Milestones and Assessing Your Job Performance
Earlier this week, the one-year anniversary of my first day at WetFeet came and went. There were no cakes or balloons, which is fine by me: It’s neither my first job, nor the first job where I’ve spent a full year. Still, it’s a milestone, and it made me think about keeping track of time and charting my progress along the way.
In some jobs, the occasion of the first anniversary means it’s time for a performance review—no word yet on when I have that coming to me. But whether you’ll have a formal assessment or not, it’s a good time to evaluate your time on the job without someone else asking the questions and checking boxes based on your answers.
At the one-year mark, I’ve been taking stock by asking myself the following questions:
What were the high points and the low points? What accomplishments are you most proud of? What accomplishments do you feel should have turned out better than they did? (It can be helpful to ask these same questions in evaluating a job search that’s gone on for a year, as well—I’ve been there, too.)
When did you feel like you were really part of a team? What happened? What were you and the rest of the team working on, and how did you contribute to the overall effort?
When did you feel like you truly understood your role? Was it different than you had first envisioned it? What moments on the job made it clear to you?
How long did it take, after starting the job, until you no longer felt new? It might be that as soon as another employee is hired, you’re no longer the new person, but it can sometimes take a while to adjust to the working environment. When did you feel like you were truly at home in the workplace?
However many years or months you’ve been at a job, a little self-assessment can help to give some new perspective. What questions or methods have you found most helpful?