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Put a rug under me or I’ll break

I was inspired by Richard’s post ‘Helping other people get to know you’. Richard includes a great list of examples of ‘user manuals’ people have written to help others get the best from them at work. I have used the headings from Cassie Robinson.’s template, and referred to @jukesie’s own effort so that I don’t ramble on too much.

My organisation has really grown in the past couple of years, and given the nature of the work that I do there is a fairly high turnaround of people¹. This applies in my own team too. Also as I ease into middle age, I think I might be getting a bit eccentric. So, anything to help new people understand ‘me at work’ sounds like a good thing.

This is a tough exercise, and I expect I’ll revisit it. Here’s the first attempt.

Conditions I like to work in

  • I can manage in an open plan office, but I need variety. I also need a quiet place to go to, preferably a small office².

The times / hours I like to work

  • I start late due to a combination of circumstance and preference. It is rare for me to be in the office or available before 10.00, but I do tend to check messages and Slack in the morning before my commute.

The best ways to communicate with me

  • I respond to Slack, WhatsApp and text messages.

The ways I like to receive feedback

  • I prefer feedback in person, with a further preference for one to one rather than in a group. Either way, if it’s positive feedback I will be embarrassed and downplay it. If it’s more constructive or critical feedback I will tend to reflect on it rather than react in the moment. Or at least, I think that’s what I do.

Things I need

  • I really need to feel trusted, and to be given autonomy.

Things I struggle with

  • It can take me a while to build up momentum. Once I’ve got it, I can find it hard to stop⁴.

Things I love

  • I love coming up with ideas and solving problems.

Other things to know about me

  • I have a low tolerance when people haven’t done the absolute basics. In particular I will pick weak or flawed plans and processes to bits.

¹ A high turnaround just because people tend to move on every few years (or less) in the public service digital world, just in case I gave the wrong impression that I work in a punishing hell world

² I’ve never had an office of my own. Maybe one day

³ I do not have a scrapbook of wins

⁴ Such is the nature of physics

⁵ An awesome barber is really helping me with my smalltalk though

Head of Data Science at Citizens Advice. These are my personal thoughts on work.

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