This may be a case of "some stuff shoulda been done earlier", but it's too late now.
I am to fill out a standard Performance Review/Evaluation form, rating myself on Productivity, Knowledge, Quality, Teamwork, etc. My question is how I approach it and what do I do.
This is my first year, and neither of the above metrics have been discussed with my boss prior. I just do my work, without necessarily accounting about it until it is done, send it on its way, sometimes getting "thanks" in return emails, without having had discussions about "the Evaluation" of my work.
Well, I know I can do better in some areas, like some things have taken me a bit of time to implement (being a programmer) so I can try to improve in my speed (however this may be unlikely), so instead I can improve on the type of tasks I work and focus on. Quality of my code is pretty good, and while that's subjective, it is objectively better than that of what was before me. My work and what I was hired to do is to improve existing codebase, according to my boss, and that is what I am doing. We have a strongly influential internal customers for whom we write the code, and in their mind I was hired to write specific features (&they do not see improving codebase as one of those). The customer dept is not my boss, and yet they have been quite influential in various decision making, such as what I am to work on, & where I am to be located inside the building, with my bosses' casual approval.
I can self-fill-out my form, as best I could, without having much insight of how I am perceived from the outside. I have some ideas, but I really don't know.
Right now it is hard to say whether I "Met" or "Exceeded" expectations, since those expectations are in motion and are not in writing. In essense, I am to spontaneoously create my own expectations, while filling out the form, and then rate myself on those expectations and do it today. And I suppose I am to find a happy medium as to where what I think or what I come up with, will somewhat coincide with what my boss and HR were expecting of me, and not outright clash.
My question is -- ... what is my best course of action right now?
Do I self-fill-out the form & send it to my boss? We are to discuss it before he submits it to HR. Do I go asking my customers how they think I am doing and then gently incorporate their vision of my performance into my review? Do I do something else?
My goal is I suppose, to present myself in best possible way -- accentuate the positives, eliminate the negatives, and align with the expectations of my boss and HR. Since I don't have a measuring ruler, who knows maybe I have exceeded expectations but I will rate myself as "Met", or I can rate myself as "Exceeded Expectations" only to be met with bosses look asking "where have you?" despite what I think I did... in other words "this evaluation will start the discussions about my performance, opposed to being a result of them".