Human Resources Operations Manager, Sneha Raman, reflects on her last five years of learning and growing together with the Team.

Five years ago, in between studying my Masters’ degree and searching for a summer internship, I came across a job description, by a start-up based in (in the initial days, now completely remote) Berlin for an internship position titled “Business Development Intern”. 

Since then, I’ve had the privilege to experience multiple roles ranging from starting out as an intern, gradually working onto a “Senior Finance Manager” position, to my current role and passion (no pun intended), “Human Resources Operations Manager”, at 

And what better way to acknowledge the rollercoaster and celebrate these five years, than to share my top five learnings in a “countdown” format, along with pro-tips from experts who have had a positive impact on my thinking and ways of working, along the way: 

Lesson #5: Understand that you possess finite time and energy. Focus your efforts on what matters.  

Prioritization is your best work buddy! When I think of my earlier methods of prioritization and countless to-do lists I have prepared in the past, one of the biggest struggles I had was with consistency and holding myself accountable. There were days when my prioritization was on point, and some where it was completely off the radar. 

It was almost a matter of pride to feel a sense of pain whilst holding myself to a challenge or a deadline. I would set goals based on what looked good to other people - be it my career coach, mentor, or co-workers. My role at forced me to acknowledge that I start looking at my agenda, priorities, work routines and asking myself, “What brings about the highest level of impact, and how can I go about this in the smartest way possible?” #ImpactFirst 

Pro-Tip #5: In a newsletter by James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, he suggests asking yourself this one question: "What can I stick to—even on my worst day?” Further, he states, “Start there. Master the art of showing up. Then advance."

Lesson #4: Awareness of a situation doesn’t (always) solicit an immediate reaction. Reflect before reacting. 

One of my mentors at rightly shared, “With pain and progress comes reflection”. In most situations, both professional and personal, we are often quick to react to something that is thrown our way. We want to bring our best selves to work, exceed expectations and be at a high operational level, and come from the best place of thought (in our minds). In the midst of this, it may be well worth it to consider reflecting on the situation, even if for a moment, on the best course of action, whatever the case may be. 

This conscious little moment of pause and reflection, especially during difficult conversations will (in most cases):

  • Give you an opportunity to calm down; 
  • Save you additional time and energy that you invest; 
  • Will help you understand for yourself, where you are coming from; 
  • Possibly also opening your sight to triggers and blind spots. #PassionateState

Pro-Tip #4: Christina Crook, author of “Good Burdens”, recommends a simple practice to make reflection part of daily life. She advises to reflect on your day and ask yourself two questions, “What was the most life-giving moment in my day today?” and also to consider “What was the most life-taking moment?”.  

Lesson #3: Face your inner storms and truly, work on yourself. Rinse and repeat to #LevelUp. 

Something that is typically encouraged at is to vocalize the need for support - whether from a professional standpoint, or a personal one. As a company, we collaborate with a multitude of coaches and trainers on varying topics, per the team’s requirements. In a culture where we bring a large part of our whole selves to work, the realities of the world today (pandemic, inflation, etc.) can add additional pressure and cause defocus. 

Something I learned through the guidance of my multiple coaches and mentors, that changed my perspective was that change of any sort, begins with me. Sounds simple, straightforward and something one would read out of a motivational self-help book. 

To me though, it was one of those learnings that shifted my perspective on multiple aspects, like attaching my self worth to my successes, for instance. I still do it and am nowhere near perfection, but there is a level of awareness. I try to gauge if I am imposing extremely high standards and expectations, and acknowledge why the gap exists if they aren’t being met. It’s one step further towards growth and learning. 

Pro-Tip #3: This quote by Yung Pueblo, author of “Clarity and Connection”, deeply resonated with me, “You are not perfectly happy all of the time, but that was never the goal to begin with, instead you feel a new sense of calmness because you more deeply embrace the fact that change is inevitable. You don’t fear the ups and downs, instead you glide with them. You know that there is still much to heal and more ways to grow, but now you are familiar with the rhythm of observing, accepting, letting go and allowing transformation to occur organically.”

Lesson #2: Show up for your team, and allow your team to show up for you. 

One of my most cherished experiences at would be organizing the PassionLive with my career coach, Eva who #LedByExample. The PassionLive is an event that happens twice a year in-person, to give us Passioneers a chance to bond, and work together through different activities, something we typically don’t get to experience on a day-to-day basis as a remote company.  

It was a challenge to bring this together, given the time, space (and the other 984239 other constraints!) but we made it happen, in the best way possible. More importantly, we had fun planning it, and learnt a multitude of lessons along the way. A “cardinal rule” we followed was, “We are giving our 100% to this, and if anything goes wrong - we are going to laugh about it, and eventually deal with it like we always do.” 

Sure enough, we had a situation where in a team activity - a karaoke evening, that went wrong - the karaoke machine/speaker decided to just stop working, in between the event. We stuck to our “cardinal rule”, and sure enough, the team was having so much fun, we realized we didn’t need a speaker in the first place after all. Organizing this event would have been something else, if Eva didn’t place herself in the role of being my team-mate, in addition to being my career coach.

Pro-Tip #2: A source that supported me in solidifying my work ethics, when it comes to showing up for yourself, and for your colleagues (and no, you don’t have to be a “manager” in the conventional sense to adapt these learnings) of my favorites from this list being - “Lead with Empathy - Always”.

Sneha Raman (L) and Eva Spexard (R)


Lesson #1: Don’t lose sight of who you are, and what you stand for. #SpeakYourHeart

Closely related to lesson #3 - maintain the core focus on, and prioritize yourself. There will always be someone who excels at something better than you, someone growing at a faster/slower pace, none of which matters. Spend time actively figuring out what your core values are, and how that impacts your prioritization and decision making.

Attach yourself to your long term mission, accept that it will change with time and circumstances, and you will find yourself aligning to a much bigger goal / picture than you had originally intended. 

Pro-Tip #1: Though there are multiple versions out there, here’s a simple step-by-step guide to identifying your core values. Be sure to revisit them periodically:

Overall, through these lessons and more, the mission, the impact, the work, the love, the kindness, the warmth from the entire team at, the moments we share, the ecstatic ones and stressed out moments - make the journey rewarding. Excited to see what’s in store for the future! 

Team at the PassionLive in Split, Croatia in April 2022

Interested in learning more about our culture? Check out this blog article

Want to join the team? Check out our open positions.