Monday, December 5, 2011

Expectations: Not Just for New Hires

How would you define 'success' in your current position? Now, reflect upon your that what your supervisor would say?

Are you sure?

Job roles and responsibilities are not as black and white as one might think and the work world is complicated by divergent, conflicting, and unknown expectations. Some positions call for results to be met, period. Others call for results to be met but by a certain method. Where does your work fall within this spectrum, and what have you done to align your behaviors and output with what is being asked of you?

Like a relationship between you and a significant other, the relationship between you and your employer should be a dynamic of open communication and as free as possible from assumptions. To ensure that you are in alignment with expectations, partake in some self assessment by answering the following questions below:

How do I see my current work contributing to department priorities?

What metrics am I using to measure my success, and how does my work compare to those metrics?

How do my work methods support the teams that I interact with?

What upcoming problems or opportunities do I need to be prepared for?

These four questions are the beginning of a conversation between you and your supervisor to ensure that you are not just performing to standards but that you know what the standards are. In a meeting with your supervisor, modify the questions slightly to ask them to him/her. Share your responses and see how well both of yours correspond with each others. It could be that you are on track, but it could also be that you need to make adjustments. Regardless, you will be rewarded by demonstrating your proactivity and initiative.

Take the guesswork out of your performance and help drive expectations of you to feel better about the work you produce and what you contribute to your organization.

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