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The Dreaded Performance Review

One mother on a mission to fight the system and still get a raise

by Robyn Roark  |  2214 views  |  1 comment  |        Rate this now! 

It's performance review time at my company. And even though I consider myself a bad-ass superstar (and I have many performance reviews to prove it), I still hate this time of year. I hate completing the self-evaluation portion. I hate having to solicit feedback from my peers. I hate having to listen to my manager come up with something bad to say about me.

And unlike in years past when I knew that I was going to be placed into the top 10 percent of performers and get a nice raise, this year.... Well this year, I'm just not as sure. The company was acquired this year so the process is different. I was placed into a new role to deal with the acquisition. A role that I don't really care for and I don't think I've given it my all. I've become complacent. I no longer push for change. I'm tired of managing by escalation, of being the messenger, of drinking bad coffee with powdered creamer. Really at the end of the day, I'm just tired.

I'm making personal changes in my life. A commitment to my family. I'm mapped out the changes that I need to make professionally, including getting a very important, very difficult Professional Certification in my field by the end of this calendar year. I'm learning to put my family first and to balance my professional side with my mommy identity. I've said before that nothing changed for me professionally when D was born. And for the last three years, it didn't have to. But now that he is older, now that he understands when I'm gone, now that he's a blast to hang out with and show stuff to and listen to his sweet voice tells insane stories of pigs and big bad wolves. Now things have changed.

I'm not giving up my professional identity. Not in the slightest. But I need to re-invent myself. And this past year has been a battle for me. A battle that I fought long and hard. A battle that I thought was about giving something up, letting something go. And after fighting for so long, for feeling lifeless and exhausted down to the core of my soul, I now see that I was fighting the wrong battle. My life does not have to suffer. My work does not have to suffer. I do not have to make a choice between one or the other.

I just need to change the terms.

A lot of my focus in this coming year will be on my family and me. My professional life is going not going to take a back-seat, but it won't be driving either. Even the tide has to ebb before it can flow again. I'm not taking a break. I'm not taking a time-out. I'm not taking the mommy track. I'm making it real. I'm making a balance that just hasn't existed.

About the Author

BirdieRoark works as a Sr. Program Manager at a Fortune 15 company. During the day, she bosses around men that are old enough to be her father. At home, she gets bossed around by a three year old boy

Read more by Robyn Roark

1 comment so far...

  • Love your goals, and my son is three, too - just the age where, you're right, he's FUN to be around. My annual review time falls right around the same time as my (2nd) maternity leave this year, and my plan is to return only part-time. Wonder how that will go over in the review process? Best of luck with yours. Thanks for this article; it's helped me think critically about what I want and how I need to plan for it.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by el-e-e on 21st November 2007