My Name Is Erik Johnson — This Is Why I Joined Aha!

Erik Johnson WIJ

I visited more than 20 countries before I turned 12. During breaks from school, my parents took me and my two younger brothers on educational trips. We explored Austria, Italy, Greece, Israel, Jordan, and more. This was before smartphones, so the whole family had to work together to navigate each new city. But my mom and dad were the guides. They spearheaded the planning and were sure to focus on the history of each place.

It was thrilling to learn about different cultures — but I realized early on how important it was to have a guide.

My love of adventure and travel continued at college in Santa Barbara, California. I explored the hills of Montecito and hiked the trails behind campus. I began taking friends on day hikes, overnights, then weekend trips to the Channel Islands. After graduating with a degree in English, I honed my writing skills in graduate school. I decided to work on becoming a better guide at the same time, leading backpacking and biking trips for the world’s top luxury active company.

My job took me to Alaska, the San Juan Islands, and Washington’s Olympic National Forest. I guided clients across ice fields and mountains, ensuring their safety and anticipating their every need. I then built upon my hospitality experience by working as chief concierge for a luxury hotel.

This lifestyle required working every weekend and holiday. And I was about to embark upon a different kind of adventure — marriage. I wanted a more stable family life. My brother, who works as a developer at a software company, suggested I consider joining the tech industry in a support role.

I loved the idea of applying my high-end service experience and writing skills to make it easier for people to use technology.

So I joined an edtech startup in Salt Lake City, Utah. The company provided support and training to university bookstore staff. I wrote the weekly release notes and got deeply involved with acceptance testing and QA. I began managing groups of agile teams (including customer support) and trained as a professional scrum master. 

My next role was managing content at a textbook sourcing and selling platform. I served as the voice of the company — ghostwriting blog posts, writing release notes for our users, and running content marketing campaigns.

I knew I wanted to stay in tech for the long haul because I appreciate having interesting problems to solve — not to mention strong benefits and opportunities for career growth. But my wife and I wanted to put down roots where we grew up in the inland Pacific Northwest. Remote work at a fast-growing tech company seemed like a good path to explore. 

I saw that Aha! was looking for a senior writer to join the marketing team. With my background in writing support content for SaaS products, I felt that this could be a good fit. As I read more about the company, I realized there was more than just location flexibility. I wanted a strong mission, a product that I could master, inspiring teammates, and the opportunity to help people — Aha! seemed to have it all.

So one evening, I took the plunge and applied. The next morning, I had already heard back about scheduling an interview. Over the following week, I enjoyed talking to multiple team members over video chats. I knew I was ready for this new challenge.

I have always been happiest guiding people and sharing what I know — which is exactly what we do at Aha! for our customers.

Since joining the content team, I have focused on writing articles for our knowledge base. I get to submit bug reports and improvement requests, learning the product exceptionally well in the process. I also created training content for new marketing hires. Beyond the thorough onboarding each Aha! teammate receives, this content is specific to how the marketing team (product marketing, digital, and content) functions as a whole.

One of the best parts of my day is interacting with my teammates. I am surrounded by intelligent, passionate people who meet every deadline and are happy to share what they know. Working with people of such high caliber pushes me to do better. I am always engaged and learning.

And I still get to fulfill my travel bug with our company onsites. Every six months, the entire company meets in a different destination location. So far, I have been to Punta Mita and Lake Tahoe. The onsites are not so different from my family trips as a kid — exploring new places, learning a lot, and having adventures with awesome people.

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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