Self-appraisal??? Oh no … why I need to do this?

Mónica Rodrigues
3 min readMar 10, 2024

Most people dislike doing self-appraisals, with common initial reactions including phrases like “Oh no,” “Again…,” or “Why do we need it?” This article aims to present some questions you can ask yourself during a self-appraisal and highlight its importance.

First and most important … No one else can determine what brings you joy or what you aspire to achieve. Only you are aware of your preferences and desires when it comes to your career path.

There are several questions that you can ask to write a self-appraisal. Here are some examples for you to reflect upon:

  • What did you do this year that makes you proud?
  • What do you wish you had done better?
  • What did you learn?
  • What do you want to work on for next year?

These questions may seem easy at first glance, but in reality, they are not. When you see these questions, your mind engages in extensive thinking, generating additional questions. It prompts a state of reflection and retrospection, which is genuinely significant.

Let’s deep dive into these questions below.

What did you do this year that makes you proud?

When you answer this question, you’ll start making a list of things you accomplished. Then, you might ask yourself, “Why did I do this and that? What was the most important thing I did? Was it really important? Does it bring value to my business or company? Does it benefit my professional growth and career?” Maybe yes, maybe not. You see? There are many questions you can ask, starting with a simple one. If you haven’t been asking these questions, I suggest you start doing so 🙂

In the future, when you start doing things, you might try to better understand the reasons behind what you need to do.

What do you wish you had done better?

This question prompts reflection on your past actions, acknowledging that there’s always room for improvement. It not only demonstrates to others that you are committed to personal growth but also indirectly seeks insights into new solutions for areas you recognize need enhancement.

Subsequently, you might begin asking questions about available tools within the company that can aid improvement. What are your options? (similar to the GROW model “framework”). If you’ve only been providing answers without much thought, I encourage you to start thinking. Take it slow — I’m here to assist you 🙂

What did you learn?

In fact, the question above will also address this one. Therefore, you can combine both and articulate what you’ve learned. I prefer separate questions, but feel free to choose which you prefer.

What do you want to work on for next year?

When you come across this question, it usually requires reflecting on your aspirations, considering what you want to become in the future.

For instance, do you aspire to be a principal engineer? If so, what steps can you take to achieve that goal?

My recommendation is to understand the role of a principal engineer in your company. What are their responsibilities? Attend meetings with other principals to observe how they work, behave, and communicate. It’s crucial to note that becoming a principal isn’t solely about technical expertise; it involves effective communication, empathy, conflict resolution, and dealing well with people … yes … a hard thing to do … I know … , etc, etc …. Never underestimate the importance of soft skills.

With only these questions, you can know a lot about you. You can reflect and do a retrospective about the past and show some solutions/improvements for the future.

It’s a powerful self-assessment tool that can contribute significantly to personal and professional growth.

These are just a few examples of questions to initiate a self-appraisal. There are numerous other questions you can explore through our reliable friend Google or, why not, ChatGPT? Yes, it’s my best friend too! 😄

Do you understand now a little bit the importance of self-appraisal?? I know that it’s a little boring for you …. But don’t forget what I said ….

Thanks for reading my article, and I’ll conclude with one sentence that is the most important to me on this subject. I hope you won’t forget it:

Your career is yours — only you know what you desire!

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Mónica Rodrigues

A content creator about leadership, personal development and software. Follow @monicarodriguesjourney on Instagram for more content also.