This Will Go On Your Permanent Record

November 20, 2007

We are nearing the end of the calendar year and that means only one thing. That's right, annual employment evaluations. Joyous tidings to us all.

For the first time in about eight years I'm employed in a situation where annual evaluations are actually performed. What's more, there is a process to follow, software to be used, and deadlines to be met.

I'm supposed to develop some goals (three to five) and then describe how I met or exceeded those goals. (Since I get to write the goals now, at the end of the year, I shan't be including any that I failed to meet.) (Well maybe one that's on-going and will be met in the future, just to show humility.) The employee goals are only 50% of the evaluation, however. There are Competencies as well.

The Competencies are broken down into organizational, job family, and key job. There's also room for you to record any major accomplishments for the year. These accomplishments don't count towards your final score however, they are just gloss.

Self-evaluation is always an uncomfortable exercise. I suppose there is something to be gained by seeing, on paper, how you see yourself compared to how your boss sees you. Still, as introspective as I am at times, I don't always like the process. Writing in the third-person about your self is always a bit weird too. (Mark is outstanding in his job.)

This being the first year I've gone through the process at this employer, and therefore the first time with this manager, I don't really know what to expect. In most areas my manager is fairly easy-going, laid-back even. Will that trait carry over to the evaluation? Or will he become Mr. Hyde? Being new I personally think that there is no way I can be "clearly outstanding" on any of the scored portions of the evaluation. I'm still learning the ropes, the players, and where I should be focusing my talents. Will my boss understand this dynamic? I think so, but I won't know for sure until our face-to-face.

I have no reason to believe that I'll get anything but a good evaluation, but that belief doesn't calm my apprehension or ease my anxiety much.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.