Star of the Month Christopher Amirian shows us that to-do lists are here to stay and explains why there’s no time like family time.
Christopher, tell us about yourself
I am from Tehran, Iran but ethnically, I am Armenian. This is the reason behind my move to Yerevan, Armenia, several years ago.
Currently, I am back in Tehran, but I plan to return to my roots by spending a month in Yerevan this summer.
I am married and have a 5-year-old daughter. My wife, daughter, and I consider ourselves to be a traditional Armenian family.
Do you have any hobbies or preferred ways to spend your free time?
For me, there’s nothing better than spending time with my family and friends.
Just recently, my daughter finished her second year of kindergarten. For my wife and I, this was the perfect opportunity to be an integral part of the final ceremony.
My wife is a member of the school board, so she handled the planning side of things. I did all the stage fixtures and took care of a few other related assignments.
How did you hear about OTGS, and what were you doing before you joined us?
Before joining OnTheGoSystems, I worked in a technical customer support role for a WordPress theme called X theme.
I knew about WPML from the early years of WordPress development, as it is an industry-leading product. Back then, I never imagined that I’d get hired by a company as big as OTGS. But in July 2020, I officially became part of the team.
Could you describe your job at OnTheGoSystems?
I am a Technical Supporter for WPML and Toolset products. On a day-to-day basis, I take chats and handle incoming forum tickets.
I also work on the site auditing tasks for translation company partners. The audit is quite comprehensive. It includes checking the list of plugins and the setup of the website, giving proper documentation on how to get started, and pointing to possible known issues.
Last but not least, I help with the knowledge base training materials and data entries.
One of the best parts of my job is all the different teams I get to work with:
The enforcer team for all projects concerning WPML support
The Toolset support team
Support team members Amit and Alejandro for tasks related to the site auditing. I also work closely with Alejandro on training materials.
What qualifications are needed to do your job well?
I would say there’s no one qualification – it’s a mix of different ones combined with the right attitude.
Of course, it’s necessary to have good technical information about the company products and the WordPress platform overall. You need to be prepared to multi-task, especially when switching between WPML and Toolset support. Both require different kinds of skill sets. And because handling different tasks during the day is the norm, it’s worth being organized and keeping a daily tasks sheet – just to make sure nothing is forgotten along the way.
But it’s also important to be patient and polite, especially when engaging with customers.
What’s the most challenging part of your job, and how do you overcome it? What does a typical day look like for you?
As I mentioned, my job involves a lot of multi-tasking between various roles. And that just so happens to be one of the most challenging parts of my job.
But, by keeping track of everything in a Google sheet, I’ve been able to form a system that works for me:
I try to start the day with WPML support tickets. I have a mix of returning and new tickets. During this time, I don’t take any chats.
In the middle of the day, I switch to Toolset. Due to the nature of Toolset support tickets, I need to be completely focused on Toolset, so I don’t do anything else during this time.
Then, I focus on WPML chats and any other remaining tasks and meetings. I would say I usually keep a ratio of 70% chats and 30% tickets.
I also have a to-do list that I need to finalize before I can officially call it a day. The list includes updating my Google sheet, making note of any additional projects I have completed, giving a daily report in Google Currents, and of course – setting my status to offline and letting my team know I’m closing for the day :)
In your experience, what are the best things and most challenging things about working remotely?
The best thing is the freedom I have to manage small family-related matters. When you have a 5-year-old daughter, flexibility is essential.
As for challenges, there are two main ones that I face:
Not moving much and leading a sedentary lifestyle. I overcame this by forcing myself to go to my parent’s home or my brother’s cafe every day. This way, I’m forced to either walk or ride a bicycle every day. I also made use of the scholarship program and I now go to the gym three times a week.
Keeping up my performance and self-discipline. To keep myself on track, I use the Google sheet that I have as a guide and remind myself periodically if I am behind my performance goal for the month.
Do you have any hopes and plans for the future?
I plan to change my body composition to a healthier weight-to-height ratio. Like I already mentioned, I’m actively working towards that goal!
I’d also love to become involved in WordCamp or some similar events. But at least at the moment, living in Iran makes attending these sorts of activities difficult.
See what working remotely is all about
Are you looking for the opportunity to work from anywhere? Or are you ready for a better work-life balance? Don’t hesitate any longer. Take a look at our open positions and apply today!