One of the hardest questions for me on my performance appraisal is the one about my goals. I never know what to put down. Normally, I put something about needing to get my filing system up to date, but I think I may have missed the point when I have done that. Here are some things that might help you start thinking about what your goals could be:
- Sometimes your goals are tied into your boss's goals. Think about what your boss needs to get done and how you can help him or her accomplish that and work that into your goals.
- Think about some things that you need to get done and how you will do it, then set a goal to get it done.
- Think about some things that you would like to get done and how you can accomplish it and put that down as a goal.
The next worse section is the self evaluation questions. I usually rate myself right down the middle. After all, I wouldn't want to rate myself too high or someone might think I think too highly of myself, but I don't want to rate myself too low or what would that look like? I think we should not underestimate the contribution we are making to our company's success and should evaluate ourselves accordingly. If you do evaluate yourself high, be prepared to explain why and whatever you do, work like you say and do everything to the best of your ability.
The section on key accomplishments is another area that stumps me. I work from day to day and sometimes what I did last month is old news and then I am off to my next task so I have a hard time remembering what I did throughout the year. What I have started doing is keeping a collection of notes and e-mails. When I receive a complimentary note from my boss or from a client, I save it so when it comes time to think back, I have a handy record of something I have done well and that helps me to remember what some of my key accomplishments are. We sometimes have a hard time acknowledging the things we do as something special so getting another person's perspective can help us see what we do in a different light.
I almost feel like laughing when it comes to the question about personal development -- who has time for that? But you shouldn't neglect taking care of your own development. We really don't have an excuse because it is becoming increasingly easy to take courses online. All you need is to put some time aside and close your door, or put some earphones on, and plug into your computer and learn. I have had great experiences learning online in interactive courses. As wonderful as online learning can be, going to a live conference or seminar with other assistants is something that you should try to do a few times a year. I think I am just not used to having to think about me. My job is so centered around my boss and helping him succeed that I forget about me and what I need for my career.
Maybe the performance appraisal won't be so bad after all. So, do I get my raise yet?