Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It's Year-End Black People: Time for my Performance Review

For most of us Buppies who work in client service for large global firms, we are now entering the year-end process. The year-end process is the time of year when you must summarize your accomplishments at work, client and non-client related to make a case for how you should be assessed performance wise. I think I speak for all Black people in attendance today when I state, no matter how old I get, or experienced I feel I am, I just always think I'm going to get screwed over some booooooooulllllsh*t. More than being on the social scene or over-analyzing our love lives, or searching for programs to gain home ownership or access to free education, what we do as buppies to stay alive is excel at work. Many times in careers that we don't realistically see ourselves staying in for a long time, but we have to keep it 100 at all times. We also have to deal with the office politics, which are complicated for us because discourse almost always ends in a buppie being labeled a b*tch or angry black man. These are just my unsolicited thoughts and gripes about this process.

The only thing i'm focused on a work is getting to the next level. I worked very hard in school to get where I am today. For many people they don't know this, but i've been pretty focused on the path that i'm on since high school. I was a member of the Academy of Finance, Future Business Leaders of America, and the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. I went to school with a double major in Finance & Entrepreneurship. I knew that I didn't want to do Wall Street, but I wanted to have exciting work, that changed often. I chose consulting. I now work in consulting at a large global audit firm. I am the "partner" type. And although, I doubt i'll ever get there because I think i'm far too talented, I do very well at my job because i'm good at it and use my education and experience to my best advantage. So at this point in time, i'm focused on moving to a more senior role, leading teams. I'm not ready for revenue expectations or managing engagements, but i'm focused on the next level. So it's important to me, that I transition out of a role of a great follower into a good leader who can be trusted without supervision. Now this is awfully different than the master and slave role that they love to throw Black people in. Most people in my industry are quick to doubt a Black man's intelligence. And to play devil's advocate, they all went to predominantly white universities and most of what they know about Black people comes from the media. And i'm sorry but Jay-Z, Kanye and Lil' Wayne are the best examples of Black intelligence. So i'm constantly having to fight for respect and maintain the highest level of performance without any mistakes or errors. Now at year-end I have to find a way to present this, without sounding like i'm feeling myself too much. This part of my life is called, "Humble aggressiveness."

I eluded to this before, but I know that I would make a great partner at my firm, but I don't think i'll be around that long. I just think that when I look at those people at my firm, they have some qualities that I have, but they don't have the entire suite. I am a great consultant, but I also have a creative side and a very keen sense of talent for hospitality. So what I also have to do at year-end is talk about my short and long term goals. This part of my life is called, "Lying my ass off." I have to tell these people that i'm looking forward to growing in the firm and spreading my wings, developing skills to increase my position in the industry, and learning about the financials of consulting. I can do a good job of BS'ing, so I do it, it takes just a short amount of time.

And then... without a doubt somehow I get screwed or overlooked. I disagree with something some manager or senior manager says about my work. Jason is a very intelligent worker, he should work on sharing his ideas with his team so that everyone can benefit from his knowledge. Wait a minute... I get in trouble because i'm smart and I won't tell everyone else the answers. Because I worked hard to get the answer, I should let everyone else skate? How about... no? So now I gotta find a way to disagree with my superior while being respectful. And somehow I can never find a good way to do this, so I end up just ignoring it and moving on. I mean really how am I supposed to handle that? "Excuse me Sr. Manager Joe, you're f*cking ridiculous if you think I went to an undergraduate b-school and have 4 years experience in this industry to tell some nitwit the answers who is just going to take them and act like they came up with them and I had nothing to do with it." Now i'm just an angry Black man. This part of my life is called, "Go eff yourself Joe!"

So these are a few things that rub me the wrong way with year-end, or just any performance appraisal/review process. What about you guys? Any gripes about your performance appraisal process? Up for promotion and think you won't get it? Just plain old skeptical of the entire process? I'm interested to know your thoughts.

Keep it 100,
Dr. J

PS - My review is scheduled for June 4th. I already know the results, but still pray for me anyway.


Streetz said...

Eff a YE-Review. Its all like the Matrix- predetermined. Thats why I dont go as hard at work as I used to...because we're all on timetables and unless you're bringin in Millions to the firm, you lost.

FiGZ said...

That "year-end process" is a necessary evil, but in your field it seems as if the concept is being force fed into the mouths of all the employees and executives. I'm in the research industry, so it's not as thorough as your process. We do it for paper work purposes mostly, and then if we individually want to go in depth we set up a meeting with our head boss personally to gauge how well we are doing...that's crazy, though...thanks for the spotlight on something outside of my field and similar to a lot of individuals today.

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