More than an Annual Review
The annual review is a standard fixture of corporate culture. Whether your current job employs this practice or not, regular evaluation is a valuable process. The good news is that you’re not dependent on your employer to conduct a review. As this year draws to a close, let me encourage you to spend some time reflecting on the current state of your career. Just as an annual review rates employee performance, it is helpful to gauge how your job is performing for you.
Here are six questions to ask yourself:
1. Am I being challenged?
Work inevitably brings challenges into our lives. These challenges can be exciting avenues for growth or they can sap your energy. Take stock of how you react to the challenges you face in your current workplace.
2. Am I gaining mastery over a particular skill or task?
While challenge and growth are exciting, satisfaction often comes from being able to master a certain skill or task. What have you mastered at your current job?
3. Are the relationships at my workplace healthy?
The quality of relationships with your co-workers is a critical factor. Who do you get along with the best? Who do you currently have difficulty dealing with? Why?
4. Do I have new opportunities at work?
In a workplace that is growing and healthy, there will naturally be opportunities for new assignments and promotions. Where is your best opportunity right now?
5. Am I experiencing a financial reward?
In light of your current responsibilities and performance, are you being compensated fairly? If not, it may be time to initiate a conversation with your boss or evaluate other options.
6. Am I fulfilled?
This question may be the most difficult to answer. Hopefully the answers to the previous five questions have given you clues about your level of fulfillment, but ultimately, this is a determination only you can make. Your initial reaction to this question is important in determining whether you are headed in the right direction or need to make adjustments.
As you take time to answer these questions and evaluate your career, let me encourage you to repeat this process more than once a year. Regular evaluation reveals your strengths and weaknesses and clarifies your goals. Taking time each quarter to assess your progress allows you to make adjustments that produce results.
A few other natural points for evaluation are the end of big projects or at the beginning of a new season or important initiative. While you may not devote time to a full evaluation on a weekly basis, just paying attention to your overall mood on Monday and Friday each week can provide excellent clues to how well your career is working for you.