View Full Version : self evaluation/want to be perfect at work

Zoe Girl
11-30-11, 11:20pm
We had the ultimitely painful process of self evaluation at work. I had my meeting much later than expected because of kids' illness but we finally did it today. I did my evaluation a couple weeks ago when I was feeling really awesome about myself, I actually went through my work and was able to develop a list of what I do and compare it to what I felt the expectations of the job are and what I see others do. So out of 5 I scored myself mostly 4's, moved one down to a 3 (gave myself a 5 on one area). Then sat with my supervisor and walked through it. She didn't actually talk about what the numbers were which was good, and we just talked about the evidence. I am glad I had evidence because we all know that I am the one with a million ideas going and doing the extra to get more materials and projects, and I have had 2-3 things late since school started. So now I really want to challenge that idea I am not organized and meeting every deadline. I believe in data and so keeping track is the next step for me.

So I am feeling all awkward now, Like of course we all have something to work on so saying 5 is not reasonable no matter how many parents I have calmed down and made peace with (although i am not taking the fall for a staff who tells everyone but me what they need to, I will set up meetings now that I know but that was her job to talk to me).

This entire process is very difficult since we all need to improve areas, but I am also terribly overqualified for the job in many ways. So I didn't want to score 3 out of 5 (other than organization) because I want to show I can do more. I am concerned if I mostly put 3's with lots of improvement planned then I will not see myself and have others see me as a person more than ready to advance in some way. Anyone else have experience with this?

12-1-11, 5:53am
I personally always thought my self evaluation was pretty much a worthless exercise. All it did was focus me on topics and help the boss gather info for his/her evaluation. Those who do crap work think they do fine and those who are good and detail oriented usually find fault with their own work.

I almost always got 5 out of 5 and still knew just where all my problems were and focused on them. One boss a long time ago told me that I was my own worst enemy and he ended up being so true.

My best recommendation is to keep notes on everything that turns out good. Every comment, notes on projects and their details, written documents from others, etc. It will help counteract our tendency to remember the problems or the unfinished or the errors.

12-1-11, 5:59am
Forgot to say, if you dont give yourself 5s when you think you may deserve them, who else will. The worst thing that can happen is they reduce them. Always leave a discussion topic of what you can do to do better and your plan to imporve but I would never give myself 3s.

12-1-11, 6:29am
Most women struggle with self-evaluation, I think -- it is a very gendered thing, where we are socialized from an early age not to "brag" about ourselves or be "proud." So I think you were doing good to give yourself 4s (what is 4 on the scale, by the way? And is 5 "excellent" or "excels" -- certainly it isn't "perfect", right? Nobody can claim to be perfect...)

Do you also get evaluated/scored by your supervisor? That can be challenging, but is also a very good way to see if your self-perception of your work more or less matches or radically differs from your supervisors' view. It can give you a good idea of what concrete areas you need to focus on to improve your work in both specific and overall ways, and bring your supervisor's evaluation of your performance up in future reviews. It can also be a huge red flag if there are signs that you are not seeing eye to eye with your supervisor, or if they might be deliberately out to sabatoge you. That happened to me. Had a supervisor rate me poor in several categories in what was once my dream job that became my HSSJ. It was all a game -- he knew I was a threat to him and when I pushed back he decided to play a little power game with me. He won, temporarily. But I knew my career there was over as soon as I saw those ratings. It was hard not to let it affect my self esteem, but it helped that I had several colleagues who were stunned when they saw his ratings. They were also clear he was playing games. Anyway, I point this out because I think it is important that you get some kind of evaluation from your supervisor in addition to your self-evaluation. On the most basic level, if there aren't any games going on it will show you where you need to focus and possibly discuss further with her what the expectations are and how you can better meet them. And if there are games going on, it is good to have a heads up about that, too.

Remember, nobody is perfect and you don't need to be either. Excellent is not perfect. It is fine to aim for excellence. And I bet you will hit it many times in many categories!

And if you haven't already, start that "yay me" file with the notes from parents and your notes documenting incidents you handled well and the oral or other feedback you got on your performance from others. Whip that out at the next evaluation session and knock her dead!


12-1-11, 8:15am
Evals are only useful if they are the basis for planning the future, IMHO. 10% what has happened, 90% what's next. I am just leaving a less than fabulous position that had no evals, even though I asked for them. In the 10/90 scenario, they would have been very useful.

Zoe Girl
12-1-11, 8:45am
Thank you all, I feel much better. I didn't change the numbers but I understand now why i felt uncomfortable. I know how I am perceived is lower on organization and paperwork however that is one thing I am going to track because I cannot see the last thing I was late with, I can only think of 2 serious things that I have been late or forgotten about and that includes the beginning of year craziness. And right, no one is going to be perfect. There have been a few things that I was ahead on. I think my 'clear the air' talk with my sup a few weeks back really helped set the stage for this. We had to talk about how she totally ran over me in a meeting (isn;t that fun to tell your sup) but as a result we had a very good talk about what I do, my qualifications, my frustrations being older and highly qualified. And I used my 'yay me' file for both that conversation and this evaluation, plus some things where we disagreed so I had that same data mentality about my staff as well.

Sweetana, I know I am the same, I loved what you said about giving yourself 5's. I have had to slowly change things over the years from thinking I could put down a lower score and someone would tell me I was being too hard and then realize you have to stand up for yourself. In school you could be that way and then take a test and ace it (did you do the same thing of almost hiding your abilities in school?)

Okay we are doing a training deal today on this and I am NOT changing my 5 on communication. Did I tell you my 'chills' moment? I had a staff person quitting and making that day her last day. Not good at all but it happens in our work. So I had to call her back and see if her new job could let her give notice and work for another week, otherwise she was unhireable in our school district forever. I went out into a hallway because I talk pretty loud and had that conversation. Well an office staff person overheard my part of the conversation only, when I got off the phone she gave me such a compliment, told me that she wanted me for a boss, and then hugged me right in the hallway! Woah, I know her and we are in a female work environment but that still blew me away. :D

12-16-11, 5:09pm
i hate self evaluations. if you give yourself low, they will agree with you. if you give yourself high, they will think you are too high in the clouds. it is a no win.

first one i gave myself all highs and got moderates. so, the next one i put all moderates and they gave me all lows. should i go back to highs now? lol