Please reflect on your last six months of employment. What are you proud of, what do you wish had gone better? What are your strengths and the things you could work on? What are your goals for the next six months?
How I hated these e-mails. Every six months, without fail, these e-mails would launch me into a fit of anxiety and fear. What if I said the wrong thing? What if my supervisor didn’t agree with my strengths? What if this is all just an opportunity to tell me how much I suck?
These reviews always turned out fine, but the amount of stress they caused often propelled me to a period of absolute fabulousness (just in case my boss really thought I sucked) So, now I’m the boss, of me. And, somehow, I still feel the same amount of trauma at the thought of a six month review. Because…. maybe I do suck, and maybe my boss knows it. As a boss, I’d tell my staff that these evaluations were merely a nice opportunity (although I never believed that myself). Let’s see how it goes.
I am really proud of the fact that I weathered this storm. That I’ve been working steadily for the last six months. That I developed a pretty good plan and I’m sticking to it and I’m getting results. I’m proud that I’ve worked through the fear of starting my own gig and have come out the other side. And, I’m tremendously proud of the fact that I figured out something new and better. That I wasn’t afraid to admit that my life wasn’t perfect before and that I had the power to build something different.
I wish that I had taken more time for myself the last six months. Oddly enough, this was always my wish when I was working 60 hours a week too. In my head, I was going to do yoga every morning; I was going to ride my bike; I was going to go rock climbing and try crossfit. It’s amazing. But, I still haven’t figured out how to take more time for myself, even when I have more time for myself. The self-care piece has always been hard for me, and it hasn’t gotten any easier. But, I’m making a commitment to me this fall. Moving forward, I’m starting with two sun salutations every morning, and then I’ll go from there.
My strength is one of my biggest strengths. My dad keeps on asking me how I’m doing. And, I think we’re both a little surprised by my answer. I am really happy with my new life. I am working hard and opening up great new opportunities. I am spending more time with my family and finding the time to think about what the boys need from their mom. It’s taken a fair amount of power to get to here. But, I have the momentum going now. In addition, I am skilled at setting tasks for myself, I am self-motivated, I am an independent worker. I know how to ask for help when I need it, and I’m good at networking with other professionals. And, I’m a pretty good communicator and I believe in transparency. All good traits in an employee (my boss agrees).
Things I can work on? Aaaah, the dreaded “deltas.” Because you want to be honest, and you want to beat your boss to the punch, but you don’t want to point out something they hadn’t noticed. Last thing you want to do is tell your boss the many ways in which you’re lousy at your job. But, there’s always something to work on.
I can work on letting go of the things I have no control of. I can work on letting go of the past. I’ve done really well at “talking the talk”, but its high time I start “walking the walk.” I can work on being present in the here and now. I’m so used to being one step in front of a problem, anticipating issues before they arise, that I forget how to be present.
I can learn how sit on the porch and just drink a cup of coffee; not check my email, not work on my “to do” list, but just have a cup of coffee. I can work on getting up earlier. Because, no one (especially a husband) can take someone seriously who sleeps til 8:30 every day. And, imagine how much those extra minutes will matter in the larger scheme of things.
Where do I see myself in the next six months. Right here. Working on this trajectory. I like where I am right now. I like where my life is headed. I like the projects that I’m working on and where I’m placing my passion. I like bringing my kids to school and picking them up every day. I like being home for dinner and making granola bars from scratch. I like not feeling overwhelmed and I like not checking my e-mail when I’m out with my family.
This is the first evaluation in a long time where I’m walking away from it with no doubts. I am clear about where I’m going, I’ve left no questions on the table. I’m sure I’m doing a good job and I know what I can do better. And surprisingly, shockingly, I’m relaxed and happy and pleased with where I am, and I don’t think I suck at all.