Signs of Triviality

Opinions, mostly my own, on the importance of being and other things.
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Performance Review Selfies

December 12th, 2014

A monkey It's that time of year again: the dreaded end-of-year review cycle looms. And part of it is the "self-assessment" component, where employees attempt to thump their chests in as polite and humble a manner as possible. Never mind that being able to write a meaningful and accurate self- or peer review requires a skillset that's in most cases orthogonal to that which qualifies you for your job or possibly a promotion.

And so you go and list all the many things you've accomplished, the major contributions to company goals you've made, and describe the "impact" you've had. Oh, of course you're modest; this wouldn't have been possible without some help, you're standing on the shoulders of giants, but, to be honest, you really did "take charge", "architected the solution", "drove synergy" and in general were just awesome. Then you fill in the "how to improve" section with a comment about how you've been too demanding in your search for excellence, how you work too hard and should learn to take some time off, and your performance selfie is complete.

Will it help you? I don't know. But reflection is a good thing. So you might as well get something out of this process. Instead of the above approach, I suggest to ask yourself the following two, simple questions:

What did I learn?

What did I teach others?

Answer these questions honestly and regularly, and you should have an idea whether or not what you're doing is worth it.

December 12th, 2014


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