How do I know how I’m doing at my job?
How do I know how I’m doing at my job?
Hi, I’m Janet Granger, answering the question: how do I know how I’m doing at my job? Am I doing okay? I don’t get enough feedback – how do I know how I’m doing?
There are lots of different ways to find out how you’re doing at your job. If you just want to know if you’re doing a good job – that is, if you’re meeting requirements – that’s pretty easy, actually. What’s much harder is figuring out what people think about you – or what your boss thinks about you – or what you need to do to get promoted. So i’m going to address these questions, in this order.
I’m going to start, first, with “how do I know if I’m doing a good job?” If there are metrics attached to your job, the question is: are you meeting those metrics? Or are you on a path to meet those metrics?
For example, if your job, as a marketing manager, is to increase traffic to the website by 5 – 10%, are you starting to do that? Are you putting things in place to do that?
Is your job to get more leads? How many leads are you generating? Or what campaigns are you putting in place to generate those leads? Etc.
So if you have metrics and data attached to your job, make sure that you know what they are – and that you’re doing things to achieve those metrics and goals.
If there are not currently metrics and goals attached to your job, then my recommendation to you is to create some. I understand there may be some hesitation to do that – but the reason I tell you this is: once you start to create those metrics, it’s very easy to look at them (or point to them) and say, “yes, I am doing my job well.” It becomes much more objective a goal, than subjective a goal.
For example, if you’re a social media manager, you could create some metrics around the number of Followers that you have (for the channel) or if you increase the number of followers by X% in a quarter, or if you are increasing Likes or Shares or Views, etc.
I recommend, again, that you create these metrics and make them something you can achieve: increase 5% or 10% – or whatever – because then you can know and you can point to the fact that you are doing a good job. It actually makes it easier for you to show that the numbers reflect that you’re doing a good job.
If you don’t have metrics – and you don’t have a way to create metrics – the path becomes murkier.It can be things like “are you a team player,” “are you supporting the team when it comes to certain campaigns or events.” My question is: who’s going to decide that? Now it turns into almost a popularity contest. You’re not talking about a merit review.
Even if you’re a graphic designer you could create metrics and say things like, “I think it’s reasonable to create X number of designs in a given week (or a month) or to support a specific event with a certain number of designs or graphics.
Remember that metrics make it more objective and easier goals to meet, so if you’re wondering how you’re doing and there aren’t metrics – go create some and get them okayed by your boss.
If you’re wondering, as I said earlier, not “how you’re doing” but “how your boss thinks about you,” that’s a different question.
The best way to find out how your boss thinks you’re doing is to ask. Maybe ask for a weekly review, at the end of the week, every Friday afternoon at 3:15. Ask if you can talk for 15 minutes, to touch base about – or to get feedback – on how things went that week.
The way I recommend you ask for that feedback is to not ask “what they think of you.” Ask “how they think about the work that you’ve done” or “the process of that work.”
“Do you like how I’m going about this project?”
“What do you think about what happened this week – in terms of how I moved this project forward? These are the processes that I followed – these are the steps that I took.”
If you ask your boss, “how can I do this better?” or “what would you recommend for me the next time I do this?” it’s much easier for them to address a process.
A lot of managers will do anything not to tell you something bad because they don’t like confrontation. In many cases, if your boss doesn’t say anything to you, doesn’t correct you, or doesn’t tell you how to do something better, in many cases “no news is good news.” You’re doing fine.
However, there are some people who may not be happy managing people – or are not good at managing people. And they will do everything in their power not to be confrontational, or to create conflict, or to say something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
If you present this situation to them in a way that will not make them feel uncomfortable – talking about your process – or the project – or the product at the end – it makes it much easier for you to ask them “how can you be better along the way as you do this.”
It gives them an easier opening for them to offer you advice and to critique the work, where it’s not about you anymore it’s about your process or the project or how it went this week. That’s a much better way for you to navigate and understand, from your manager, how you’re doing, or how they’re thinking about what you’re doing. Or how they think about you.
Finally, if your question is not just “how am I doing? Am I doing a good job?” but more, “what do I need to do to get promoted? Or to get a raise? I’ve actually answered this question separately. So take a look at that response.
I’m Janet Granger, answering the question: how do I know I’m doing a good job? Or I’m not getting feedback – how do I know how I’m doing?