There’s a complicated line between side projects and day to work jobs. The sentiment on outside endeavors differs drastically by industry, company size, location, revenue of the business – and most importantly coworkers. It’s no secret that I moved out to Salt Lake City. One of the reasons why was because of the company and an amazing team I get to work with out here. I’d been working remote for a while, making the leap to working in person with people has been a nice change. I wanted to share something that happened this week at my work.
A Little Background
Every week we have a team meeting where we go over whatever is most important. This group includes a bunch of different teams, all working for the Product team. It included my manager and their manager and about 30 other people around the team at various levels in the company. A lot of my peers in other words.
The head of the department was talking about how it’s the end of the year, and it’s a good time to make sure you’re investing and utilizing the company 401k. You should be saving at least 10% of your income, make sure to get the company match (free money!), try to save even more if you can. All really good advice and I was impressed he was diving into it in a team meeting.
The talk went to Wealthfront/Betterment as a way to save easily. Although I prefer direct index fund investing, if there was anything else I would recommend it would be these two for getting started, so I was on board with that. He even mentioned having someone from Fidelity (our 401k provider) do a training session with our department someday, which I was all on board for.
My immediate manager (who knows about my blog) chimed in mentioning that our team has a personal finance expert as well! She pointed my way and mentioned my blog. I’m not anonymous on my blog by any means, and I even share out articles on my personal Twitter and Facebook, but it’s not something I’ve been too public about sharing with peers.
I made a joke about how they could get affiliate links on my blog for all the topics we were talking about, people laughed, and I thought that’d mostly be the end of it.
Later, on Slack
We use Slack for company chat. It’s been amazing for staying in touch with people, although it can be easy to spend too much time there as opposed to getting work done. After our meeting, I took a deep breath and shared out my blog URL in our private channel (~50 people).
It got a few +1 and some basic discussion (ex: “I agree with Adam on Vanguard investing!”).
Then people started messaging me:
Your blog is awesome dude
You’re a smart cookie
You’re like this powder keg of knowledge that I can’t seem to figure out how to light 😉
And what I mean by that is I keep finding out you have a vast amount of knowledge in a lot of different areas.
Others were more drawn to the information:
Your site is so awesome!!!!! I’ve been trying to get a better handle and understanding on my finances, and have already learned so much from your writing (I need lots more help :slight_smile: )
Hey Adam, I just read a few of your blog posts on your financial blog. Phenomenal stuff man. Really well written and great content. Would love to talk about it more with you sometime. Nice work.
Some were already interested in the topic, and just didn’t have people to talk about it with:
Me: What part of personal finance are you interested in?
Them: Hanging out on /r/personalfinance lead to finding /r/financialindependence/, MMM, and one day *your* calculator.
(This person actually sought me out and came up to me earlier. Some awesome people, I tell ya.)
On a side note, I asked every one of these people if I could use anonymize their quote and use it – all said yes immediately, and many said there was no need to anonymize it (but I’ll still do it for consistency sake).
Team Culture is Key
It went much better than expected. One thing that stood out to me is that every culture and every team is different. While many people blog anonymously or keep things separate for their work for very good reasons, I didn’t have any good reason to.
One thing that stood out from this is having a team culture of celebration is key. In these weekly meetings, people are often called out for life events, successes or other things happening outside of work. For example:
- Birthdays, anniversaries and work-anniversaries
- Engagements, marriages
- Speaking engagements or offers
- Published educational courses or books (we are an education company after all!)
- Articles, documents or anything else written.
The takeaway for me was that it wasn’t in the back of my managers head “should I share this?”. We have a culture of sharing and celebration that made it first nature to organically bring it up – and it would have been even more awkward for her not to mention it.
There are a lot of people who work on projects at night – startups they want to grow, side hustles, sports they love, creating educational content or having a family (having a family is a pretty serious project). Now I have a few more things to chat about with my coworkers that I didn’t before. There are a lot of things I’ve chosen not to talk about here on Minafi: my salary, raises & equity, and that’s not going to change. I’m cautiously optimistic and interested to see where this goes!
If you’re in Salt Lake City or Boston and want to work with me, Pluralsight is hiring! I’m on the Product team if you want to check there for a cool team.
This post was originally posted in the Rockstar Finance Forums, but was too fun and happy topic to not write about here.