‘Tis the season for the dreaded self and annual reviews at work, and since that means being forced to self review, it requires a lot of self reflection. So in honor of my annual review I’m getting a little bit personal today and sharing some of my post grad struggles in this area!
Annual reviews are the worst, the only thing that might be worse is a cover letter, but since annual reviews are basically cover letters that you have to write every year justifying why you should keep your job I consider them to be pretty much the same level of awfulness. Everyone has to write one and everyone I know procrastinates and waits until the very last second because nobody wants to write it (for example, I’m writing this post instead of writing my review!) It’s hard to sit and reflect on what you’ve done in the past year at work and write about your “wins” and “opportunities” and other corporat-ey things like that, everyone likes to talk about themselves but nobody likes to put those words on paper. It’s especially hard if you, like me, are unsure of your path with the company you’re working for or with your life in general. Annual reviews ask the tough questions about our jobs and lives that we don’t want to think about, they force us to brag about ourselves, which strangely is actually quite difficult.
So many of us come right out of school and take the first job we’re offered in our field (I know that’s what I did) and while some of us are intentional with those first jobs and how it will help with the future, that’s not exactly the position I am in.
I took a job down in Disney right after graduation and while it was a great summer job and I had a blast I came back to DC in August and had to find a full time job, preferably in the field I studied, politics. After a long couple of months and 87 resume’s and cover letters, I landed a great entry level admin job at a huge retail company in their Government Affairs shop. I was psyched, one because I had a job and could finally pay rent and also because I couldn’t be working for and with nicer people. I have an amazing boss and mentor and love the people I work with, I have learned so much from them in the last 16 months. But with each week and each conversation with friends that are doing things they love, I’m learning that politics isn’t necessarily what I want to do for the rest of my life.
I’m at a huge crossroads right now and I feel a little bit stuck. I have no idea what the next step for me is, grad school, a new job, a different job with my current company? Staying in DC, moving somewhere new? I have a lot of questions with very few answers, and somehow I am supposed to write a self review talking about all the great things I’ve done and how I’m going to keep growing in my role. I’ve been struggling to figure out exactly how to embellish my daily responsibilities and see their greater impact because I’m feeling like I haven’t grown. The past few weeks I’ve been uninspired, frustrated and stuck in a bit of a rut. A lot of those feelings have stemmed from the fact that I don’t know what comes next, or frankly, how to even get to the point where I do know what comes next.
Since my annual review isn’t due for another few days I’m taking a little bit of a break and working on changing my mindset. Maybe I’m completely overthinking it (I probably am) but I think in order to get it done I need to get out of the funk I’ve been in the last couple of weeks! Part of that is going to be exploring what my future looks like a little bit, do some planning and put some of the planning I’ve been doing this month into action!