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A Job (Not So Well) Done! Handling A Less Than Stellar Evalutation

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Now that the gift buying is (mostly) done and the gift giving soon to be done, the next item on most of our agendas is probably the “dreaded” New Years’ Resolution. Most of us resolve to improve our diet, workout routine, love life and financial status…and for some the latter may also mean improving upon how we do our job, especially if we don’t get the “glowing” (year end) review (and raise) we were looking forward to.

Although most of us personalize less than stellar reviews as an attack not only on our performance, but also on our character, ability and personality, often leaving us not only “ashamed” and frustrated but also feeling dejected.

Yet, professionals point out that a work reviews (both good and “bad”) can serve as wonderful learning tools. And they make the following suggestions for those who didn’t make the grade (they were expecting):

· Deal With It Diplomatically: Avoid wearing your feelings (especially those of shock, disappointment and “anger”) on your sleeve. Instead be honest (at least with yourself) and access the validity of the comments made. Most of all try to do your best to learn from what you’ve heard (whether you agree with all of it or not) and make it a point to do better next time.

· Dig A Little Deeper: Ask your reviewer, boss or supervisor to expand and expound upon his or her “accusations”. Kindly ask the individual to outline the areas they feel could use improvement and how. And, don’t be shy to ask for specific instances and examples. You may also want to delicately bring up the challenges you face and ask for their opinion and advice on making necessary adjustments and improvements.

· Define (or Redefine) Your Job Description: You and you boss may both have very different understandings of what your position is and what your function is. You may also see your goals and objectives differently. Ask your manager to fill you in on what he or she expects of you and have him or her give you understandable examples of accomplishments or actions that would earn you a better evaluation.

· Keep It Real And Within You Reach: Experts note that the best way to prove you abilities and that you are improving is by being honest about what you feel you can achieve. If you boast about your ability to accomplish something you have reservations about or clearly can’t, you’ll both wind up frustrated and disappointed. Instead, set realistic, short-term goals with the help of your supervisor, which will also give him or her a vested interest in your success (remember, he or she has someone to answer to, too). Taking this approach will show your maturity, sincerity, team spirit and your commitment to the company and to your own improvement and advancement.

· Remember There’s No Shame In Asking For Help: If you don’t understand something don’t be afraid to ask. In fact, most employers would appreciate knowing what’s going on and getting your proper assistance (or training) than placing all their faith in you only to find out you didn’t or couldn’t do they job they hired you to do. Plus, asking for help makes you more favored and likeable. After all, no one like a “know it all”

· Follow Up: Don’t just take it for granted that the changes you made are acceptable and sufficient and that the boss is now pleased (or you’d hear about it). True enough, “no news is good news”, but when it comes to your job/career it’s better to be safe than sorry. Ask you boss for regular meeting to discuss how you are doing as well as bringing to his/her attention the challenges you may be facing. This helps maintain or build a strong relationship and offer you ongoing support and feedback.

· Keep A Track Record Of Your Accomplishments: Bosses, supervisors and colleagues seem to have a short memory when it comes to your performance. Keep in mind the old adage “When I do something good, nobody remembers, when I do something “bad”, nobody forgets”. Plus, there’s always the potential “threat” of office politics. That’s why say professionals its best to document your work, and ALL you accomplishments. Share these with your supervisor as he or she gets ready to give you your evaluation or in response to things he or she may say in your evaluation that you feel are unfair and unjustified in accordance to your performance during the year.


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