Help Your Manager

Most of us have some sort of review with a manager on a regular basis. It might be once a year, once a quarter, or even monthly. Some of us like these, and some don’t (me), but the review is often a way to assist your manager in evaluating how you are performing in your job. This is quite common, and I’ve gotten used to this, though I never really like the process.

I do know reviews are important. This is a time when you have an opportunity to shape your career. A good impression here can help you with a raise, a promotion, even the choice of a project or work you want to do in the future. I learned early on in my career that these reviews were important.

I also learned that my manager often wasn’t up to date on what I’d done across the last time period. I used to have annual reviews, but even with quarterly reviews, managers have their own career (and review) to worry about, other employees to worry about, and they can lose track of your accomplishments.

I saw a link in the Brent Ozar newsletter listing things that your manager might not know. Not everything on the list would be things that I cover in a review, but these are things to think about as you look to tailor your job to suit you. If you want something fixed or are having issues, make sure you explicitly call these out to your manager. Not imply something is bothering you, but directly state what you want or what is wrong.

Read the list, but for me, the important things are to track the extra things I’ve done, the things that impact the company, or that help other people. If I save the company money, or better, increase revenue in some way, I want to make a note and bring those notes to my review. If I spend extra time to make someone else’s job easier, bring that up.

Your manager often doesn’t know the details of what you do across time. Usually, they do track the current tasks, but they often don’t remember at review time what you did 3 or 6 months ago. Often I don’t either.

That’s why I keep notes about my successes. They help me drive my career forward in the direction I want it to move. It can help you as well but start keeping track of things today, as a way to prep for review time.

Steve Jones

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