Check Yourself

In corporate America, year-end reviews are upon us. Aren’t they your favorite? Not.

Here’s the thing. We love to get on social media and share our best pictures, highlights of life’s celebrations, and details about our worst days. Furthermore, we welcome comments on things we share from friends, foes, and strangers. We incorporate their opinions into our life decisions. However, describing to management the ways we feel we did a great job? Torture.

What’s my problem? Glad you asked. I just don’t understand this new trend where the employee writes their own review. In the third person. Sure, I may have disagreed with a supervisor’s assessment a time or two, but the idea of writing my own seems a cross between self-serving and a form of entrapment. Asking me to assess my work in a corporate environment somehow says to me, ‘Don’t be too glowing in your remarks about yourself.’ I can back up what I think about my performance, but I’m not sure I want to.

My hesitation is this — I’m my biggest critic. I’m tough on myself and work hard not to allow myself any slack when it comes to achieving goals. However, even before I became personally productive outside of work, I consistently performed above and beyond the call of duty at work. That said, I can’t list everything that I do and all the ways I serve internal customers. Because much of what I do isn’t on anyone’s list of business objectives. There’s no radar for many tasks I do every day. I’ve created a necessary niche that won’t be fully realized unless and until I’m not there.

Sometimes when we get too creative with our jobs, we prioritize pleasing people over achieving stated objectives. That’s not what I mean. I’m speaking of hitting targets, then creating new targets based on needs few people want to be responsible for.

So, if I’m so “great,” it would seem tooting my horn during review time would come easily. But alas, I’m dancing on a thin line between outlining my path to stated business objectives, and expressing how those objectives really don’t meet the core needs of many internal constituents. Knowing that makes sounding excited about the objectives really hard to do. And it also means I must be okay with being a better asset and employee than department metrics will ever display.

Thankfully, my internal customers do an excellent job of reminding me that I’m needed. How important my diligence is to their ability to do their own jobs. Yet, I still have to write the review of how I performed tasks that aren’t tailored to their needs.

Why am I burdening you with this dilemma?

Because my review was due three days ago.

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