Last week I was browsing through the archives of Rands in Repose and discovered an article about performance that argued for a more frequent performance check-in than the usual once-per-year. I thought it would be interesting to try the included “Professional Growth Questionnaire”, so I spent 30 min or so today and filled it out. The results were actually quite interesting.
First, I noticed that my company is really doing a good job in terms of providing training opportunities, clarity in the promotion process, and even compensation. Second, I realized that I need better and more timely constructive feedback in order to ascertain the growth areas. It feels like I’ve been in the trenches long enough that I personally have a hard time knowing where I should be heading. One of the questions was about having a mentor and getting 360 feedback. I could definitely use both.
Later today I had a chance to sit down for a little more than an hour with a new manager in our office, and we discussed my current role and my future goals. At the end of the conversation, I was amazed at how my manager’s listening ear and his questions helped me talk through some of the challenges and aspirations that have been floating around aimlessly in my head. Just the act of verbal processing enabled me to clarify the underling “why” behind some of my dreams and career plans.
I found both the exercise of processing my own “growth questionnaire” and meeting for a one-on-one sounding board meeting with a higher-level manager to be super helpful. This is definitely something to put on the calendar for twice a year, specifically in the “dry spell” a few months after my annual performance meeting.