So, I went and had a look at my blog. It is now only 44 days until I reapply to Automattic! (Funny, my blog keeps time for me now…??) I thought this would be a good time to review on what I have done so far in preparation for my reapplication and also list what I plan to do from here on.
Answering in the WP.com Forums
In my last mail from Automattic, one of the things I was told to work on before reapplying was volunteering in the WordPress.com Forums. I can’t believe my first post was over 7 weeks ago now! Since then, there has been Thanksgiving (US), the Emperor’s Birthday (Japan), Christmas and New Year!
I started off by answering in the forum titled “Support”. I tried to choose topics I was comfortable with or could easily find official WordPress.com support documentation for. I then started venturing out into the Japanese forum. But the other volunteer guy there is so fast to answer enquiries! I check there every so often, but I have switched my focus back to the English forums again.
Lately, I have tried picking topics from the “Themes” and “CSS” categories. There aren’t as many enquiries posted there as compared to the “Support” forum, but I find these are a little more technical and are good to stretch me and make me think! This week, I have also started looking for enquiries with the word “domain” in the post title. Reading a few blog stories from Happiness Engineers, I keep seeing domain support is an important part of their work. I thought I would do a bit of refresher study regarding domains and see how I go there, too.
I actually blundered today with one of my answers… Thankfully, another long-time volunteer piped in soon after I posted. It was a careless mistake, really, and actually reminded me I need to keep a sharp eye out for details in people’s posts. The smallest words can have the biggest meanings.
As it currently stands, I am at… 108 replies! Wow! So, I guess if I keep this pace up, perhaps I can have somewhere between 200 and 250 replies before I reapply? We will see?
Considering Philosophies of Great Support
This has been just as fun as answering in the forums, really! My Dad went and bought the two books I was recommended as an early Christmas gift for me. (Thanks, Dad!!!) I finished reading through both of them last week and am planning on starting my second round within the next few days. (I might do summary posts in the near future of what I have learned from these books.)
The short story is, I found the philosophies of support listed in these books (and even the company cultures talked about there) are SOOOOOOOOO different from those in Japan! Actually, they resonated very well with the “natural” desire I have in me to help others. I found I must have been doing a lot of “suppressing of self” in the past in the different support work opportunities I have had. I find in Japan, removing individuality and conforming to the society (company) you are in is one of the strongly desired attributes an employer seeks in an employee.
I’m not saying that the Japanese way is necessarily bad. But it is clear, that is not how Automattic is and that is not what they are seeking. Being able to find that out and then practice being myself in the forums has actually been very… “liberating”? Refreshing, nonetheless.
So, I have ordered two more books on a customer service, which I also plan on reading before my reapplication. I am actively implementing what I have read in these materials and hope to form my own list of customer service goals I can talk about when I apply again.
Briefly. Other things I have been working on and plan to do in the near future.
- Free Code Camp course on HTML and CSS: So far, I have finished 5 out of 8 chapters of their HTML/CSS course. Although I have been using HTML and CSS for some time now, it has been good going over some of the basics again and refreshing my memory.
- Considering Accessibility: The Free Code Camp course talks a bit about creating accessible sites for all users. This is a relatively new topic that started getting a bit of attention back when I was in uni. It has been interesting to take a course on it that goes over some of the basics in a structured format. I plan on going through my blog and doing an “Accessibility Check” before my reapplication.
- Theme / CSS editing: One thing I have yet to start on is actively editing CSS coding in a Premium-plan blog I have. I have planned to do this after I finish the refresher course mentioned above. Basically, I plan on choosing different themes and then will edit the different settings to get accustomed to the whole process, as, again, this is one of the things Happiness Engineers seem to do a lot in their chat sessions.
So, there is my report on my progress to reapplying. I still have a bit to do, but I am steadily moving forward. 44 days isn’t long, so I plan on making the most of each day, but enjoying it all in the process, too.
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