Jennifer Shoop: Why Your Work Performance Review is Meaningless

February 5 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: Establish Boundaries

Do you have that one friend you know you should text, snap or meet up with, but you always end up finding excuses not to? Or maybe there’s a friend who you call constantly, but always seem a little annoyed after the convo? If you answered a resounding “yes,” then you, my friend, need to establish boundaries. If someone’s leaving you feeling less psyched about life after a 20-minute chat, pull up your notes app after hanging up and jot down how you’re feeling. Are you bummed because she complained incessantly about her boyfriend? Or she didn’t leave room for you to talk? Now, consider what rays of sunshine and connection the friendship actually provides. If you’re emptyhanded, it’s time to break up with your friend. If not, read what you wrote before your next chat and steer the convo toward the positives.


We all want connection. Connecting is how we stayed warm back in the day (snuggle time! In my cave or yours?), before the gods made central heating. Connecting is how we stay afloat when aspects of our life are giving us major blues. Part of that connection relies on acknowledgement: We want to be seen, we want to be heard. That’s why it’s baffling that 53 percent of employers say they don’t track employee performance on a regular basis. If someone doesn’t see what we’re doing, we feel less motivated to go the extra mile.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Jennifer Shoop, Founder of Fizz

Every job, every company is different when it comes to feedback. We’ve all had managers who seemingly pop out of nowhere and chastise an email we sent three seconds ago. Or, there are the supervisors who we never see and who never see us, and we guess we’re doing OK because we’re not fired. Then, there are the annual reviews that require YOU to review yourself. (Those are always fun and easy and natural, right?) Well, today’s Woman to Watch, Jennifer Shoop, says performance reviews are dead. Y’all, here’s why.

When Jennifer’s hubby came home one day feeling moody about having to fill out one of those dreaded self-assessments for work, she had an idea. What if employers stopped relying on lazily constructed forms that they’ve just “always used” to evaluate their employees? So, Jennifer started Fizz as a way to change up the review game.

Though Fizz shut its doors in 2017, Jennifer’s entrepreneurial stint crafts a story that resonates with so many women out there. Managing peeps is hard. Jennifer says it’s the “most interesting” yet also most “emotionally draining” part of being in charge (at least, that’s how good bosses feel.) According to Jennifer, you should be concerned for your team and be anxious about your own performance as manager.

Aside from being a tech founder, Jennifer has been writing consistently online at her site, TheFashionMagpie. Late last year, she mused over a quote by Ethan Hawke’s character in Juliet, Naked: “Pressure is a choice.” While we often praise the hustlers out there—those who don’t stop, won’t stop—there’s something to be said for those who know to step back, to reexamine, to let go.

Being the founder of a tech startup brings oodles of pressure, but what woman hasn’t put a ton of pressure on herself, regardless of her circumstances? Jennifer says she killed herself for good grades, for a good job. She, as so many of us, lives for that next big thing. The next time you wake up exhausted from working around the clock, remember that you’re allowed to pause and look at a situation. How much of your stress is self-imposed? And what can you do about it?


Former CEO of Yahoo! and current tech incubator founder Marissa Mayer said:

"When you put the helmet on, it doesn't matter if you are woman or man: your mission is to compete to win. The important thing is your ability, your intelligence and your determination."

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