Some time ago, a career columnist answered a reader’s question about performance reviews.
“I haven’t had a review in 4 years,” the reader said. “What should I do?”
The columnist advised the reader to press the issue. If necessary, he said, “Go to the Human Resource department. It’s possible your boss isn’t following policy.”
I wouldn’t advise that. If the HR department doesn’t know or doesn’t care, you’re stirring up a hornet’s nest.
And frankly, you probably don’t need a performance review. Some companies are beginning to consider doing away with reviews altogether.
What you really need, every so often, is a wake-up call.
What are the nonverbal signals you’re getting from your boss? Are you getting raises and rewards? What’s your relationship with your boss?
If you haven’t gotten a raise in four years, I’d say, “Take a look around. Are others getting raises? If you’re in a company or industry that doesn’t give raises, it’s past time to change jobs and/or careers.”
If you’ve been there four years and you don’t see a path to an new job, it’s time to start strategizing. The new job might take you to a higher rank within the company or might make you more marketable.
In fact, this question is the one you need to ask every year:
Are you more marketable today than you were a year ago?
If your job ended tomorrow, would you be able to find a new one? Or have you saved enough to live comfortably while you pursue new opportunities?
Staying marketable is more important than any performance review, especially today. You gain marketability by showing that you’re qualified with skills and experience that many employers — not just yours — will value.
If you’re not gaining marketability on the job, but you love the company, you can take steps to acquire new skills on your own time. You can take classes or build a side hustle. This book offers a good place to start (via my Amazon Associate link) Some people have had success with volunteer opportunities, but you have to be selective.
If you’re too busy to do anything but your job, hopefully you’re working with a financial advisor to grow your nest egg.
If you’re ready for a makeover, consider checking out my book, Your 21-Day Extreme Career Makeover.
If you’re feeling unsure of what to do, check out the Career Strategy Session. Many clients have walked away feeling a new sense of clarity and purpose … well on their way to a new career.