When it comes to career success and development, knowing how to meaningfully evaluate yourself at work can be the key to moving up the ladder or staying put where you are. Your company may impose self-evaluations as part of your annual performance review, in which case it only benefits you to learn how to do more than just say things you think your boss wants to hear. But how should you start evaluating yourself objectively so that you can make the most out of your time? Here are some tips to get started:
Know your long-term plan
As helpful as it is to evaluate how you are doing right this second at your job, it is more important to have a clear career path so you can determine whether or not you are taking steps to actively move toward your end goal. Create a career map for 5 or even 10 years down the road, then work backwards to determine what you should be doing right now to get to the end point you set for yourself.
Ask yourself tough questions
Think about the tough questions your employer might ask you, and ask them yourself. Some to consider include:
What results did I want to get this year and where did I fall short?: Go back to the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year and see if you met them. If not, what happened? What could you have done better? And if you met your goals, think about what you could have done to exceed them.
What more could I have done for the company?: It’s important to focus on yourself during your evaluation, but that also includes how you fit in with your company, especially if you are planning on staying with your company long-term. This one may take some thought, especially if you feel like you’re always working. Did you turn down opportunities for training that could have benefited the company? Did you miss out on social opportunities with clients? What more could you do to keep the company moving forward?
What are my weaknesses?: To get more specific with this question, think about what work opportunities you try to avoid because you lack confidence in your ability to handle them. Figuring out what makes you uncomfortable at work is a good place to start identifying your weaknesses so you can start thinking about how to improve these skills.
Keep a positive attitude
You got hired to do your job because you had all the right qualifications and your employer liked you during the interview. So stay positive for most of your self-evaluation, even during the parts that identify your weaknesses. It may help to start by writing down all your strengths along with your contributions to the company before you start thinking about where you can improve.
Whether your boss requires it or not, performing an annual self-evaluation can be a useful tool for measuring your career success and keeping you on track. Hang on to your evaluations, and make sure to check them every year to see what goals you have met, or exceeded, and to remind yourself of your projected career path and goals. For more ideas on how to successfully evaluate yourself at work, contact us today.