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Friday, January 25, 2008

Should you tell the truth in an evaluation?

I recently had my annual performance evaluation. I was completely upfront about the demands on my time and the goals I feel I can realistically accomplish in 2008. I was clear that I want to remain a part-time employee.

But in my early days of working part time I went along with my boss' comments on my evaluation that I some day hoped to return to the workforce full time. Motherhood, age, priorities and experience have played into how I now fill out my evaluations and set goals. Which makes me ask: How completely open should be during your performance review? Is it the right time to bring up flexible scheduling and issues you might be having with work/life balance?

My advice: Don't bring up work/life concerns unless you have a plan for how to resolve them.

In a blog posting by Leslie Morgan Steiner she asks:What has surprised you the most about your work-life challenges and the solutions you've found? What advice or guidance would you give if you could go back in time for a little chat with your pre-parent self?

I would tell my pre-parent self it's okay to have a career part-time and to show my supervisors during reviews that I can do this and still be productive. In my early days of being a part-time worker, I tried to do a full-time job in half the time and led my bosses to think my part-time status was a temporary arrangement. It has taken about a decade for work and life to fall into place -- and it is a constant struggle to balance competing demands.

What guidance would you give your pre-parent self? Do you feel performance reviews are the time to bring up work/life issues?


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