Saying goodbye at a distributed company: my final week at Automattic

Before starting at Support Driven, it’s time to say goodbye to old friends.

Butterfly Mind

How do you say goodbye to your coworkers of 3.5 years when you’re scattered all over the globe and none of you is in the same physical location? Last week, I sent a text to my husband, “My co-leads are going to have going away happy hour (via video) in the evening on Wednesday March 14. I imagine it could go for a while. Will that work for you?”

He replied, “Of course that’s fine. Weird… But fine 😉”

It’s times like these that being distributed is hard. We can’t get together in a pub, with the ambient sounds of end-of-workday chatter, mugs thunking on a bartop, chairs scraping across the floor, laughter at the other end of the table. We can’t sit next to each other and clink glasses as we raise a toast. We can’t hug each other when it’s all over.

But we make do. On Wednesday…

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I’m joining Support Driven full time!

I shared this on my main blog and wanted to share here :-).

Butterfly Mind

I’ve worked with Automattic, makers of WordPress.com, for three and a half amazing years. The company, and its faith in me, have transformed me. A leadership coach recently encouraged me to start a learning journal to jot down all the things I’ve learned the past few years. I was astonished by the list, which included successfully leading a distributed team that spans hemispheres, speaking in front of large audiences, organizing events, and, along with 14 of my co-leads, helping scale the processes and operations of a globally distributed support team of more than 120 Happiness Engineers.

An opportunity fell into my lap a few weeks ago: an opportunity to join Support Driven, a small company that exists to serve a growing community of Customer Support professionals. At first I didn’t consider it. I had everything I wanted at Automattic: smart and funny coworkers, freedom to learn and grow…

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Moving from individual contributor to team lead: how do I measure success?

Moving into a new role is a time of both excitement and terror. Omg, so much is new 😀! Omg, so much is new 😫. One element I found challenging when moving into a lead role is that success is measured differently from how it was measured when I was an individual contributor. As an … Continue reading Moving from individual contributor to team lead: how do I measure success?

How to remember ALL THE THINGS when conducting 1-on-1s as a (distributed) team lead

Tl;dr: I share a private Google doc with each team member, add an individualized agenda each week that includes questions specific to that team member plus information I want to share with all the team, keep notes in the shared doc, and mark action-items in red so I can scan the doc easily to find … Continue reading How to remember ALL THE THINGS when conducting 1-on-1s as a (distributed) team lead

On the Freshdesk blog: How WordPress.com handles over 2000 support requests each day

After reading recent posts about my daily and weekly routines as lead of a distributed support team at Automattic, Arun Sathiya reached out to ask me more about WordPress.com support for the Freshdesk blog's "Secret Sauce to Customer Support" series. I was happy to spend a Saturday afternoon chatting with him via Slack. On top … Continue reading On the Freshdesk blog: How WordPress.com handles over 2000 support requests each day