Raquel – Elegant Themes Event Coordinator

Raquel – Elegant Themes Event Coordinator

Do you remember when I told you I was looking for a job?? Well, I found one! A great one!

Many of you know that I’ve been on the job search for over a year. When Mode Effect brought on a new partner in January of 2018, it wasn’t just because John Morrison is impressive (which he is), but it was also to provide a way out for me. It’s not that I didn’t love Mode Effect. I did and still do. I was not doing what I love. I love community and the cultivating of it, and I love event planning. These are just not in the wheelhouse of Mode Effect. And I was ready to stop doing what I didn’t like and start doing what I love.

So on the job search, I was since January of 2018. And over and over I was met with disappointment. Mostly it was for misfortunate reasons, reasons beyond my control. For instance, I had an opportunity with a well known hosting company to be on their events team and to work with some of my fave WP community members. But it would’ve required me to move to Austin. With three teenagers rooted and grounded here in Phoenix, this just wasn’t a possibility. So this did not pan out.

In total there were about five strong opportunities for me that never panned out. I was not feeling particularly good about myself. But I pressed on and kept myself very busy volunteering.

Cut-to-scene; it’s Friday of WordCamp Phoenix, and I’m fighting sickness, venue drama, and am very tired. During lunch, I laid down for about 20 minutes and then walked back to eat. I spotted one of my WP friends and thought, “There’s David. I know him well enough to be ‘off.’ I’ll go sit by him and just chill.” And this is where the magic happened. Very unmagically. Sitting next to David was the Elegant Themes Content Manager, Nathan, of whom I did not know. I was very uncharming. At least, that’s what I thought. I was stuffing my face with fry bread and probs talking with food in my mouth. 🤦🏻‍♀️ David started asking me how the job search was coming, and I let him know that it was not coming. He pointed to Nathan who then let me know that they were looking for an Event Coordinator for Divi and I was all like, “Alright. Whatevs.” He said he would email me and we’d further discuss the position.

Raquel Landefeld, Raquel, Beaver Builder, WordPress

Just me and a couple of mah beaver buddies. We’re still friends.

It might’ve been my ignorance with Elegant Themes/Divi, or it might’ve been the fact that Mode Effect has been team Beaver Builder for years, but I just didn’t think much of it. Maybe I was shaded (or perhaps I was just too sick). But thankfully, not entirely. After being AFK till Thursday after WCPHX because I was in bed recovering, I finally saw the email from Nathan. He sent it Saturday during WordCamp suggesting that we talk the following Thursday. It was Thursday when I read it. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Quickly I responded with a proposed new time, and we met. Then we met again. And then I started to see what a fantastic community Divi had surrounding it!

Right under my nose was this sub-community of WordPress that I had never noticed. I mean, I did see. Especially at the 2017 WordCamp OC when like a herd of horses in purple shirts was this group of highly excited individuals gungho about something. I noticed. I asked. But I did not file it away. So here I am during a formal interview being shown video of that WordCamp and how the Divi community used WCOC as an opportunity to meet up and the contagion got real. The community that surrounds Divi is legit and I was seriously intrigued. At that point, I knew I wanted to pursue this opportunity.

The following Thursday I received the offer of Event Coordinator for Elegant Themes and I accepted. I will be cultivating their online communities and will be leading the charge for the first DiviCon coming soon. What I’m most excited about is that I get to do precisely what I wanted to do. All the opportunities I had last year were for positions that required a ton of booth management for conferences/trade shows. It’s not that I’m against that, but I did not want that to be my main gig, and I kept thinking, “I want to plan events. Like the entire event, not just the booths.”

It’s like someone knew my biggest heart’s desire and gave it to me. I’m genuinely excited and humbled to receive this blessing.