It can be difficult, but being able to explain what parts of your job you enjoy and which ones sap your motivation and waste your time is an important part of employee reviews. Here's how to collect real data to help pin it down.
Photo by Craig Chew-Moulding
Most of us can easily point to a few things about our jobs we dislike — the coworker who distracts you all the time, or the supervisor who micromanages everyone. That's valuable, but when you're trying to decide if a job — or career — is right for you, you need to understand what tasks are essential to your profession, which you enjoy, and which ones you feel are time-sinks (or worse, not really part of your job at all.)
Refactoring Ideas explains that rating your work is key to making that distinction, as is building a personal database of things you do, and how they influence you:
Write in an Excel sheet file (or any other similar format which you think would suit the purpose) each and every task you accomplished, use identifiers if available (the ticket ID of any task management platform you use, for instance), add title and a short description of the topic, date, tags, and rate it! Over time I defined four rating values: "Motivation Killer", "Role activity", "Interesting Stuff", "Fun". No explanation should be required concerning these four categories, but you can obviously personalise them, expand or reduce, they concern your feeling at the end of each task, from worst to best sensations. ... This excel file will actually be yet another friend, a peer to peer review continuously updated. And you can use it when it comes to the annual review or in doubt whether to change job or not, it will certainly be a valuable support.
We've talked about things you can do if you think your job sucks, and how to chart your mood over the long haul so you can make data-driven decisions about your life, but this combines both ideas into one. Plus, it's simple — all you need is a spreadsheet, and a running list of the things your job requires you to do.
The next time your boss asks you how you think you're doing, you can easily explain that while you really enjoy x, y, or z tasks and think they're integral to your job, a and b tasks really aren't part of your role and waste time you could be using to get better at x,y, or z. It's a helpfullist to have.
When Starting a New Job [Refactoring Ideas]