I'm Dr. Cathy Goodwin, an experienced career consultant, author,and speaker. I've helped many mid-life, mid-career professionals and executives take their careers in new directions over the past decade.  

Clients often call me when they've received a performance review that's not what they expected: wishy-washy, downright ugly or just plain baffling. I can also help when you are preparing for a performance review and want to obtainthe best outcome possible.  

The truth is that performance reviews often are not rational. Bosses have agendas, sometimes dictated by the company and sometimes by their own whims and wishful thinking.  

When your review delivers surprises, almost everyone responds emotionally. That's natural. But once you take a step back, you face three challenges:  

1 - Interpret what the review means, based on your company's culture  

2 - Decide how to respond, based on your own career status, values and other considerations  

3 - Evaluate how this review fits your long-term and short-term career plans, strategy and goals

These decisions can seem overwhelming. 

That's where I come in. Get coaching, non-legal advice, insights and possibly a new way to frame your situation. 

There is no one way to respond so your consultation will be customized. Our session will focus on implementing a decision you have made and/or helping you decide how best to act. You might decide to ...  

-- ignore the whole thing and move on (yes, sometimes this IS best)  

-- write a clarification or rebuttal for your file (and if so, decide what and how to write)  

-- plan a conversation with your boss, boss's boss and/or the HR department  

-- keep quiet and begin looking for a new job, in or out of your current company  

-- talk to someone else in the company  

-- do something creative and unique to your situation.

career ecoaching

I'm not a lawyer and I won't give legal advice. 

However, I would encourage you to consult an employment attorney if ...

... you are accused of a crime, such as embezzlement;  

... your review includes unambiguously false statements and the company refuses to change them (e.g., your boss claims you missed a meeting but the official minutes show you were there); or  

... your boss makes discriminatory statements, either in conversation or in writing, based on age, gender, race, nationality, disability, religion or any other category.

I'm not a lawyer. Those are just situations when I would consult an attorney. 

Each case is different. It's entirely possible that the attorney will advise you, "You have no case. Just take what you can get and move on." And it's possible that you'll get a more positive result than you would otherwise. 

"Your Performance Review Strategy Session"

career coaching guidelines

If you'd like to brainstorm non-legal solutions, test new ideas or get an objective opinion, you'll resonate with the Performance Review Strategy Session. It's designed for people who want just one powerful session to deal with a critical situation. However, you will also decide if you'd like to continue working with me to grow your career after you deal with the review.  

Here's how it works:  

After you send payment, you send me anything you'd like me to read ahead of time (I know you will be reasonable), such as your review, resume and/or your own notes. I guarantee to read everything you send at least 24 hours before we talk. We also set up a mutually convenient time for a phone call - 60-90 minutes.  

Then we'll hop on a screen-sharing line and record the call for your future reference. You won't have to take notes. You can download your video recording and listen again at your convenience. (If you do not want a recording, let me know before the call.)

You'll tell me where you're coming from and what you'd like to do next. You can ask as many questions as you like.  

I'll answer ALL of your questions. I'll suggest action steps (if appropriate). Then I'll compile a brief email summary for you.  

As a bonus ...  

Most career experts say good-by at this point and leave you on your own. But I've found that my clients often get new ideas after they hang up. Or they think of a question they wish they'd asked - big enough to create a roadblock but too small to warrant a new call.  

So you will get two full weeks of follow-up email consulting: one email day, and I'll answer within one business day (excluding weekends and holidays).

"Yes, I'm interested! What's the cost?"  

Your investment for one Performance Review Coaching session is just $250.  

You get a call (60-90 minutes). You can send me material to review ahead of time, timed to arrive at least one business day before we talk. You're also invited to send emails for one full week after we talk. 

You'll also get a complimentary career ebook.