Where do You Stand?

Where do You Stand?

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How many of you just show up for work and that’s it? Do you only care about punching the clock and simply getting your job done? For some people, work is work. You show up on time, do what’s expected and go home for the day. However, for others it can be more. It is the sense of accomplishing something, completing a measurable task by the end of the day. There is a sensation that needs to be filled of worth and value—the desire to be wanted and needed by your coworkers.

In either case, it is very important to know where you stand in the company. When using the phrase "where you stand," you can cover quite a few areas. Have you been in trouble? Do you work well with others? Does your superior see growth for you? Is a raise in your future, or a pink slip? Knowing the answers to key questions like these can make all the difference in your workday, no matter what your philosophy is on getting the job done.

Important Things to Know

Most organizations complete monthly, quarterly or yearly reviews. These are not only tools to give you feedback on your work and help improve your job performance, but can also be used in determining raises AND whether retribution is needed. The reports should cover basic criteria, such as:

  • Attendance
  • Tardies
  • Rates
  • Percent of sales

Your review should also cover additional comments on:

  • Management observations
  • Individual goals
  • Company goals
  • Room for improvements
  • Quality suggestions

Businesses vary on what they “grade” an employee on, but you should always know the basics. There are many different methods for performance appraisals, but the most popular is a method known as Goal Setting, more commonly called management by objectives. There are several factors and requirements involved, but in a nut shell, the objective is to set a clear understanding of work to be done by the employee and establish action plans to achieve the objectives. This of course needs to be done on a regular basis so that your work and any other barriers can be discussed between you and a supervisor.

Things You Should Watch Out For

When there isn’t a clear-cut, documented source in front of you, there are things you can look for to gauge where you stand. It is important to keep a self-inventory of your own performance even when you aren’t being reviewed. This can help prepare you for future discussions of your goals within the company, as well as preventing those accumulated tardies from sneaking up on you.

Here are five easy tips for keeping tabs on yourself:

  1. Use an attendance calendar to track any absences, tardies or time off. Typically, an administrative assistant should have one for the current year with an easy coding system.
  2. Take a look around you. Does your desk look unorganized? Are there stacks of uncompleted work? Having your workload under control not only shows that you are completing the tasks given to you, but also that you probably know where everything is — a big plus in great time management skills. Both of which result in bonus points when proving you are worthy of that raise.
  3. Watch who and what you talk about. By doing this, you can maintain complaints from coworkers and keep foul talk at bay. Knowing you are ethical and abide by the code of conduct curbs any disciplinary action, or even worse — a trip to Human Resources.
  4. Compare yourself to your peers. Do you keep up with work flow and production? Do you step up to take on projects more than others? Recognizing your hard work (or lack of) can either set your mind at ease that you are doing or good job, or light a fire under your rear to put forth more effort.Remember old reviews, poor marks on your record, disciplinary actions, etc and simply change your actions! Making self-improvements keeps you out of trouble, and shows that you took corrective action (which will more than likely pop up on your next review).

If you are competing for a higher position, or looking for a promotion, take all the different things the business looks at into consideration. They can range from many factors including:

  • Seniority
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Age
  • Effort
  • Work historyLevel/difficulty of job
  • Responsibilities

Even if you don’t appear to be qualified by the listed standards, just showing interest and initiative goes a long way. Just because you have only been there one year and the other gal has been there ten, it's always good to let the company know your interests — so (pardon the cliches here) stick your neck out, go out on a limb or take a shot in the dark to put your best foot forward!

If there is ever a time where you are concerned about your job, talk to someone about it. Even though you might not get a straight answer, you can at least find areas of opportunity. Of course events like layoffs or business closings are out of your hand, but termination or getting rejected for that promotion is not. There is always room to improve; even when we think we are the epitome of perfection, or at least as close as it comes.