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The Key To Avoiding The Performance Improvement Plan: How To Figure Out Where You’re Trending

01/27/2023

Getting hit with a performance improvement plan (otherwise known as a "PIP") is one of the worst things that can happen to you as a software engineer. This makes avoiding a PIP one of the most important things for you to do, especially in the currently layoff-rich economy.

Here's the core points from the video.

  • Your performance review rating should never be a surprise: regularly check in with your manager to figure out how you're trending to avoid the dreaded PIP.
  • On top of asking for constructive feedback regularly, you shouldn't be afraid to ask every 2-3 months if you're on track to get the rating you want once the formal performance review happens. The clearest way this manifests is a hypothetical rating: "Would you give me at least a [Meets Expectations] for my performance so far?" This is how you can set expectations with your manager and serves as an example to avoid the performance improvement plan as a software engineer.
  • Make it clear with your manager that you'll take any hypothetical rating with a grain of salt.
  • Keep your eye on the ball: Keep referencing the expectations plan you made at the beginning of the cycle and evolving it as necessary.
  • Turn it up at the later end of the cycle. Humans have bad memory: Recency bias is huge. Try to land your bigger wins just a few weeks or months before the formal performance review process starts.

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