Why it’s not the end of the world if you receive a bad review.

Tips on improving yourself as a person and worker

A few days ago I went on my job yearly evaluation (it used to be a semester, but that’s another story), and I got a great score, a really great score. I say score, because our evaluation is based on the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which categorizes a person has a “detractor”, “passive” or “promoter” based on a 0 to 10 score points.

The beginning

So I’ve been working on my current job for almost 3 years and I had the opportunity to work on every area of our product: InvoiceXpress. When I started working there I was part of the support team and community management and had a pretty straightforward job: receive emails from clients or prospects and answer them in the best way possible. It was my area of expertise since on my previous jobs I’ve work mostly on customer service.

My first evaluation was based on those tasks and I received a good review, with many points of improvement. Although it was my first evaluation it did not bother me that I received so many improvement points. I knew my strengths and weaknesses so at a certain level it was expected.

A few months after, I moved from support to the content. I was excited, although a little afraid because I knew that the support area was a safe place for me, but for the first time I was doing stuff that motivates me, that drives me. I like writing (although I have my limitations), love having new ideas, creating stuff and see the results of my work!

The downfall

I had 6 rough months, because it was a area so overwhelming and we were doing so much stuff it almost looked like we didn’t have time to think.

After those months I had my second evaluation and it received mixed to bad reviews. I knew it was not gonna be great but not like that. My boss gave me a 5 (detractor) and said I was the last person he would think/count regarding that team. I was devastated, I knew some of those critiques were a matter of perception, but ultimately it felt like I made a mistake changing areas.

“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.”

I decided to listen to what they said and work my ass off to improve my skills and prove my boss wrong. I started addressing those weakness points one by one and not letting define me. I read more, I’ve learned more, I was proactively searching for guidance. My company gave us access to some leadership and motivational courses that made me see things differently.

So a year later, like I said in the beginning, I had my evaluation was awesome even better than I expected. I’ve got a really high score thanks to my friends an colleagues who are instrumental on this journey. In fact I owe to them everything. Having good coworkers helps you become a better worker.

What’s next?

So for me it was “easy” before because I knew how to get better, I had instructions. Now it’s a new game, because although I know what I’m capable of, I have to push myself to be better. This time the fuel that drives me is different and I must try to find new ways to improve.

How to do that? Don’t really have an answer but this is what I’ve done in the past that helped me:

Learn from your mistakes — It’s not the end of the world, know your flaws and limitations and push them.

Be organised — That’s my greatest weakness, and I still have very difficulties trying to be more organised. It’s a constant effort but i think that if I can work on that, I’ll up my game.

Read more — Personally I rather watch tv series or the Tonight Show then reading a book, but it’s undeniable the direct effect that it has on you. There are great books, blogs, TedTalks out there, easy to read/watch and mind-blowing to the point of changing your work habits. I recommend starting with “Rework” from the guys of 37signals, that was the first step for me.

Listen to your coworkers — Some of them are better than you or have more experience so learn from them. We unconsciously tend to mimic our pears, so if you work with the best you become better. I’m proud to say I work with the best.

Meditate — You only need 10 minutes a day, it will improve your well being, trust me. I’ve started meditation months ago, and it relaxes me and improves my creativity. I used Headspace and love it.

Exercise — That’s a no brainer: healthy body = healthy mind. I love my Mcdonalds but every Wednesday and Sunday I run 5k to 10k.

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