Evaluating your progress is an important part of staying on track and figuring out what needs improvement. As part of the formal performance review process, self-assessments, also known as self-appraisals or self-evaluations, help an individual gauge how you view your own performance. Self-evaluation also lets you express what you feel are important tasks you have completed, responsibilities you'd like to take on, and provide a channel of open communication about goals, opportunities and development. Writing a self-evaluation can be difficult for many individuals. Despite knowing themselves and their work better than anyone, they can struggle to summarize it in a way that comes off as an objective, rather than conceited.
Here are five tips to keep in mind as you complete your own performance appraisal:
The main goal of the self-evaluation is to highlight your accomplishments. Individuals need to point to specific tasks and accomplishments that highlight their best work. When describing those accomplishments, you should be sure to emphasize the impact each of those achievements had on your work or your skill or your life as a whole, in order to show how valuable their work is to the company or to yourself as well.
Honesty is another critical aspect of writing a self-review. It's more than likely that the boss knows when a good job was done, so trying to highlight a project or task that was just OK, rather than great, won't have much impact.
Being honest also means pointing out some areas that could be improved. Because being honest, while filling your self assessment is vital as it might give you a second chance to improvise yourself next time if you have certain areas to be improved immediately or in the long run.
Ask About Career Development Opportunities
Employees can use their self-evaluations as a time to ask their leaders for career-development opportunities. This should occur even if the employer isn't asking the employee for it, because if you don't ask, it likely won't happen. By showing an interest, you put in your manager's mind that you are interested, and he or she is more likely to be on the lookout for tasks, assignments and training prospects for you.
Track Your Accomplishments
When it comes time to stand up for your work in your self-assessment, having actual data to show what you've done throughout the year is crucial. Employees will have the general sense that they've done a good job, and maybe even an excellent employee, but without the data and examples to back it up, it doesn't tend to count for much.
A record of a worthy accomplishment is a bit like a well-structured novel: there should be some instigating performance, some ensuing actions, and some changes as a result. If you’re stuck for things to note or how to note them, try the Challenge-Action-Result formula:
Think of a challenge you resolved.
What obstacles did you overcome to resolve it?
List the steps you took to resolve the challenge one by one.
What happened as a result of your actions?
You need to remember to always be professional when writing self-assessments. This means you should avoid using it as an opportunity to bash the boss for poor leadership skills or criticize co-workers for making the employees' lives more difficult.
Being professional also means giving the appraisal its due attention, like any other important project that crosses your desk. You'll be much happier with the result if you give yourself time to reflect and carefully support your self-assessment.