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Monday, March 31, 2008

Surviving Your Review

I received my first annual review for my job at the end of last week. It was probably the most stressful lead up to one that I have had. It is a completely new position for the company, new boss for me AND fairly nebulous goals outside of the ones that I set for the sales portion of my job.

It actually went quite well, and even the slightly critical feedback was couched as a growth scenario.

It started out with me being told that my boss is a "very hard grader" so don't be surprised by several people. After hearing that multiple times I started thinking...wow, this must be a massacre coming. I had visions all of poor grades, except for safety, which I still don't understand why it is on our review from for Directors and VPs.

Our Grading system is this: 1-5 Point scale with 5 being top. 3 means you are doing everything asked of you, 4 means you routinely go above-beyond, 5 is near perfection. On the other side a 2 means you need improvement and a 1 means you are a moron :)

My review was a solid 4+. Only one 3, mostly 4's and three 5's. By the time we got to the accomplishment section I was feeling pretty good. I had my list of accomplishments with me, even though I had submitted them before. When he had 5 of my key 7 I brought up the others, which were added to the report!

After the final comes the raise part...I knew that even though there was a 3% raise pool, it was very tough to get more then that as a Director. Many friends had been told "That's why you have an MBO; Go earn more."

But I got 4%...Not gonna shake up the world, but it means in April my Debt Snowball can grow and I can chop down those debts faster.

For all of the stress I survived because I was prepared:

  • Get accomplishments to Boss before they write reviews
  • Clearly state what you want. In my case the end paragraph of my self review clearly laid out why I deserved a raise outside the norm.
  • Bring all of the same material to your review
  • Don't be afraid to accept constructive criticism; it will only make you better.
  • Don't be afraid to defend yourself either!

Best of luck on your next review. Get what is yours!


Debt Dieter said...

Nice post! I've actually got my review this week myself.

Our rating system is similar to yours, but our numbers go the other way so a 1 is 'walking on water' and a 5 is 'what are you still doing here?'

Anonymous said...

Way to go! I just filled out the self part of my performance review. Now my boss has to fill out his evaluation. I'm not expecting anything more than 3% though. What's more important is that this will serve as the basis for my asking for a promotion.

sara - pensioncomparison.com said...

Our review system is similar, and while I am grateful for the feedback and opportunity to improve it's always the salary raise that I am most interested in :-)

Mrs. Micah said...

Great job! Keeping a list of your accomplishments and being able to defend your worth is so key in the job world, whether at your current position or when looking for something else.

Funny about Money said...

Congratulations! That must have been a relief--and good to get a raise.

I haven't done my usual pre-review bowing and scraping, so must admit am looking forward to this year's "discussion" with trepidation. Yipes.

Sorry to hear (below) that you lost your MS Money files. I'd die if my Quicken files crashed. Have you looked in to some of those cheap or free online sites where you can save data? Since I have Mac.com anyway, I back up Quicken there and also to a flash drive. Saw some pretty reasonably priced plug-&-play external hard drives the other day & now am thinking it would be worth a few bucks to get one of those for back-ups, too. I figure the more back-up sites, the better. Hope you get it all reconstructed OK!

Sharon said...

Congrats! Glad you got above the norm! You obviously deserved it!!

RacerX said...

@Debt - Hope your's went well too! I thing the 5-point scale has taken over most businesses now.

@Paradigm- You will never get, what you don't ask for. Good for you! Go for it!

@Sara- I like constructive criticism...just don't be a critic to justify a horrid raise. Most folks are just like you. We all wish we could have our reviews on TIVO and forward to the good part...$$$.

@Mrs M- The running accomplishment list is the #1 tip I give people to have a good career! You are dead on!

@Funny - There are two kinds of people that i have done reviews for...those who beieve they walk on water and anything you point out they get chapped about, or they are expecting you to clobber them! I a one that expects the worst too! On the Money front I have to rebuild about 60-days worth of data. I like the idea of the off-site save, but as we have been popped on ID theft before, always a bit nervous!

@Sharon - Thanks for the encouragement

Thank you all very much for visiting and ommenting during these crazy few weeks!

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