September 5, 2008
Megan’s First Review
September is annual review time at Microsoft (it used to be August, but three years ago it changed to September). This is the time of year when everyone gets a rating (on past performance and also on future potential), and there are raises, bonuses and stock allocations. You submit a written form, your manager comments, then you sit down and talk about it, and you are given “your numbers”.
For managers (like me), this tends to be a lot of work, as you need to do this for each of your directs (I have 13 this year), and then manage budget, and monitor the progress of the entire group (I oversee about 300 people).
I actually like the Microsoft review process. I like the regularity and the rigor that’s associated with it. I know that there are a wide range of opinions, but I’m still a fan.
All through my transition and working with my manager(s) (I changed jobs right before I transitioned), I’ve said how fantastically supportive Microsoft has been. Now, lots of people have asked “But how supportive, really?”
One way to tell is from review, and from your evaluation. Look, the process isn’t perfect, just like any human-driven process there can be bias (pro and con) at many levels.
I’ve done well at the company in my time there. I like to think that I’ve contributed, and the company has been behind me. There’s always room for improvement (in me), but that’s a good thing.
I got my review this week, and if there was any question if the company was going to back their words of support with actions of support, then the question was answered to the affirmative.
My review was fair, completely in-line with my expectations (or even a little better ), but more than anything, completely divorced from my transition.
I wasn’t worried, but wow, its good to have that milestone behind me.