It was December 2015, and I was on a flight to Montreal. A few weeks earlier, I'd begun chatting to the folks at Shopify, and they wanted to interview me. A day-long experience which didn't feel like an interview at all. Much more chatting with people I liked.
A few days later, I was back in the UK. Oddly for that time of year, it was colder than in Montreal.
I began to reflect on why I was interested in Shopify in the first place. I'd been aware of the company from early on. I was using the product and loved it, and I knew a few people who worked there I respected.
Beyond the company as a name, the product and the people, there was something else. That thing you generally feel rather than see. I felt a level of care in the aura that surrounded the people they were there to serve.
I waited over Christmas with bated breath for the outcome of my time in Montreal and discussed the reality of moving to Canada if an offer came through.
A few days into January and I found out I'd been successful. I received an offer.
And then it happened.
January 8th, 2016.
A day later, I wrote an email to Shopify to inform them I couldn't take the role as there was more to sort out than I could have ever imagined. Their reply, which I still have, was filled with care.
I spent much of 2016 sorting and re-sorting my Dad's and my own life.
As much as I went on to enjoy my time at DWP Digital building the team, professionalising design, public speaking, and genuinely working with some fantastic people, there was always that niggle that Shopify had gotten away from me.
Late last year, whilst at UK Health Security Agency, I thought about what I wanted to do next.
Earlier that year, I'd had many conversations with private companies and decided that private rather than public service was where I was headed.
As much as it pained me, Shopify was out of the question. Most if not all of their design roles were in Canada.
Or were they?
I was scrolling through LinkedIn and saw a role at Shopify and thought to myself, "I'll make myself smile and cry at the same time to read this..."
And then I saw it.
In bold lettering across the top of the job post...
Shopify is now a completely remote company.
After a reasonably direct conversation with Rich* about it, I contacted Shopify.
I was in no rush. I'd just begun my role at UK Health Security Agency as Head of UX and wanted to fulfil my time with the teams to focus on the Covid19 App, Contact Testing and International Travel.
I was 'all in' on Shopify**.
I went through a complete process again. I'm a very different person now from who I was back in 2015, with more experience.
Today I join my first call as part of the team at Shopify.
Shopify is the one that didn't get away.
I can't wait to get started.
Cynthia, Kevin, Matt, Matt, Mona, Lynsey, Mel and many more folks for your support.
*Rich has been there for me as a supporter and calming influence throughout the process. He's a legend. Thanks, Rich.
**There is much more to tell, explain and detail as to why. That will come soon.