Performance evaluations conducted by a supervisor are often nerve-racking for employees. Self-evaluations can have their own stresses, as it can be challenging to be introspective and honest with yourself when evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. Take an honest and philosophical approach to help you identify what you’re doing right in your job and what you could be doing better. This will help you improve your performance and move forward in your profession.
Take an Outside Perspective
When you perform a self-evaluation, step back and look at your job performance as if you were evaluating someone else. This will help you be realistic in your analysis, acknowledging both your strong points and your weak ones as well. Follow the self-evaluation questionnaire your boss gives you and answer each question fully. If you're not sure how to proceed, skip a question and move on to the next. Revisit the problem query after you’ve completed the rest of the evaluation.
With each question posed on your self-evaluation, think about what you're doing well and what you can improve. For example, if you evaluate yourself on teamwork, think about the feedback you get from your colleagues. Do you give your 100 percent, support others in their efforts and pull your weight in the group? Or do you hold up projects by missing deadlines and working up until the last minute making changes? Commit to building on your strengths and making a concerted effort to improve necessary areas.
Don't Be Too Tough
It's easy to judge yourself more harshly than a manager might, particularly if you're a high achiever or a perfectionist. Give yourself credit where it's due and be realistic about the expectations you set for yourself. While it's ideal to challenge yourself to improve your performance and take on new goals for the future, glossing over your successes under-values your contributions and won't help you progress in your career.
Set Attainable Goals
Self-evaluations typically conclude with a commitment to new goals and objectives for the coming assessment period. Set realistic goals based on past performance. For example, if you're in sales and you met all of your previous objectives, challenge yourself to increase revenue generation by 10 or 20 percent over the next year. If you had overly ambitious goals and fell short of meeting them in the past, adjust accordingly so you can better position yourself for success.
Lisa McQuerrey has been a business writer since 1987. In 1994, she launched a full-service marketing and communications firm. McQuerrey's work has garnered awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, the International Association of Business Communicators and the Associated Press. She is also the author of several nonfiction trade publications, and, in 2012, had her first young-adult novel published by Glass Page Books.