The last of the year
As the year 2016 comes to a close, we begin to start in on the fantasies of how wonderful 2017 will be. However, changes in the New Year rarely come to fruition.
This is simply because it is easier to daydream than to actually make a change happen. While many of us have grand plans to drop 20 pounds and begin to exercise regularly, we sometimes overlook the importance of assessing our professional lives and making resolutions of change.
Check in with yourself
With only a few weeks left of this historic year, now is the time to do a self-evaluation of your work performance.
The first rule, and the only way it will actually be beneficial, is that you need to be completely honest with yourself.
Sometimes we have trouble admitting we are doing something wrong or perhaps being lazy, but those issues will continue if we don’t acknowledge their existence and make a conscious effort to fix what’s broken.
The Sandwich Method
In almost every communication course I took in college, we were taught that constructive criticism should follow the “sandwich method.” This is where you start with a compliment, mention where improvement is needed, then end with a compliment. The same is true for the following steps of self-evaluation.
1. Identify accomplishments.
Look at the year as a whole and see where you have found success in your work. If you keep up with assessing your work throughout the year, this step should be a piece of cake.
I suggest writing down these accomplishments and keeping the list as a visual tracker of the way you want to continue your execution. This could be something you add to at the end of each year, and is a great portfolio piece to have for performance reviews or interviewing.
Also during this step, look to see what tasks and items may have fallen outside of your normal, day-to-day agenda to see where you’ve grown. This will help you to note what you’ve added to your plate (and, theoretically, your accomplishments as a whole) throughout the year.
2. Identify failures.
We can’t be on par 100 percent of the time. There are times we may fall short of our tasks. So, just like with your accomplishments, track down where you weren’t so pleased with your performance. Then, make a subsequent list offering ways you can improve if and when the same situation arises.
Sometimes failure may not come in the form of how the project was completed, but maybe in your performance as a whole.
If you feel like you’ve been lacking as an employee, make sure you’re acknowledging this to yourself.
If you’re going through the effort of doing a self-evaluation, I assume you care about your job and your performance to some degree. So be honest with yourself if you haven’t been playing to the best of your abilities.
From there, you can think up some ways to better yourself going forward. Whether it be making more of an effort to show up a little early, or taking one less coffee break, the fact that you’re working for betterment is a step in the right direction.
3. Identify goals.
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us have a goal in mind going into a new year. Generally they are of a personal nature, but it’s equally beneficial to set goals for the workplace.
These goals can piggyback of the ideas mentioned in step 2 (i.e. chill out on the coffee breaks,) or they can be a bit more broad (i.e. get a promotion or a raise.)
Regardless of the intensity, it is always a good idea to work with a goal in mind. This will help propel you to more success down the line.