Samia, was a business analyst at a top consulting firm, she came from a modest background but basis on her hard work and effort ,she was promoted every year . In her growing years at the firm, she found herself extremely happy and satisfied ,because her definition of happiness was defined by her as someone working tirelessly round the clock, and her every year promotions demonstrating reward for her hard work.
But one fine year ,everything changed , after an appraisal session, Samia, was called for an in person meet by her supervisor only to be told that she was among the few who were being put on a PIP -Performance Improvement program and that she has only four weeks to prove her worth or find a new job !
The feedback devastated Samia, and she sat there deeply startled . After collecting herself a bit, fighting back her tears ,she sat there recalling her past 5 years of promotion year on year and her work performance which has not changed a bit , and in this moment of self introspection she began to questioned herself ,beginning with how did her rank took a nosedive?
The many past both negative and positive memories she recalled , gave her the following insights ;
- Samia stayed focused only on her work, ignoring her stakeholders around her
- Senior positions comes with an additional responsibility that of stakeholder management
- What got her to the next level, was not enough to take her to the next higher level
- Performance appraisals are not merely about work performance, it also includes one’s participation beyond the normal call of duty which include trivial after office meetings to important strategic contribution towards the department.
- Constantly working on complex issues through a trial and error approach , being hesitant to seek a coach or mentor can turn out to be very expensive .
Samia, kept telling herself, Only If I had sought help!
A tag of being on a PIP performance improvement program dented Samia’s confidence and deeply hurt her self esteem , she felts as if she was put to an extreme humiliation and to avoid any emotional outburst started to avoid her colleagues, lunch meet up’s and even regular meetings .She lived with a constant fear that if someone learns about her appraisal rank ,she may not be able to face them. Thus, constantly chased jobs outside so that she finds one and quit immediately.
Even before her 4 weeks PIP tenure , Samia, quit the firm ,without any job at hand , struggled with extreme stress, anxiety , a top performer now was struggler ,battling depression ,financial debts and mounting pressure of dependents took a heavy toll on her overall health and well being .
It took almost 3 years before she found her peace, but within those three years being at home ,Samia was never the same girl, she now lived under severe chronic stress , negative mindset, eroded skills and desperation.
The condition Samia was in is called Job Loss grief and is no different from any personal loss , it almost brings in the same amount of emotional upheavel as any setback would ,and often the best solution recommended is in seeking support through a coach .
ONLY If Samia had hired a Coach, how things would have been different ?
- Samia, would have clarity on the various blind spots that led her to be on a PIP Performance Improvement Program
- With an expert help that of a Coach, she would have been able to view her situation from a non judgmental side
- Samia ,would have access to many techniques making her more resilient , focused and ready to bounce back in a more effective manner
- She would have been much well prepared ,than wasting her precious years and skills in trial and error methods
- She could have saved herself from chronic stress impacting her deeply
- Just like her colleagues who were now in leadership roles , Samia could have found herself employed in a similar rank and roles.
- Finally , she could have contributed a lot from her potential, than finding a way out of a rigmarole she found herself in.
Jobs holds a significant position in our life , be it working for self or for others , and within a job, performance appraisals stands even todays as a key process that can foster growth ,but is often misused because of its powerful capacity to influence an individual self worth.Mehnaz Amjad ,Grief Coach
(c)Mehnaz Amjad 2021