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Where are you going?

Posted by Sri Subramanian (@whosissri) on June 17, 2011

It is performance review time, and you are asked to write a self evaluation. What a complete waste of time, you think. Your manager knows what you have done, or should know, anyway. In any case, nothing you write is going to change the fact that there is probably no bonus this year. You are pretty sure she’s already made up her mind about your rating too – not that it matters, given the bonus situation. You tell yourself that she just wants you to write stuff that she can cut and paste into her evaluation.

I have heard a hundred variations of the above.  There are hints of truth in there, but it entirely misses out the point of a self evaluation. It misses the point that we OWN our career, and our successes. We depend on others in many ways, but ultimately we own it.

Think of how a grade school home work assignment is different from an assignment at work. At work, we own, but we do not control every aspect of our assignment. So, we learn “soft skills” like communication, collaboration, conflict resolution, prioritization, alignment, and such, to navigate the dependencies, and be successful.

Similarly, we own our careers. However, we don’t control opportunities, openings, job markets, etc. Periodic self evaluation, 1:1s, goal setting, are some of the tools that we can use to be successful in charting the course of our careers.

Next time, try approaching your self evaluation, not as a chore, but as a means to measure how far you have come, where you are heading, and where the winds have been taking you. Next time, do your self evaluation, not as a favor to your manager, but as something you would do just for yourself, like a spa treatment.  See  if it makes you feel differently – not about the process of self evaluation – but about where you are going, and where you want to go.

[Photo by: passlotte]

7 Responses to “Where are you going?”

  1. Excellent post Sri. I find it unfortunate that a lot of professionals depend heavily on their employers to acquire new skills and wait for training programs to happen.
    I recently wrote a post that emphasizes on importance of taking an initiative to learn. Leaving these important career choices to employer can sometimes be too risky.

    Loved the idea that self-evaluation is an opportunity to take a critical view of how your career is flowing (or will flow).

    Tanmay Vora

  2. Amy Wilson said

    Nice to hear your “voice” Sri! Welcome to the TalentedApps team!

  3. Sri Subramanian said

    @Tanmay, thanks! I love your post about creating your own opportunities, instead of waiting for them.
    @Amy, hope to meet you in person soon. I feel I already know you!

  4. […] Many of our carnival writers recognize that summertime is a good time for personal reflection and growth, like Sri Subramanian of the Talented Apps team, who tells us that performance reviews come around like the seasons, and to use that self-evaluation wisely. […]

  5. Meg Bear said

    mmmm spa treatments ;-). Almost as great as having Sri join the TalentedApps blog family.


  6. […] Where are you going? […]

  7. I am reiterating a very old statement here.. but its an evergreen one… Different persons may look at the same situation as an opportunity or as a threat depending upon their outlook… Same holds true for the performance appraisals I guess… we can look it as a nice opportunity to re-access ourselves and our goals.. but on the other side we can just look it as a time consuming formality to be completed for the company records..

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