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  1. #1

    Performance review: "Are you happy with your job?" "No."

    What do you say when you're in a performance review and your boss asks if you're happy with your job, but you really aren't?

    I'm in a position where I'm fairly popular at work, and within the workplace I am with a team of 7 people. There is someone in a senior position above me who "overseas" things, but the director is the person who is really my boss (who is his boss as well).

    The senior person takes credit for everything I do. I hate it. Not only do I do all of my work, he needs someone to help him with his (a new person recently hired), and I do most of the "brainy" stuff for both of them because between the two of them, they can't figure some of the more complex issues out. He also makes a little over 10k more than me. I am currently 7 years out of college and see myself going nowhere here.

    We're coming up to performance reviews, and I know I'm going to get asked if I like my job. What do I say? I have been looking for another job for a couple of years now, but nothing has come up which has interested me. I'm looking to get into a totally different career field that is more competitive and I can measure myself against other people... something like sales. If I can't find one I'm probably going to roll the dice and start my own business.

    While I'm working here, I still try to remain in positive spirits and try my best, although it is difficult at times. Any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    The "are you happy with your job" question indicates a two-way exchange in a performance review. Assuming the employer is sincere about that question, then you have two goals in answering that question:

    1. Make yourself look as good as possible in the performance review
    2. Be honest (which ultimately helps you, because your employer can then know to change things that dissatisfy you about your job)

    So be even-handed in your answer. First, accentuate the positive. State what you appreciate about your job. It sounds like you get along with coworkers and have leadership opportunities.

    Second, state something along the lines of, "But I do wish some things could be improved around here, not only for my benefit, but for the team as a whole". Then state those things.

    You will want to be strategic about how you state those things. Saying, "This other person takes all the credit for what I do" makes you look petty and jealous. However, saying something like, "I spend a lot of time training this new hire, which I don't mind doing, but I'm not sure is what you want me to be doing" makes you look good. First, it points out what you're doing, and second, makes you look like a team player.

    It sounds like you're eventually on your way out the door. Don't burn bridges if you can avoid doing so. You never know when you might need a recommendation or referral. I guarantee that if you haven't found a more desirable job within a two-year span, you're not looking hard enough. Get cracking on your job search and get strategic with your performance review.

    Good luck!

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