Career Calling

July 17, 2015

Save Documents That Affect Your Professional Reputation

A client recently told me about a job she left because of an abusive boss.  I asked her if she had any documents to back up her side of the story.  She reached in a folder and produced  a series of emails in which her supervisor used demeaning language and made claims that my client could prove to be lies.  Just as importantly, she had several performance reviews from previous managers that contradicted her current manager’s claims.  The same principle holds true for documenting positive incidents you can use to back up your success stories.  Keep whatever impacts your professional reputation.

I need to add a warning to this advice.  Some companies clearly state that you cannot copy/print such documents.  If you try to use such documents in any kind of case against the company, there is a good chance that they could work against you.  Worse still, the company could take action against you.  What’s an alternative if the company has such restrictions?  Recruit co-workers and clients who will be a reference for new employers.  Know your strengths and have a way to back them up.

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December 6, 2012

Year-End Reviews and Your Pay

A client called me early this morning.  She was nearly in tears.  Her performance review was not what she expected, and she felt insulted and underappreciated.  The more we talked, the more I realized that her review had nothing to do with performance.  It was all about one thing: Pay.

My client is in line to receive a big raise and year-end bonus. Over the last year she has taken on greater responsibility and has a measurable record of success.  In 10 categories ratings, she is equal to or has improved on the previous year’s rating.  Even so, her overall rating is flat and her potential rating does not indicate someone who is seen as a future leader.  In other words, this is not a person the company thinks they should be paying.

Along with the review, my client sent several emails she received from her supervisor that recognize specific achievements over the last year.  I asked if she had received any negative email. There were none.  All correspondence was positive.  It’s no wonder my client was upset.  Next week her company will announce bonuses and raises.  My guess is that she will be more upset by that news.

What can she do if he compensation is not what she expects?  One option is to try to negotiate with her manager.  I don’t think that will be successful.  Her performance review sets up the manager’s response.  Her other option is to use the next couple of weeks to tune up her resume and start a new job search.  She should give her manager and co-worker no hint that she’s looking for an employer who will appreciate her work – and reward it.

Don’t let an unfair performance review get you down, especially if it seems like its an excuse to keep from giving you a raise.  Get mad – and focused.  If you are skilled, you can find an employer who needs you and will treat you fairly.  The first step is to give yourself credit and start looking for an employer who will do the same.