User manual for me

Conditions I like to work in:

  • Flexible working is essential, not just for the personal benefits it brings but because it creates a porous membrane for organisations.
  • Quiet places with no distractions where I can focus.
  • Creative virtual spaces with energy where teams can work together to explore ideas and solve problems.

Times/hours I like to work:

  • I like to work with the energy I have rather than at specific times. This might be creative work late at night or logical/critical thinking early in the morning.
  • I’m pretty much a 24/7 kind of person, so if I’m not working I’ll be studying, reading, writing, doing other kinds of work, etc., and I don’t mind switching context.

The best ways to communicate with me (in order of preference) are:

  • Long-form writing is the best way to communicate with me and for me. It gives me time to consider, learn and form an informed point-of-view.
  • Short-form writing and chat messaging is good for quick discussions and Q&A. I’m online most of the day and happy to chat anytime.
  • Audio calls can seem like they save time but I find they are often don’t result in clarity of understanding.
  • Email is best used for notifications and information that doesn’t need to be built on. I think of email as a document that can’t be edited.
  • Video meetings for sharing screens but I don’t see much benefits in everyone being able to see each other in order to have a conversation.
  • Face to face, especially in groups, for special occasions where there are considerable benefits to having everyone in the same space.

The ways I like to receive feedback:

  • I’m a believer in fast feedback loops and course correction so I’d rather get feedback as soon as possible and frequently so I can do something about it.

Things I need:

  • A challenge. I like to get absorbed in understanding and solving problems.
  • Something important to contribute to.
  • To feel like I’m making progress and improving things.

Things I struggle with:

  • Being bored. Repetitive work with no means of progression or outcome to achieve frustrates me. If I have to do this kind of work I’ll find ways to optimise it until I can find a reason not to do it.
  • Not understanding how it all fits together. 
  • Accepting the status quo and not questioning everything at every level.
  • Accepting that not everyone wants to experiment, try out new ways of working, or move as fast as I sometimes do.

Things I love:

  • Learning and thinking about new things.
  • Working as part of a team.
  • Abstract complex ideas.

Other things to know about me:

  • I’m an introvert, which doesn’t mean I’m shy or don’t like talking to people, it means I often need time alone to collect my thoughts and connect new information with things I’ve previously thought and validate assumptions I’ve made.
  • I’m on the autistic spectrum so I often have difficulty understanding what people are thinking and feeling, what is appropriate communication in social settings and take things people say as more literal than they intend.
  • My Myers-Briggs type is INTJ, which means I’m into systems and strategy, logical reasoning and complex problem-solving, and enjoy looking for possibilities for improvement. But I over think things, seem too critical, and don’t give much value to emotions.
  • My Insights personality type is Reforming-Observer, which means I’m committed, determined, independent. I like logic and facts, strive for understanding but get frustrated with vagueness and my own confusion.
  • Sometimes I get excited about exploring ideas and talk fast, which can seem like I’m interrupting people. I can head off in my own direction of thinking and don’t always take others along with me.
  • I can sometimes be too persistent in asking questions to fill gaps in my knowledge and I get that this can come across as being pedantic.