This document serves as a user guide for me. It speaks about my values and how they may affect how I work as a human. I am not saying I fully embody all of these values all the time, but I always try my best to do so. Hopefully, it will help us better understand each other and thus work together better.
Some of the things here might be specific to my current role/job/situation.
Humans change, largely affected by time and the situation they are in. As such, this is a living document that will also change over time as I grow as well. I will try to keep this updated as much as possible. With that being said, I believe many of the core values will remain the same.
I would appreciate feedback on this document. If you have any, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
My view on things
I appreciate honesty and transparency — I think these are the foundation of trust. Trust helps us to work better together because we would be less likely to make assumptions that may be counterproductive. We do not have to be open about things we are not comfortable with (i.e.: personal stuff), but we should be open about things that affect our work. For instance, openly giving feedback is very important to me, especially if done with good intentions.
I long for clarity — I believe we work better when we are in sync. I try to be as clear as possible when communicating my thoughts. I am always learning to be more concise while still being clear. If I have doubts, I will always ask for clarification. Do not hesitate to ask me to clarify things as well. It is not a bother, rather it will help me to better understand how I can communicate better in the future.
I value integrity — It is very hard for me to work with people I do not trust. I believe trust is built by showing integrity consistently over time. E.g.: following through on the words we made, having the humility to admit mistakes, not sacrificing others for selfish needs, etc.
I understand that work is just a part of life — I believe most people work to live, not live to work. If something happens in your life that affects your work, I will try to be understanding and accommodating. I hope to be treated the same. I believe people who are fulfilled with their life outside of work are more likely to be better to work with as well. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
I am biased towards asynchronous communication — Async comms require efforts to do well, but it is worth it as it trains us to be better communicators. I do believe there are times when sync comms are necessary, but I default to async whenever possible. I believe async comms are more inclusive and allow people to work at their own pace.
I assume good intent until you give me reasons to think otherwise — I do not like to make bad assumptions about people. There is no way to know if the assumptions are true and it is not productive to try to find out. If I have a reasonable basis for doubting your intent, I will be honest and transparent and ask you about it directly. I hope we can clear up any misunderstandings we might have or simply better understand the things that are preventing us from working well together.
I like to meme — I like to joke around and meme. I use memes as a way to poke fun at things, but sometimes I do worry that people might think I am being passive-aggressive. I do these in good faith and fun spirit; I hope you do not take it the wrong way.
I do not talk much — I am predominantly introverted. I also do not like to be the one to give unsolicited feedback. I try to be more proactive in appropriate situations, but in most other cases I just simply do not talk unless asked. With that being said, I don't generally feel bothered when people ask me questions, so please do not hesitate to ask.
I am not afraid to say no — I find that some people might be reluctant to ask because they don't want to be a bother. I will tell you directly when it is not a good time for me to help out and tell you no, so you don't have to worry about being a bother. I hope you do the same for me. I like to do this to remove any ambiguity and to set the right expectations.
I believe we should try to get better at our work — I understand that life can get in the way and we might not have the time to keep up with the latest and greatest. I do not think we can be experts at everything, but we should strive to be better compared to our past selves. We might not always improve day-to-day, heck we might even regress at times, but the trend should hopefully be moving upwards. I believe that we work better when we want to get better.
I believe helping others is how we make an impact — I understand there are high-level metrics that businesses usually use to measure impact, but often I cannot relate to them as easily. OKRs and KPIs can be useful, but the moment they become the only thing that matters, I feel like it is a sign that things might be going south. I have seen people and teams within the same organization develop a cutthroat culture for the sake of KPIs/OKRs and I think it becomes counterproductive. When in doubt, I default to helping others as a way to make an impact. I try to think about how I can make things easier for people. Improving processes, writing documentation, and sharing knowledge are some of the ways I try to do that. At the very least, I try to help others by not being too dependent on them. Instead, I try to be as independent as possible and achieve a level where I can start helping others.
I appreciate affirmation — I am not a very confident person. I often second-guess myself and my work. Even though I try to be upfront with people, I sometimes worry that people might not be honest with me. I appreciate affirmation from the people I worked with. It helps me to confirm where I have done well and where I can improve. I will try to do the same for you.
If we are currently working together...
This section is more specific to my current role. It may change as I switch roles/companies.
I believe you are good at what you do — I have a lot of respect for the hiring process at our company. I believe you have the necessary ability to do well in your role. In some cases, we might be given non-trivial tasks that may prove to be more complicated. I believe we collectively are well-equipped to solve these. I will try to help as much as I can and I hope I can count on you to do the same.
I care about long-term — I like our team, I like our company. I want us to be able to work together for a long time. That does not mean I want to keep the status quo, rather I operate with long-term in mind. Sometimes this means I might be more cautious in making decisions. Sometimes this means I might be more nitpicky about things I feel would matter in the long run. I want to do my part in making our team a place where we are happy to work. I will try to alleviate some of our pain points when possible.
I might use words that mean something I do not mean — English isn't my first language. I largely learned it from watching TV shows and movies and also reading. A lot of my vocabulary is learned by deriving the meaning from the context. In some cases, the meaning I derived might not be the same as the actual meaning, causing confusion when I use the phrase with actual people. If you ever feel confused about what I said, please do not assume that I have any ill intention and ask me to clarify. I will try my best to explain and learn the correct meaning for the next time.
My work hours can be pretty dynamic — I sometimes do some of my tasks outside of the usual work hours. Sometimes, I do this when I expect I will be busy with other things the next day. Sometimes, I do this just so I can have more downtime the day after. I try to keep my work hours balanced and I will take appropriate rest when I need to.
I am open to being asked about stuff — I might not always be able to help, but I will always try to. I am a pretty quiet person and do not usually talk unless asked, but it does not mean I despise human interactions. I encourage you to throw me questions if you have any and not worry about being a bother. I will tell you straight if it is not a good time or if I cannot help.