life.

Experiences

“A person’s success in life can usually be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”

– Tim Ferriss

A distributed company means that my colleagues live in countries across the globe. This comes with a language barrier and many uncomfortable conversations. However, I learned from speaking with my various colleagues at the GM that the language barrier is just a veil. Once broken, it unleashes a world of knowledge. Through my colleagues and trips around the world, I gain better understanding of the differences between my world and other’s.

I’m grateful and humbled by my colleagues/friends because through them, I get to learn about different cultures, languages, and lifestyles. A colleague of mine, Nagesh, teaches me a small bit about Indian culture each time we talk. I’ve even learned how to say “Good Morning!” in Sanskrit / Hindi, Su-Prabhaat! How Nagesh lives in comparison to how I live is different but I get to learn from his world each day which is something I’m happy to always hear about.

One thing to take away is that happiness and teamwork can be universal even through a language barrier. Our creed undoubtedly symbolizes who we are and it shows through my daily conversations within my team residing from Canada to Vietnam.

The Synopsis

There’s really not much to say about the past almost nine months at Automattic. I’m comfortable here and I expect to be here for a good portion of my life happily enjoying what the world and work has to offer. Last year, I never imagined being on the other end of the of these posts. Since I joined, I haven’t posted at all and 2018 seems like the year to begin showing y’all my life in Automattic. I’m glad you have read this far into my journey and I look forward to taking you on this trip I call life!


Should You Apply?

That’s honestly up to you. If you resonated with any of my story, felt that a Happiness Engineer is in you, and have the work ethic for it, go ahead! If you wish to contact me about it, feel free to! I’ll be waiting for your email, future Happiness Engineer! We’re always hiring! 🙂

GO TIME: SERIOUS MODE ON

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Today Is The Day

It’s finally here! Today marks a new beginning. I don’t know what to expect. Anything can happen. I will be pushed down. I will go through many hardships. I will get lost on the way. But, I WILL persevere! I’ll find the paths needed to get to the main road! It’s chaos time and I’m ready to take it head on. Watch out world, here comes a new superhero! His name is Erick. He has solar-powered confidence and a genuine smile of getting work done! If Chance can get a grammy, I can get this goal! Time to put one foot in front of another every day. Given time, there is no problem that’s insurmountable.

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via Seriousness

 

Replace Everything BUT Yourself

Everything Is Replaceable Except You


The World of Things

Everything we have right now can be replaced within a year. If we break a phone or have our contract up, we get a new one. If a car breaks down, we buy another or find another means of transportation. We dislike our job and we go and find another. If you lose a friendship, you gain another. You (hopefully) change clothes each day. Almost EVERYTHING can be replaced these days. But, the ONE thing you can’t replace is yourself.

Why EVERYONE is Unique

In the history of this world, you have had an experience UNLIKE anyone else. Every moment of your life, even as you read this, is unique. No one will read this at the exact time, place, location, age, gender, race, etc. as you. YOU made that moment happen. Your whole life experience in relationships, jobs, talent, etc. are entirely different from anyone else. Even twins are different since birth. If you think about it, it’s because of our ability to think. We create a world of possibilities within our minds. Each mind creates many different thoughts and opinions that even AI can’t reach.

One can argue that history repeats itself, that patterns happen throughout time. That may be true, but everyone’s overall experience are different. We may experience SIMILAR situations, but never the SAME EXACT moment.

Think of all the conversations you ever had. They are irreplaceable. A conversation between you and another person happened at a unique moment. We’ll never get back each passing second. Stare for a second, you’ll see one go. Then another. Then another.

We will never get the moment of the NOW back. NOW is important to living. If you’re living in the past or future, you’re wasting time not being present to the moments that happen at this very moment. Take a second to not think and look around you. Take a breathe and feel how the breathe goes in, then out. You’ll notice how important the NOW is.

If You Don’t Like Yourself, CHANGE YOURSELF

Stop rejecting who you truly are. Personally, disliking yourself leads down a road of more darkness and negativity unlike any other. If you stop thinking so negatively and begin to be positive towards yourself and those around you, a change happens.

For example, I used to HATE working at Dunkin Donuts in High School. Everything about it sucked. I worked after school and on the weekends along with helping my mom deliver newspapers at 2AM then heading to work right after. Every time I came in, I did my job and waited to leave. I left when my shift was over without a care in the world.

At one point, I hated this way of thinking. I decided to change it up. For one week, I’ll be nice to everyone and go above and beyond to see if there’s a difference in my job. Within a week, the customers seemed happier, the job went faster, and regulars even requested I make their coffee/sandwich sometimes. Overtime I came to consistently give my all in the work I did and with a smile. Changing to a positive outlook will open up a a new world where even the worst people have a hard time getting mad at you. It gave me the social skills to even write these blog posts I do today.

If you really don’t like who you are, you’re missing out on a great person. You can replace everything in your world as much as you want. At the end of the day, you’ll still find an emptiness inside. You’ll only begin to be fulfilled once you look to better yourself and those around you. Some days will be tough, but the more you give, the happier you’ll be at the end of your life.

Don’t hate who you are. YOU are unique with a world no one other than you has ever experienced. Love who you are, change the parts you don’t like, and keep moving forward. You deserve to be the best version YOU want to be. Keep moving forward.


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via Replacement

Daily Prompt: ENTHUSIASM FOR 2017!

New Year, New You!

About a week and a half until 2017! Are you prepared yet? I definitely am! Why? What’s not to be excited about next year? There’s a whole new year of OPPORTUNITIES just waiting to be unlocked within you! THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE DAYS of creating your best year ever!

There are approximately 8,760 hours in a year. If you work an average of 40 hours a week, you get an average of 2,080 hours working per year. If you sleep 7 hours each day, you get 2,555 hours per year. That leaves you with 4,125 hours to work towards your passions. How do you spend those hours? I’m not saying that you should use those hours ONLY to spend time on your passions but if you at least take half of that, 2062.5 hours, you get about 86 full-days worth of working on YOUR PASSIONS.

I know that it sounds rough. My main point is that you can really change who you are if you put in the work for it. There’s a finite number of days for you to live. Why waste it on anything else but doing what you love to do, then turning it into your career? The reason I say this is because once I changed the way I look at my life and how I live in it, I felt enthusiastic about each day. Not to say everyday was perfect but most days were great because I allowed them to be.

If you want to change your outlook on life, I’m currently reading a book called Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb and Disrupt You! by Jay Samit. Most people are fragile to life, they can’t take the unexpected. Why not learn how to be different? To gain from disorder that is called life. Look at mother nature, she has been thrown some of the worst cards in human existence but still pushes forward each day to continue to grow and stay lush so life can exist on this home we call Earth! Look to become antifragile in everything that happens to you and learn to disrupt your life to create the future that you invision for yourself.

It’s a new year coming up. How will you adjust to it?

 


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via Enthusiasm