Say What You Need to Say

Performance Evaluation…it’s a special time of the year to sit anxiously in your boss’s office waiting for feedback. Good feedback is like celebrating your birthday. You jump up and down with glee, grin from ear to ear, relishing in the idea of “I’m awesome!”. Bad feedback is like Doom’s Day, and you feel fear as balls of fire fall from the sky.

…ok, that was a bit dramatic, but if you have ever felt like leaving your boss’s office crying, I’m sure it feels like the end of the world. Total mood killer.

As my 2nd year as a professional came to a close, I definitely knew what to expect at my annual performance evaluation with my boss. It is never a pleasant experience (in my opinion) to have your work critiqued, but it must happen every so often. My boss had provided a draft of the things he was going to discuss with me a few days before the grand meeting. The challenging part of all of this is to reflect on my year and how I critique myself on my performance.

If you haven’t had your evaluation meeting yet, here are my main tips:

• Be PREAPRED: Take a moment to gather your thoughts before you go to the meeting. Note what things you still find challenging, what you would be interested in taking on this upcoming year, what accomplishments you are proud of, and from your perspective—what would you improve on? If there are things you are not happy with, make sure to document it somewhere. Even if it’s suggestions to your boss on how to be a better mentor or guide to you, have it documented.
• Be OPEN: If your boss feels that you have not been improving in a certain area or says you’ve done an outstanding job, ask his/her thoughts on the matter and to give you concrete examples of what you did well/not-so-well. Nothing hurts with asking. This can only help you improve your performance in the future. You need to be open to what is being said. Remember, there are multiple ways to look at a picture, and while you may see a rabbit, your boss may see a duck.
• SAY what you need to say: Honesty is the best policy, and you owe it to yourself to be honest not only with your boss, but with yourself. If you truly are unhappy with something, you need to say so. Problems never get resolved if they are not address. Same goes for if you love your job, or if you don’t feel challenged enough. All in all, always remain professional. Stand up for yourself when need be. This is YOUR time to express and share your thoughts.

From a challenging 2nd year, I’m ready to take year #3 by storm! Changing the world, one student at a time…
Congrats to my peers who are celebrating their work anniversaries this summer.

You rock at what you do!

Tabatha Cruz
@tabathacruz

Student Affairs - the First Years

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