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Poor performance evaluation

  1. Jan 6, 2010 #1
    I recently got my first job after graduating with a BSME and was upset with my evaluation I received. This is a very small company and I was the first truely entry level person that they hired. I am upset because I was trying so hard, but no matter what, it seemed like I was making the wrong decision and not getting anything right according to the owner of the company, a licensed PE. Technical knowledge, computer proficiency, willingness to learn new ideas all were in the "poor" category".

    Soon after I was let go because the owner felt he was not going to get a return on his investment.

    I was kind of heartbroken because I was told I was one of the top students in school, but now I am wondering if I am cut out for this kind of work. I spent a lot of time outside of work studying new engineering things, but it seemed that it was the wrong stuff.

    Other people in the company did not seem to think so and felt my progress was good. Does anyone have any personal experiences to share?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2010 #2
    First, let me preface this with the important caveat that I was not there, and I cannot possibly know what really happened. If you made any personal contacts among the other employees that you trust to be honest with you, they would be a better resource than people who don't know you.

    That being said, don't take it too personally. If the company is as you say it is, the guy on the top calls the shots and he has a very specific view of what he wants. In my experience, the kind of person who owns a company like this has a level of work ethic and commitment that most people have no hope of matching.

    IF this is the case, you may have been held to an unrealistic standard. However, you need to attempt to see yourself as others see you to determine whether there may be aspects of your professional aspect that need work.
  4. Jan 6, 2010 #3


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    In my work experience, I've found my decisions are only as good as the information I'm given. Not all companies have good communication, and as a consequence bad decisions result. Garbage in, garbage out.

    Do you feel you had adequate information to make your decisions? Or did the owner keep vital information from you?
  5. Jan 6, 2010 #4
    Did you ask him for, or did he offer advice when he pointed out your errors? If yes, did you follow his recommendations? Do you feel your knowledge was consistent with the work you were assigned?

    It's possible that he really wasn't prepared for a entry level engineer. He might have been trying to fill a position that actually requires more experience -- Was the salary at the low end of the scale?
  6. Jan 6, 2010 #5


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    This is very common. You often find that colleagues, the people that know you and your abilities the best, are the ones that have a "what the hell" expression on their faces when you are let go for poor performance.

    If you were indeed an entry level engineer, then you should have been given regular performance reviews. Your superiors should have pointed out your weaknesses and areas that needs improvement, and then make recommendations which you should have followed. If this was not done, and they simply let you go after one poor review, then thats not really giving you a fair chance. Also, it does help to ask for a performance review!

    I know someone who had just started college and was working in a electronics repair center. Worked there for about 8 months. Then he was let go for alleged poor performance. This was the person's first 'real' technical job and he was never given any prior performance review. No hints or recommendations were given. The owner simple let him go citing performance issues. Of course, colleagues were really shocked by this as they had no complaints whatsoever about performance issues. Trust me, colleagues know when you are slacking off, and if you are working with good people, then they will let you know. Now when the question was asked as to what areas needed improvement, the owner simply replied "I'd rather not pick on the details." The owner was never in shop for more than 5 hrs per week. Which leads me to think, where is he getting info from? Which brings me to a very important point, professional relationships should be kept professional. There are lots of people who dont wanna see you move up in life. Be very wary of them! Needless to say, the repair center was closed down 6 months after!
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