How do you measure job satisfaction? An interview with our employee of the month – Christian Glingener

We are all searching for job satisfaction. But how do we measure it? For each of us, there are different aspects of a job which we value more than others.

Is a good working relationship with your colleagues important for you? Do you feel appreciated and do you receive commendation for your job performance?  Would you like more career opportunities and a chance to develop personally?

Of course, to feel happy with your job also involves other factors such as job supervision or the confidence of a steady income. We decided to ask OnTheGoSystems’s employee of the month Christian Glingener, who comes from Bonn, Germany and has been working at OTGS since 2015 feels about his job.

Christian, what was the most interesting job you had before joining OTGS?

The only right answer to this question can be – there was no other more interesting job than working for OTGS. :P

Joking aside, I did not have a lot of jobs. In 2004, when I was sixteen, I started to work in a small local advertising agency. The web jobs there weren’t really interesting as about 95% of the websites we built were just a few static information pages – we only had 3 clients with an online shop. From year to year, it became more and more boring, job satisfaction was definitely low.

In 2013 a co-worker and I had our first theme accepted on ThemeForest and in 2014 I quit my job to fully focus on ThemeForest. Was it interesting? Well, codewise you can put anything you want on a theme to make it more interesting to create and for people to buy it. However, more people means more support and the rating system on ThemeForest is very annoying for the authors. Getting a bad rating ruins your business and clients know that. So you often do things which should not be part of the selling price. For example, having to install a full version of WordPress with the theme the client bought on some odd server setups, or making advanced customizations in the code just to fit the client’s needs, and so on…  

Very quickly I found I had no time left to produce new stuff and my working hours were consumed by all sorts of to-dos for my clients, some small and some huge. Maybe someone else has also found him or herself watching the sales, hoping to have enough to pay the rent?

My themes on ThemeForest also supported WPML. Being registered on wpml.org, I was on the OTGS mailing list and one day I got an email asking for developers. If I remember correctly, it did not take much longer than a month between that first email and my first working day at OTGS.

Family time

Tell us about the colleagues you work closely with – do you get along well? Are there occasions when there are misunderstandings or personality clashes?

OTGS really is the most unusual and interesting job I’ve ever had. It’s an unusual job because we all work from home but every day we are in close contact with people from all over the world. It’s true that we come from different cultures, but I can’t remember any problematic situation with serious misunderstandings or personality clashes.

I just have one in mind where we sang the birthday song on a Friday for someone who had a birthday at the weekend. For us Germans, it is unlucky to congratulate someone before their birthday. For others, it is the exact opposite. I hope that poor person did not have a bad year :P

Polish beer at “Pützchens Markt” (funfair here in Bonn with 1,4 million visitors per year).

Can you recall an occasion when your work was noticed?

It was right at the start when I began working at OTGS. My first task after training was to make wpml.org responsive. Doesn’t sound so spectacular, right? But it was the timing which turned it into a magic moment. I mean I had just joined the company who made WPML and I was invited to directly put my hands on wpml.org (the most visited site I ever worked on). That was an amazing honor.

How has OTGS helped you in your career development?

When I start something, I am highly motivated. When I was a kid, this got me into trouble. One winter I was so determined to shovel snow that I also scraped it off the neighbor’s new car with the iron shovel. The car was full of scratches but not a single snowflake was left on it!

Working on huge projects like our plugins stimulates me and has helped me to evolve in a completely different area than working on small projects. With more complex libraries it’s way more important to have a good structure than the kind needed for the minor projects I was working on at the beginning of my career for that little local agency.

We have a lot of interesting projects, which are all very different. If the day ever comes when I’m bored with Toolset Types, I will ask to be put on some other project where I’m sure there will be new interesting challenges.

My favorite project was “Toolset-based themes” because it was complex and I could build it from zero. Sadly it never caught on with our clients.

On a more personal note, when I started here it was a real challenge to speak English. The last time I spoke English, before that first interview, was eleven years ago at school and I wasn’t the child who raised his hand to take part in the lesson. If only German was our company language… I think that would make everyone happy! :D

My wife Silvia and me

An old proverb from the Middle Ages goes “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It means that without time off from work, a person becomes both bored and boring. Through its Scholarship program,  OTGS encourages us to widen out and take part in non-work related activities. I have always wished I could dance. Taking advantage of this program, my wife and I are attending dance classes for over year now.  I still feel like an elephant on the dance floor! Well, it would be really helpful if I could sense the beat of the music, but no “luck” yet.

What advice do you have for prospective candidates?

Take it seriously. Really. Over the years I have reviewed many candidates and so very often I cannot believe what they have written and submitted as coding examples (sometimes nothing at all).

Can you relate to Christian’s positive feelings about his job? He enjoys a close-knit working relationship with his colleagues.  He feels appreciated and receives commendation for his efforts. His career is moving forward and yet he still has time to enjoy life away from the computer.

Could working from home be just the thing for you? At OnTheGoSystems, we are always looking for dynamic, talented workers who are looking to enjoy the freedom and responsibility that comes with remote working. If this sounds like you, check out our jobs page.