Self-assessments are becoming the norm for employee performance reviews. Some employees may consider them to be intimidating, but the process of developing and writing a self-assessment can be a rewarding experience. Not only will you learn more about yourself, you will establish a dialogue with your supervisor, making the performance review more beneficial to both of you.
Benefits of a Self-Assessment
The very process of writing a self-assessment has a huge benefit for you, the employee. It offers you protection. You may have had great accomplishments, but when your annual review happens, your supervisor may not remember. Your self-assessment is your opportunity to showcase your success. Writing a self-assessment provides you the opportunity to take personal responsibility for your job performance. If you are a high achiever, this is your chance to do some legitimate bragging. Whether you are an introspective person or not, this exercise will force you to catalog your past, plan for the coming year and take charge of your future.
Writing Your Self-Assessment
Your self-assessment probably requires you to complete a form. All have the same characteristics – a review of the past year, goals for the coming year and tools to help you accomplish your goals. Think about the accomplishments that you are most proud of. If you keep a journal, they are easy to recall. If you do not keep a journal, begin one today. Keep your comments honest, but spare no details. For each of your achievements, review the situation, what tasks you had to accomplish and what the outcome was. Make your goals for the coming year ambitious, but not impossible. Be sure to itemize any training or support you will need from your organization to get there.
Planning Your Career
Completing your self-assessment may be an obligation, but you need to carry it beyond the minimum requirements. As you review your achievements – and shortcomings – from the past year, ask yourself if your career is going in the direction you wish. Just as it is your employer's opportunity to review your progress, so, too, it is yours. Part of a typical self-assessment includes goals for the coming year. Be sure that your goals are what you really want to do and take you along the career path you wish to follow.
Dialogue with Your Supervisor
A performance review can be intimidating if you see them as an airing of your shortcomings. It is a sit-down meeting with the boss to discuss your successes and how your performance measured up to your job description. You and your boss look at your job description from different directions, so your self-assessment gives you the chance to share your point of view. You may present an outlook that your supervisor has not considered. If your supervisor reviews your self-assessment before the review meeting, then he has no surprises about your expectations. He may even change his point of view based on your commentary.
Thomas Metcalf has worked as an economist, stockbroker and technology salesman. A writer since 1997, he has written a monthly column for "Life Association News," authored several books and contributed to national publications such as the History Channel's "HISTORY Magazine." Metcalf holds a master's degree in economics from Tufts University.