When There Are No Grades
While you may have hated report card day back in grade school, it certainly made it easy to know how you were doing in 5th grade math or US History.
But now that you're all grow up, save for a few select jobs, you're not getting semesterly grades or monthly progress reports. There is no head of the class to go to.
Annual reviews and raises help, but there is no teacher and there is no curve.
How do you know how you're doing?
Regardless of what metrics and stats may be available in your particular position at your particular company, it's better to have your internal grading system active and ready. Exterior grading stopped when you graduated.
You know how well you're doing. How hard you're working. How much real effort you're bringing to the office each day or leaving there on the conference room table. You know how creative you're being, how fresh your ideas are, how much better you are than the person at the competitor at the other end of the block.
Would you give yourself an A? Four stars? A gold turkey? A sideways clarinet? (The upside to an internal grading system is that you can measure however you like, so as long as you're measuring.)
Ms. Stanley isn't going to walk in this door anytime soon and pat you on the head. It's up to you now. If you're not working for a grade anymore, what are you working for?