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Should one state personal situations (like health or family emergencies) as blockers in performance review?

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Senior Application Scientist at Taro Community5 months ago

A common question in performance review is "What blockers or challenges did you experience that impacted your ability to achieve goals or meet expectations?". If there was a health emergency or a family situation but one was able to meet and go beyond expectations, what is the take on stating these as 'blockers' in performance review and in promo doc?

Even though I performed at "beyond expectations" level on my assigned projects, I feel I could have taken on more and delivered more if I was not constantly distracted for most parts of the year. I am wondering if it would be appropriate to state this as a blocker and how should one do it.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.

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(3 comments)
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    Fractional CTO, Board Advisor, & VC Tech Advisor
    5 months ago

    You can, but it sorta feels like you're throwing your family under the bus here. Unless you're worried you're going to be fired this year (there's 6 25 basis point cuts in effect expected by the Federal Reserve which should bring interest rates down and ease up on the job market), it's probably not worth your time to bring up.

    I was a workhorse as well and left Big Tech last year for entrepreneurship, but there's always a point of being too honest and I feel like this I wouldn't worry unless you feel like you greatly impacted your teams ability to ship core functionality.

    If you're talking about side projects or whatever, no one cares that much. At best those are statistical noise in huge money-driving solutions that I only focus on things that could breach $30M+ ARR anymore.

    If the company gives you trouble, get in touch with me at linkedin/in/bradmesser or calendly.com/messerb5467 and I can see what to do.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    5 months ago

    I don't think you should include that, because at the end of the day, a workplace only cares about your output and not your personal life. It's better for both parties to keep that boundary there (with a few exceptions).

    What blockers or challenges did you experience that impacted your ability to achieve goals or meet expectations?

    From my experience, this question is meant to capture tactical and logistical problems within the organization. So as an example, if you weren't able to ship things fast enough because there are too many internal bureaucratic processes to follow, that's a good response to this question.

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    Software Engineer @ Tesla
    5 months ago

    I don't think this needs to be shared. What are you hoping to gain out of providing this information?

    You can just say you went above and beyond in your projects by managing your time and resources well. Try to focus on how you solved the problem rather than the problem itself.

    "Time management was a blocker as well as lack of of flexibility. However, I solved this by delegating my tasks and communicating with my manager to improve processes."

    or something like that.

    Be solution-oriented.

    Sorry to hear about health emergency and family situation but it sounds like you made it and were able to deliver the best you could. In your reviews or 1-1s, ask your manager for feedback on your output. That's how you know if this is an issue or not. Life happens, but if you're trying to communicate and demonstrate value/impact, share how you worked with your blockers rather than appointing blame.

    Good luck !