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Posts Tagged ‘expectations’

My first performance review

Posted by Vivian Wong on August 27, 2008

The very first performance review I received was when I worked as a consultant for a small software house in Sydney.Before the performance review, I actually really enjoyed my job. My boss appreciated all the extra efforts we put into our work to get our customers live. He cared and we responded by working extra hard.

Life is full of surprises though.

One day the owner of the company flew in from Perth (Western Australia) completely unannounced and fired our boss that same day. A couple of days later, the CEO sat me down and presented me with the performance review document that HR has put together. He told me that I met their expectations and the company appreciates my work. All was good – right?

Well – not exactly.

I walked away from the performance review feeling confused and disappointed- and it wasn’t just from learning that my boss got fired from a couple of days ago. What bothered me was the CEO’s body language during the performance review. He seemed uninterested and disengaged. He casually flipped the review document back and forth (so I wondered if he had read it before he came into the meeting.) He also seemed to have ants in his pants and checked his watch frequently. So while he read my performance document to me, I stared at the conference table for the most part – trying to hide my disappointment. Although the feedback was “nice”, he came across as “bored” and “insincere”. There were no specific examples of why he thought I did well nor was there any suggestions on how I could be more than just “meet expectations”. (If I was getting ready for retirement, I probably wouldn’t have cared. But I was young, energetic and really wanted to know what I can do to be a better consultant.) With my 20/20 hind sight, I should have asked. To this date, I still remember how shiny the conference table was and the question I kept on asking myself “is this the company I still want to work for?”

The good thing is that I learned how NOT to deliver a performance review. 🙂

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