Use Self-Evaluation to Stay on the Right Career Track
Employer evaluations measure your performance against expected objectives, rate and evaluate you against other employees, and aim to keep you relevant in your company. But it’s also a good idea to perform a self-examination in relationship to your place of employment, which will ensure you stay attractive to potential future employers. If you’re not valuable to companies other than your own, then in the long run you’re probably not going to be valuable to your own company, either.
If your intent is to grow professionally, continue to provide value to your current company, and remain marketable to potential future employers, then a self-assessment of your skills and abilities that identifies your strengths and weaknesses would be a valuable exercise.
Being measured only against your coworkers can give you a false sense of security and of your own marketability, especially if you are being highly rated compared to a mediocre team. The achievement bar may be too low and will be of no value if you’re suddenly faced with the prospect of needing to find new employment or you have a desire to advance further than your own company can provide.
Consequently, try to evaluate yourself not only against your coworkers, but to others outside of your organization. This can be done by reviewing job postings to see what skills are required for the position you currently have or want to pursue in the future.
Just as important as your own viewpoint of your performance is the perception of yourself from your team’s perspective. Receiving feedback from your peers, either positive or negative, is beneficial. Constructive criticism can uncover harmful practices and weak skill sets, allowing you the opportunity to direct your energy toward improving what may not have been obvious to you.
Don’t give up control of your career; take accountability. Take responsibility for directing your own career path. If you’re sitting around waiting for something to happen before you act, then it probably won’t be anything good.
Study your failures and take ownership of your mistakes, because the only real mistake is one that you don’t learn from. Every time you blame others for your mistakes, you are giving up control of your career. A person can fail many times, but they aren’t a failure until they blame someone else.
It is also crucial that you learn from others around you. Learn from their missteps and slipups too, because there isn’t enough time to make all the mistakes yourself. Observing the actions of those around you that are less than desirable can be motivating, as you can be inspired by what you don’t want to become.
Even if you’re on the right track, you can get run over if you just sit there. Always be learning. Invest in yourself. Every day is another opportunity to update your skills, responsibility, knowledge, and network. By accepting responsibility, you take charge of your future.