Heyyyyyy December girl!! Wow! The holiday season is finally upon us and I couldn’t be more excited. The food, family bonding, and of course celebrating the birth of Jesus what more can you truly ask for.
As we approach the end of the year many of us have already begun to self reflect on the last 12 months we’ve had. 2019 really dragged me. I mean through the mud, the ins and outs just to prove a point. Like damn, sis ain’t have to do all of that but in hindsight, I understand that it was the test I needed for the person I am becoming.
For many corporate jobs, the holiday season brings opportunities to engage in competitive pot lucks, Christmas party’s and the most work from home days you’ve had all year but it also brings a certain level of anxiety. Review Season. Yes, the time of year where you meet with your managers to talk about what you’ve accomplished in your work, how you drove company impact and what qualifies you for a pay bump/new position.
There really isn’t a how-to guide to get through these difficult conversations but after reading a lot of books and having prep sessions with some people at my job I wanted to share how you can have a festive and prosperous holiday season in and outside of the office.
Now I know at first glance this seems like a post for someone who has a full-time job, but these tips can be used for anyone going through a self-reflection period for 2020. I also will provide resources that I have used at the end of this post, to help you work on your personal and professional growth
Soo….you’ve only been at your job for 9...6….or 3 months give or take - so what could you have possibly done that would be enough to talk about in a meeting. Under the impression that you didn’t sit on your phone every day since you’ve started. I’m sure at this point you’ve done your basic job requirements. Like making phone calls, sending emails, visiting clients or even started new projects. One thing I’ve done since I’ve started my job was writing everything down. When I say everything... I mean everything, meetings with other colleagues, phone calls to a client and whatever else I did I wrote in a note stored on my computer. Week by week and month by month identifying physically what I did with my time for each day.
Working a 9-5 can get a bit robotic and I feel that most days. Especially after you’ve gotten into the real day to day of what your job entails. The days turn into weeks and weeks into months and before you know it someone is asking the dreaded question of “what have you done?”. This method of keeping a weekly/monthly log will not only store an ongoing record of your physical work but it allows for you to have an easy reference when pulling information for your review.
In addition to writing down what you’ve done physically...make sure you quantify it. Writing down something similar like; 8 client calls made...3 answered..spoke to about...1 follow up email sent. This is how you speak on driving impact. It’s one thing to say that you did your basic job requirements but it is another when you come with the numbers to back it. What separates those who move up the latter are the numbers. Everyone cares about your numbers and it’s truly the hunger games out here to where people will kill to come out on top at the end of the year. Write it down and quantify it.
Looking ahead. With 365 days comes 365 opportunities. Without an executable plan, it’s going to be difficult to navigate the upcoming year. You’re going to be presented with what the company or department plans to achieve in the next year and the question of how you will individually contribute to the goal may come up. Break up the year into four parts. Every 3 months you should be working towards something that can be checked off. This works in hand with writing it down and quantifying it. These quarterly goals will serve as your personal checks and balances to keep you on track with aligning yourself with the company or department’s expectations of its employees in achieving the yearly goals. Be realistic and know what you can accomplish given the resources accessible to you.
You aren’t perfect. I’m sure so far during your time there you’ve stumbled. A visit didn’t go as planned or you messed up on a project. If I’m being honest, its probably going to come up in your review. Take everything with a grain of salt. You’re still learning the ropes and you’re bound to make mistakes along the way. The test is how do you plan to eliminate some of those mistakes and apply the feedback/criticism you’re going to receive. Remember I talked about writing down and quantifying your work? I also take note of the feedback I get. I probably face the same situation I messed up on previously at least once a week. Having a note of someone’s feedback on how I should handle something moving forward, eliminates the probability of me making that mistake again. Thus, you'll begin to get the recognition you deserve and the trust of your manager that its time to give you a bigger responsibility. So far I've talked about how you can prepare however, nothing I can say will truly capture what can and will happen once you step into that room. Above all I've said I recommend staying calm, being honest and advocating for yourself. As women, we often battle insecurity in the workplace. We question our seat at the table and the opportunities we are given. That maybe we aren't as smart or as brilliant as we thought. Well, I'm here to tell you...that voice? I cast it off and out of you. You are purposed for greatness beyond what meets the eye and that seat you're sitting in? It has been handcrafted with your name on it. You not only belong there but your presence is doing more than you could even imagine. Take heed girl that seat isn't meant for you just to sit. But to stand and be proud of who you are, the work you've done and the impact you'll bring. They haven't seen anything yet. I wish you a successful review season. Whether it's for your job or for your life. Preparation is key and keys open doors to new possibilities. Want to get more advice on how you can relieve your stress of the upcoming meeting with your manager? Or maybe you're looking for someone to talk through some of your goals? Workin Girl now has Workin Girl services for FREE. Consultations are 30 minutes long and can be book directly from our website or Instagram page @workingirlblog. Let us not have 2020 be exactly like 2019 when it comes to your professional and personal growth. Additionally here is a list of resources I have taken a look at or consistently check-up on that keep me knowledgeable on "winning in the workplace" and growing personally. Books: "The B.A.B.E.'s Guide to Winning in the Workplace" - M Reese Everson, ESQ "The Millionaire Fastlane" - MJ Demarco "How to win Friends & Influence People" - Dale Carnegie Podcasts: Secrets of Wealthy Women - Wall Street Journal Women at Work - Harvard Business Review Therapy for Black Girls - Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D