I’ve given a talk focused on this topic numerous times in the past. If you’d ever like me to visit your office or give a virtual version of this talk, please get in touch. You can find the slides here. If you’re interested in viewing some sample Hype Docs, here is an example using a spreadsheet format, and here is an example using a word document.
A Hype Doc is not meant to be a resume, self evaluation or a vision board. Each of those serve their own person, but are different. Instead, a Hype Doc is a living list of your achievements and your accomplishments. You use it to track the small and big impacts that you’ve made.
You may have the best manager in the world, but in reality your manager doesn’t know about all the work that you’ve done, and especially what work you are proudest of. Having a Hype Doc gives your manager a quick and easy list to use for reference. It also makes your life easier if you ever have to write a self evaluation.
In the context of creating an Experience Map, a Hype Doc works as an excellent back end to keep track of your achievements. You can then look through your Hype Doc and use it to update your Experience Map in the future.
What does a Hype Doc Look Like
The Hype Doc structure is really flexible - you need to create a style that works for you so that you stay committed and continue updating your Hype Doc regularly. The two most popular styles are using a list in a word document, or turning that list into a spreadsheet so you can add some descriptive filter tags or sort by dates.
The general idea with your hype doc is that if you’re proud of some work, it should go in. Here are four categories of achievements you can include in your Hype Doc - but there are always more!
- Work related to Projects you’ve shipped, like design documents or code changes
- Cross team collaboration, where you’ve helped other team members review their code or design docs. Additionally, when you’ve helped other teams outside of who you normally interact with
- Invisible Accomplishments such as doing code cleanup or implementing a new testing suite, as well as other things you do outside of the scope of your job such as plan Women Engineering events for your company
- Extracurricular activities, which includes things outside of work. These can be related to your job, such as speaking at a panel or writing a blog post, however they can also include the other accomplishments in your life that you’re proud of, such as getting a Scuba Diving license
Hype Docs and Goal Setting
Hype Docs are a great resource at evaluation time. One of the outcomes of evaluation time are setting goals for you to work towards, whether for personal growth or to work towards your next promotion. You can use these goals as a way to organize your hype doc, either by separate pages or filter tags for each goal. As you check in with your manager, you can then quickly identify areas that you’re growing well in, as well as areas you should spend more time focusing on.
Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Hype Doc Updated
Having a Hype Doc is awesome, but keeping it updated is a habit you need to form. Here are a few tips to get you onto the right track.
- Set a recurring meeting in your calendar to update your Hype Doc. The more frequently you update your Hype Doc, the more you remember to put down, so doing it once a week is a really good strategy.
- Update your Hype Doc with friends or coworkers. This helps keep you accountable, as well as gives you a chance to share some of your achievements
- Go through your Hype Doc with your manager about once a quarter. This gives you a chance to identify areas you’re excelling in, and areas to spend more energy well before your next evaluation roles around.
Voila! You’ve now got some proven techniques of building up your personal brand, sharing your experience and keeping track of your achievements.
Do you ever sometimes get into a funk and question everything about your skills and abilities? Because we are human, we are more likely to remember all the bad decisions and mistakes we make, and less likely to remember the good. Your Experience Map and Hype Doc are here to change that! So next time you’re feeling a little down, crack open your Experience Map or Hype Doc and remember why you’re awesome.
As Marie Chatfield once said, You are your best hype person, and you deserve it!