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90 day review.

Today, I had my 90 day performance evaluation at work. I’ve gone through employee evaluations before and also as a social work intern. As I sat and talked with my supervisor today, I felt like this was the first evaluation that mattered. In completing my MSW program, I have focus for the first time in my life regarding my career. My current job is my first real social work position. I’m fortunate that it allows me to pursue my interests within the field of social work. I love my job. But it’s the hardest job I’ve ever had. I think my internships during grad school prepared me for the work I’m doing now, but they were still just internships. I had two internships which lasted eight months long. Any unsolved problems or unmet challenges that presented in the course of my work dissolved once the school year ended. My current job has no such expiration date.

During my interview today, my supervisor and I spent time acknowledging my strengths, skills, and recent accomplishments. Most of the time, however, was spent identifying and partializing my growth areas. At first, I felt hyper-critical of myself as we talked about my biggest challenges. As we talked some more, it felt reassuring that my supervisor and I saw me struggling in the same areas. I know I’m good at my job. But I also know that I there is so much I haven’t experienced. Before my evaluation, I was preoccupied by all the things I don’t know yet, and all the situations with clients that I don’t know how to resolve. After my evaluation though, I feel excited and hopeful about what’s to come. My evaluation was not a time for my supervisor to mark off my strengths and weakness on a checklist, but a chance for me to set goals for my work. It was a chance for me to think about what kind of social worker I want to be and how I can define my role with my clients. In the end, my evaluation was clarifying and motivating.

Back in 2006, I started my first social services job. I knew I had potential. Now, I think I have my first real chance to use that potential.

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