Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Web article on unfavorable performance appraisals available

How often is the “performance appraisal” from your boss a formality before the next salary review? Sometimes. Companies often do probationary reviews (“the tidings”) after an initial period like three or six months.

But sometimes one does get a substandard review. Frankly, that is often a step toward dismissal, or at least progressive discipline. The documentation in a review can obviously support a company’s dismissal action (especially for cause) later. Sometimes employers will give someone intermittent goals that they know the person cannot meet.

There is an article on “MyHotJobs” today by Caroline Potter, “5 Things to Do If You Get a Bad Review,” link here. The article mentions a forthcoming book by Hallie Crawford, “Flying Solo: Career Transition Tips for Singles,” due out in June 2008 (I couldn’t find it yet on Amazon for pre-order).

One problem that can be bad for an individual contributor is falling behind in hands on technical skills as technology changes rapidly. This is especially a problem in maintenance with newer software packages, where it is very difficult to learn the package well enough without having done the project yourself from start to finish (in a “full systems life cycle”). In supporting a package that one has implemented oneself, one often learns the detailed technology with all of its arcane secrets cold. (I remember being the guru of “packed unsigned fields” back in the 80s in an ALC billing system.)

Even courteous reviews may not save one from a layoff if someone has walked in the door and a huge cultural change is coming. Not everyone will fit the style of a new owner or operator.

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