Learn to Write an Effective Self-Assessment and Boost Your Career
By Helen Godfrey, MA, NCC, BCC, LPC
At some point in your career, your employer is probably going to ask you to write a self-assessment. It’s a routine part of the annual evaluation process at many companies. Consider the benefits of this important tool and master the strategies for evaluating yourself effectively.
Benefits of Writing an Employee Self-Assessment
1. Feel more confident. Reviewing your job description and goals will leave you more prepared for the upcoming discussion with your supervisor. There may be less surprises that could catch you off guard.
2. Give your manager important information. Events from earlier in the year are easily forgotten in a busy workplace, and your manager may not be familiar with all the details of your tasks. Your input is essential.
3. Track your progress. You can learn a lot from how others see you, but it’s also important to take your own measure. Rate how you’re doing on the elements of your job that are most meaningful for you.
4. Clarify goals. Remember that one purpose of an evaluation is to help you do your job well in the year ahead. Review your current goals and adjust them as needed.
5. Strengthen your career prospects. Listing your accomplishments helps you make the case for taking on more responsibilities or getting a promotion. It may also inspire you to explore other options.
Strategies for Making Your Assessment More Effective
1. Relax first. It’s natural to feel tense about being evaluated. Take a walk or play gentle music to put yourself in a positive frame of mind.
2. Make it an ongoing task. Jot down your major accomplishments each week. It’s much easier than trying to remember them all twelve months later. Sticking to this routine will also make it evident that you’re diligent all year.
3. Put it in writing. Even if your employer does not require a self-evaluation, you’re better off volunteering to do one. Offer your supervisor a list of your highlighted accomplishments.
4. Quantify your contributions. Speak in concrete terms about how you’ve increased revenues and reduced costs. Find ways to really measure your impact on the company. It’s possible for any position, whether you work in sales or accounting.
5. Document your successes. Bring along proof to back up your statements. Save flattering emails from clients and colleagues. Take before and after pictures of the work areas you reorganized or the brochures you designed.
6. Propose solutions for weaknesses. Of course, it’s important to address the whole picture. For every area where you aren’t as strong, lay out your plans for boosting your skills.
7. Ask for additional resources. This is the time to request the support you need. Explain how a certain seminar or professional membership would be worth the investment for the company.
8. Hand your materials in early. Prepare your evaluation well in advance of meeting with your supervisor for your formal review. It will give him/her more time to process your input. Managers often consult a variety of sources in order to write employee evaluations, so they may need a chance to reconcile different viewpoints and explore new information.
9. Listen with an open mind. Reviews are most productive when they’re conducted as an open and respectful dialogue. Being receptive to what your manager has to say will help you to grow as an employee and an individual. Feedback from others is vital and instructive.
Look at your annual performance evaluation as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and advance your career. Your employee self-assessment lets you shine a spotlight on your achievements and propose solutions for areas where you want to do better.