I've been doing an internship for a large company and I have an evaluation with my boss. The company was acquired 5 years ago and most people I work with tell me how much they hate working for the company that acquired them. In a way they tell me working here is a bad job. Because the people who work here tell me this isn't a good place to work, and because I don't like the kind of work I'm doing, I really don't want to work here. I'm worried about how this may affect my evaluation because at times I find it hard to be motivated and in a sense I don't care if they think I'm doing a good job. How should I go about this? What kind of mindset should I go into the evaluation with? For example should I say something like “I do not think this job is a good fit for me” or should I just listen and say as little as possible. I've never had an evaluation like this before.
closed as too localized by Jim G., acolyte, jcmeloni, Michael Grubey, Rhys Jun 10 '13 at 21:02
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Do not burn the bridge.
You may think you hate working there now. You do not know what will happen in 2, 5, 10 years and you may decide that the factors that made you hate working there as an intern are exactly the type environment that you prefer to work in as a mature and established professional.
It may also happen, that what was a decent review before you told them you did not like them, could turn the cold and damning review after. Smile take all their feedback as constructive criticism and thank them for the time they took to help you learn. Find nice things to say about the company and tell them you have enjoyed your time there.
If the company says they want to make an offer tell them you would be happy to entertain an offer. If you have another offer already it is easy to politely decline the offer, and move on. You might find that the new offer is enticing and that the company is much easier to tolerate when making regular pay with benefits that it was at the cut rate intern pay. Or you can find something else knowing that at least one company is willing to hire you on. A polite decline does not burn the bridge and makes the transaction end on a high note that you can look back on positively.
Since this is your first evaluation in the real world, you should go into the evaluation with open ears, and a closed mouth.
The evaluation is the company evaluating you, not you evaluating the company. Companies don't care why their employees or interns leave because they can always get more. Unless you are the CEO or another executive, an employee's opinion is just a bean in a hill of beans.
Your 'evaluation' won't improve if you tell your evaluator that you'd do better if the company didn't suck all of the motivation out of your body. A company isn't there to motivate you or make you happy. It is there to make money. Companies talk about motivation, and all that other happy days and rainbows stuff, but that isn't why they exist.
First, make sure you have your own review of the work you've done and examples to back up whatever points you want to make about your work. For example, how did you handle conflict in the workplace? How did you handle work-life balance? How did you manage whatever quality of work you did do? Be prepared with examples of whatever you think you may claim in terms of, "I've done good work," that the boss may ask, "Where was that?"
Second, be prepared to both give and receive feedback on your work. You may be asked, "What was the hardest part of the job?" or "What advice would you have for someone that was taking an internship here?" that are rather standard questions that may come. At the same time, you may be asked, "What was the best part of working with me?" or "What was the hardest part of working with me?" from the boss that may be part of his review.
In terms of mindsets, be prepared for both asking and answering questions. There may be more than a few moments where you didn't know the whole story on something that may be explained in the review. There is also the chance that it is mostly paperwork that has to do be done and thus isn't likely to get the attention that it may get in some organizations.
If you state something like, "I do not think this job is a good fit for me," that may well merit a "Why?" reply that you then have to articulate why it isn't a good fit. Is there another department that may be a better fit? Is there a different kind of work within the department that may work better? If you say, "No," too much you may appear fussy which I doubt is the intention you want to be giving here.