Exceptional by exceptions - When Work meets heart.
Happiness is not the goal. You do not need to always be happy. Have great days all the time. But being content and fulfilled can accompany through light and through the darkness.
I have had a decade long career in the WordPress, Web, and Tech world - and I have worn so many hats I no longer label "what I do for a living". From Web Marketing Engineer at Sage accounting to Head of Development and team leads, to Team Augmentor for Higher, Consultant, Freelancer, Teacher, Developer, To even Psychologist, Hypnotist, Writer and Poet, and Mental Health advocate and Speaker.
If life is about deep and wide multi-disciplinary experiences, then I have had quite the life. This does, however, lead one to eventually feel a plateau and belief that there are not much more experiences out there to have or hats to wear that would cause one any amount of excitement.
Enter Stage Left, Team Codeable.
To understand this story, let's start where this all began, the beginning.
During my time freelancing, a few years ago, I was recommended to join this platform for WordPress experts of the highest calibre by a good friend of the mine and the WordPress community here in South Africa, Jonathan Bossenger (JBoss).
Now, I have heard of Codeable for ages, I knew the reputation they had was an earned one, and joining was never really a consideration as they only obviously took in the best - it felt humorous to apply thinking myself as such, so I never did - until JBoss.
JBoss and I met in Cape Town and a WordCamp VIP Dinner was we bonded over wine, code, community and Jiu-Jitsu. I soon came to reliably consider him amongst those who had qualities I too aspire to - so when he thought me worthy to suggest I apply, and even gave in a good word to escalate my application as an expert, maybe he saw in me what I didn't.
After some very well crafted assessments, I was accepted as a Codeable Expert and soon a Certified Codeable Expert (one of the prestigious honours amongst freelance WordPress devs).
After some time learning the world, I realised that I wanted to always choose where I work rather than just work where I am chosen - for me to be somewhere, I have to have chosen it as much or more than it had chosen me.
Being part of the Codeable Expert Community (key emphasis on the community) was great, later I joined the Core Codeable Team as a Support Engineer (Happiness Engineer) which is the journey I will talk about but first, let me tell you why I chose Codeable and what they are:
- Codeable is, in technical terms, a platform which connects these profoundly skilled experts, with clients who understand they need something done but also that they need it done well.
- (Codeable is exclusively WordPress focused [one of the reasons for me choosing them as well], but they are not competition free - and competition that is also seemingly more affordable.
- Codeable not only attracts the best talent, but they also seem to have this magic in also getting customers of equal quality.
- Codeable is Exceptional by making exceptions to the rules most believe true.
- Where every other imitation starts of fairy-tale and soon verges on fast and furious-like races to the bottom with bidding wars, and rushed work. Codeable decided to do things differently.
- Codeable chose just one technology and to be the best provider of skilful experts in that realm - I call this shrinking down to greatness.
- Codeable has a minimum recommended rate because they believe in quality, if we make sure that the expert values their time enough to charge this rate and nothing lower, we ensure that the experts create quality works of heart and have a living - rather than rushing to try to make a living elsewhere.
- Codeable does not allow bidding, the client gets the average of all estimates they receive, so bidding wars cannot exist, and the groups estimate assessment is what any of the chosen would get.
- Codeables experts are a community - Codeable chose to have co-operation over competition. A community that helps and supports their peers and colleagues. This is culture, this has no metric or ROI - nor can it be bought, but this is the Codeable heartbeat.
- And lastly, the Core Codeable Team treated everyone like we each mattered and not like we were their product, a number or a metric. Codeable understood that this was the reason for their much-beloved reputation and most rightfully earned success.
- Codeable understood that quality, community, and heart was what others could not compete in. Many copied the model, imitation is a fine compliment, but one cannot plagiarism heart. And Codeable was built and builds with heart, lots of it.
- These are just some of the reasons I chose them - which made it quite a treat to be chosen back.
More heart - Being on the core team.
As much as this is an honour, it comes with a lot to live up to. In May of 2019, I joined the Codeable Support Team. Coming from Team Lead roles at some of the best WP companies out there, Support Person was not a position I considered a move to - Most my view my work history by job title and believe I have ventured down the career ladder instead of up.
Here is a secret though: Codeable Support is nothing like what I thought the name suggested. We are not customer support, we are not answerers of questions and doer of tasks, we support in by the very definition of the word.
Obviously a company needs to care about the bottom line and revenue to survive and to sustain, and to grow.
And this is where the unexpected journey began.
I soon learned that Codeable was not a hierarchy of roles and tasks and you do what your job title, position, rank, or contract says. As cheesy as this sounds. Its a family, and we help each other and they go out of their way to help me too, everyone just shows up and provides value with the best way they know-how and to be better than we were yesterday and to do it together.
No man (or woman) left behind, an understanding that a rising tide lifts all boats, and that my teammate's success is as much his as my own.
...and it doesn't stop there.
Codeable Support is truly a redefinition of what a Support Team is typically thought of. Basically, our role is to support our clients on a journey to find an expert that builds with care and quality what they desire. We Support the experts in doing what we can to reasonably help them bring their clients dreams to existence. I don't know if a name for what we do actually exists - but everyone that's understands the Codeable way, knows that through care, guidance, patience, educating, respect, we all win.
To see experts help each other knowing that the success of all of them was the success of all of us. To have this curtain drawn and to realise that getting up, logging on, and doing what we do is less about rules, protocols, policies and much more about fairness, caring meaningfully about those I offer to serve, and doing my best as much as possible.
You can be happy with work. A work, when it's like this, blurs with life.
As an evangelical advocate for mental health and self-care, I would say that I have never needed a break from work, but when needed have taken a break from myself, as this is a place you don't need to escape from. Mondays are not blue, and Tuesdays aren't just a day closer to Friday.
For the first time, I have experienced an entirety of a vocational journey where the key thing I learned that its possible to strive for impact over money, fairness over tactics - and that success, revenue, sustenance, and company growth are side-effects of a group of good-intentioned, intelligent humans from all parts of the world simply come together, show up and give their heart for their art and know that providing this value to the world will give value back - no small print.
I have the growth to know that I have lost the job-hunter/seeker mindset and know that I can be and do whatever I want and whatever I choose. Success to me, now, is choosing every day to be part of a crew/company/community/family that choose me back every day and together we try and make something great.
The point is not so much to boost the many points of Codeable. But, probably more to realise in writing for myself and to offer hope to others, that it doesn't have to suck at work. You do not need to be a number. You can wake up to something that is more than what it is, and do more than what you need, and you can build a life with heart. Codeable is not a platform to get WordPress work done by vetted experts. That is just the medium, Codeable is a place where we come together to help each other, the team, the experts, and our clients, create a life they dream of - it all just needs to be in the scope and be willing to seize it.
I have not mentioned so many people who deserve it, but suffice to say, Codeable was created by Tomaz and Per, and for them and my teammates - everyone of which it is an honor to work with. Thank you.
Thanks for showing me that I can show others that Mondays are great, they just need a better place - and I believe there's a Codeable for everyone.
And the unexpected part of this journey? I have grown more as a person than I have in any skillset out there, and this for me has been invaluable.
I do have bad days, rough days, challenging days. But I have never had those days without the opportunity to just reach out and get help, I guess everyone at Codeable is The Support Team.
So if you are reading this, and if you don't like your job, or think it's just a means to an end. Trust me when I say, you can do better, so be better, and better will find you.
It's not the pursuit of happiness but the happiness of pursuit.