Ask Anthony: 3 Questions Every Civil Engineer Should ask at their Next Performance Review

manager giving performance review
Photo credit: Josh Rinehults/iStockphoto

All engineering firms handle employee reviews differently. Some conduct a six-month review and then a more comprehensive annual performance review with each employee, while some do only the latter.

Regardless of when and how your firm conducts these reviews, I believe that they present a huge opportunity for the professionals being reviewed to ask important questions related to their career growth and development. Here are three questions I recommend that you ask during your next performance review.

1-What are the different pathways for growing my career here going forward?

It is important that you have clarity in what’s ahead in your career. No, you’ll probably never have a detailed map to follow, and you shouldn’t, as flexibility is a good thing. However, a certain level of clarity is important. Without clarity, you are essentially driving a boat into a fog. You can’t see what’s ahead, and therefore you can’t plan or prepare accordingly.

Is there a specific management track that you are headed for in your firm? Does your supervisor feel that the technical track would best suit you? Do you agree with his or her assessment? If so, what can you do to facilitate progress?

The best-case scenario is that you ask the question and your supervisor provides some options, one or a few of which you are excited about. The worst-case scenario, you don’t ask, and you end up missing out on an opportunity that you really would have liked, or you fail to discover that there aren’t great opportunities for growth from your current position. At the Engineering Management Institute, we have started helping civil engineering firms build Career Roadmaps to be able to easily show prospective and existing employees the possible pathways at their firms. Clarity is so important in growth and development for both individuals and companies.

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