Review time is upon us and I thought I would share some tips on writing the dreaded self evaluation. One thing to keep in mind is that the role you are currently in is your job and hopefully part of a career that is yours not the company or manager you work for. You need to treat it as such and don’t let anyone else but you be in the driver’s seat.
It is often hard to sit back at the end of the year and in 4000 characters or less summarize why you are great employee and more importantly a valuable asset to the company. This is why the notion of continuous performance management seems to be the trend these days. I suggest you take that and run with it. Keep track as you hit major milestones on projects, step up and do something great. If that is not the case, stop once a quarter or once a month to reflect in writing what you just accomplished for the past 30-90 days and how that makes you a valuable employee. If you can’t think of anything then maybe you need to take a hard look at your career or decide to do something that makes you that invaluable employee and allows you to have such reflections.
The idea behind these reflections is to keep score. Whether your goals are good, bad or non-existent, you still should keep score. An area to focus on when evaluating yourself is to provide the background to justify your rating. No matter what your company’s or personal rating system is, you need to provide the facts and data to support your rating. Simply restating your tasks or essential job functions is not good enough. A play by play is best kept for regular status reports and one–on-one session.
At review time focus on how your efforts benefitted the business, your customers, or your immediate team. What actions did you take above your normal responsibilities which helped to make a coworker’s job better, have to perform less work, or make better decisions? It’s not enough to do just what is needed, identify why performing the task or meeting the objective made a measurable difference.
Measure Twice Cut Once
Often it’s not easy to tie your actions to some measureable number. Some might say that sales people have it easy, there is direct revenue tied to their goals more often than not. In a support role this could become more difficult. Sure you may have met the quota for closing x tickets per day, maybe you even exceeded that by some large margin. Is that enough to say you exceeded your goal? Possibly. However in many situations that is not enough, but think about how you were able to beat the quota by so much. What if everyone on your team was able to do that? Would the company be better off? Would your customers get their issues resolved quicker? Could you do more with less and reduce the cost of the department. This is what you need to focus on. Take the steps to share your success and make the folks around you better. Enhance a process to reduce waste. Find a way to do something more effectively that benefits everyone not just you. This is what will set you apart from simply doing the job you are asked.
Does it Matter?
This is what employers are looking for. I have read 1000’s of resumes and the ones that simply state what the person did fall quickly to the bottom of my pile. I’m looking for how their actions added value, saved the company money, made the teams they supported smarter.