My First Week At Wattpad by Andie Rosenbaum-Meade
I started at Wattpad very close to the Winter holidays, and the first thing that struck me about the company was the strong sense of community that is so deeply embedded at HQ, extending to user’s of Wattpad and Tap. After a flurry of new information hit me, from learning how to use the coffee maker in the kitchen, to getting to know my new co-workers, I was ready to hit the ground running. The energy and excitement at HQ is contagious, and I couldn’t wait to get started in my new position.
My previous two positions both involved bits and pieces of what is required as a Trust and Safety Specialist, but for the most part, working at a website was new territory for me, and I expected an adjustment period. However, I realized fast that this position was not what I expected - it was better. My background is in the social services, most of my work experience in low-income communities, building and executing youth programs. I knew coming into Wattpad that I would be moving from working with small groups of sometimes at-risk youth to a much larger community, computer screens separating every interaction. I remember wondering if I would feel the gravity of my impact if all of my interactions were typed and sent, sometimes translated into other languages, but my question was quickly answered.
It was evident to me after only a couple days with the Community Wellness team that Trust and Safety has such a wide scope of impact, from keeping Wattpad safe, to helping individual users in times of crisis. The thoughtfulness and care behind every decision made reinforced to me that behind every Wattpad story and behind every message typed, there is a human who contributes to the wider Wattpad community. Though I worked more directly with youth previously, I reach more individuals per day than I ever have before - and it’s not just a local impact. With users across the globe, I was able to begin to learn about cultural specificities that I hadn’t been exposed to before. After only a week at Wattpad, my range of impact had multiplied exponentially, cross-culturally, and multi-lingually.
After intensive but completely comprehensive training, I felt ready in under a week to dive right into the day-to-day tasks of the job, and the learning that I gained from those sessions continue to shape how I do my job today, three months later. My team lead Emily, as well as the rest of the Community Wellness team, equipped me with both the support and independence that I needed to feel confident not only to do what was required of me, but to consider and start to develop my own ideas about what could continue to make Wattpad an even safer, happier, and more vibrant community than it already is. All it took was a week for me to start finding my place at Wattpad, and it’s only gotten better since then.