Yup, it's that time of year again.

Ever since I've graduated from college and worked full-time, the end of the year has meant that I need to set aside some time to fill out forms as part of a formal review process. The idea being that I assess myself, my manager assesses me, and my peers provide feedback. This all gets stirred together by my manager and then results in a rating of some sort and possibly an annual raise.

I usually have no trouble providing peer feedback. As long as I've worked with someone more than a trivial amount, I can usually think of something positive and negative to say about 'em. But when it comes to do the self-assessment, I'm always a bit stumped.

I really have no concept of what the expectations are--for me. I never really have and maybe I never will. I mean, it's me. Myself. I've with me 24 hours a day. How do I rate me?

Does everyone find this process exceptionally difficult? Or is it just me?

(Oh, I can't help but to comment on how odd it is that Yahoo! and my previous employer seem to use nearly the same assessment system. It's a bit spooky, really.)

Posted by jzawodn at November 03, 2003 10:40 PM

Reader Comments
# Mark Tomacco said:

Bleck, corporate life :P

Put down that you've blogged a lot! ;P

on November 3, 2003 11:03 PM
# David Dorward said:

You are not alone. You are NOT alone.

Thankfully there hasn't been any self-assessment for my new job yet - I wonder how long that will last?

on November 3, 2003 11:33 PM
# Larry said:

Is Yahoo like Dilbert?

on November 4, 2003 02:30 AM
# KevinR said:

The same system, as in:

Step 1: Write your own appraisal, in the third person

Step 2: Supervisor/Manager rubber stamps it and submits it as his own appraisal?

on November 4, 2003 04:57 AM
# Chris said:

Same as Kevin here but Step 3:
Argue with everyone under the sun because there is not enough cash to give everyone a bonus.

Never forget that this is a 2 way process, you need to argue the toss that you have given your pound of flesh and have earned the raise (+ options; soon eh ?).

Most of this process has been replaced with software these days so if the maths is not transparent get hold of it first and know it better than your boss :)

on November 4, 2003 05:20 AM
# Jeremy C. Wright said:

Maybe I'm alone in that I love assessments in general. I'm with Jeremy in that I hate the 'self' part, but I crave knowing if I'm doing a good job according to my superiors.

Generally if I've been on a path and get a good assessment I feel empowered to continue on.

Sad thing is I've never worked somewhere that really gave raises (1 year at a failed dot-com and 5 at a non-profit'll do that for you).

Good luck Jeremy, hope you get a raise big enough for the both of us ;)

on November 4, 2003 06:14 AM
# Tony said:

Ya, Know what you mean. Although, for me, self assesment is tough becuase I am toughest on my self. I have never given myself an "A" or "5" on anything except maybe being the fact that I was NEVER late. Besides that, whatever I have done, ALWAYS could have been done better. I know and recognise that more than any silly suit could imagine. Problem is, for them, it's just a show. They know what they are giving you BEFORE this little exercise anyway. They could say, Here's your raise, and here is your eval form. We want to know where you think your skills are, how you rate them, and how we could help you be better at what you do. didn't mean to write a book. but i actually had a manager who did this. He was cool.

on November 4, 2003 06:31 AM
# Timothy Forthesque-Smedley said:

Nothing to do with this post, but i'd like to point out that Novell have just announced they will purchase Suse:


on November 4, 2003 06:34 AM
# tlack said:

I'm with you. In fact I have a self-assessment form due that's been sitting on my desk for two weeks now.

It's hard for me because: 1. I'm afraid of being too prideful and seeming like a jackass. 2. I have trouble remembering the accomplishments of the past year (one client's site had grown from 800,000 to 7.2 million hits in the course of a year and I had basically forgotten the amount of growth that I had supervised) 3. I tend to comment mostly on recent trends, being unable to remember how I was feeling 8 months ago. 4. I hate doing anything that doesn't directly involve programming.

on November 4, 2003 07:52 AM
# Dan Isaacs said:

I hate the process. I dig the results. I'm self centered enough to enjoy reading what people think of me. But I'm way too critical of myself to do an honest self-evaluation. Why do you think writers have editors? It's because they can't be trusted to give an honest evaluation of their own work.

on November 4, 2003 09:08 AM
# Josh Woodward said:

Yeah, my self-assessment and peer reviews are really tough this year. I'm afraid that I'm going to get fired. ;-)

on November 4, 2003 09:47 AM
# Peter Grigor said:

Just put on the form "I'm thuper...thankth for athking!"

on November 4, 2003 10:23 AM
# Marc said:

I feel exactly the same way. I was at my current job for 2 weeks, but it happened to be year end time, so I had to do a self assesment. That was probably the most assanine thing that I have ever seen. I wasn't going to get a raise, what I said was meaningless, and I hadn't been there long enough to critique anyone else.

on November 4, 2003 11:16 AM
# kasia said:

I just copy last year's. Once per company is more than enough, thank you.

on November 4, 2003 03:52 PM
# Anne said:

You actually get assessed? Heh, I don't even get that, much less a chance to do self-assessment. My supervisor extended my mandatory probation period another six months - and didn't tell me for three months. I've been working here 18 months, and have had exactly one performance review (despite the handbook requiring them every six months) - and it took me 3 months to get a copy of the assessment. I'm supposed to have a follow-up meeting, and never have had. And it's all highly top secret - much less peer assessment.

on November 4, 2003 06:18 PM
# Marty said:

It's all crap. Managers (good ones anyway) know who is going to get the raises without writing a single performance review. Heck, you work all year with these people. You know who's valuable and who's playing poker on his PC. The PM system is designed to properly document performance in the event of a lawsuit (which happens more frequently than anyone would dare to imagine - for those of you who have worked in HR, you know what I'm talking about.) Tieing it to pay is HR's way of making sure it gets done because line managers hate doing it. If you ask any manager, they hate doing these damn things more than you do (and they have to do 40 of them).

on November 5, 2003 01:10 PM
# Troll said:

Just tell them you love Michael Bolton!

on November 5, 2003 01:12 PM
# Matthias said:

Take it as a chance to tell your management what you need to increase your already good performance more and more. Tell what you want, what you would like to do. I think it's a good possibility to include such things in a self assessment... And it's good for both parties!

on November 6, 2003 10:36 AM
# Kosmic said:


What a co incidence. i too feel the same and i too work for yahoo and its this time of the year where the sam crap is going on....

on January 10, 2008 10:36 PM
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