Posts in How To Guides
How to Write Your Best Ever Year-End Review

Life isn’t easy, but The Cosmos is here for you. We’re creating How To Guides for Asian women, by Asian women to unpack and tackle the real shit we go through. Because we deserve to flourish and thrive together.

If you are not required to write a year-end review for your company or client, this guide can still be helpful. Take a moment to reflect on your work year with us to set yourself up for a success in 2019!

Writing your self-review is probably the last thing you want to do before the holidays (I promise to do mine after one more episode of Terrace House...) but it’s one of the most important steps to owning your career success.

F*ck the patriarchy by standing in your power and writing the best ever year-end review. This is your chance to show your manager all the boss moves you’ve been making. Research shows that women are less likely to talk about our achievements, which can hold us back from promotion and leadership opportunities. We know this can feel uncomfortable / awkward / weird / ”omg do I have to” so we put together this custom guide to support you. All you need is Google Docs to get started!

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  1. Write your career goal in big bold font at the top of the Google Doc. "I want to _______."  A promotion? A cross-lateral move? An opportunity to work with a new exciting partner or client?

    1. Cosmos Tip: An impactful review is more than a summary of what you did. It’s your chance to orient your manager around YOUR career goals, to help them become your best champion. By writing it at the top, you can anchor your review around this outcome and get your message across.

  2. Now write a 1-sentence “headline” that describes your work this year. Imagine you’re on the front page of the New York Times. What would it say? 

  3. Identify 3-5 specific situations that support that headline. Consider using the Situation / Behavior / Impact framework:

    1. Situation: What happened? What was the context? 

    2. Behavior: What did you do? 

    3. Impact: What impact did that have on your company, team, customer, user, etc.?

    4. Use “I” statements -- yes, your team helped, but this review is about YOU. Don't hesitate to let your contributions shine!

    5. Cosmos Tip: Start a fresh Google Doc at the beginning of the next year so you can proactively drop scenarios throughout the year. This way, you aren’t stuck wondering WTF happened next time around!

  4. If you’re asked to provide peer reviews, make a shortlist of 3-5 people who’ve worked closely with you. Don’t just choose your friends -- think about the people who worked most closely with you. Grab a coffee with them and let them know your goal (see step 1!). Being more hands-on in the process empowers your colleagues to advocate authentically for you - the first step to helping others help you is to ask, the second step is to show them how!

How To Flourish with Family this Holiday Season!
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Life isn’t easy, but The Cosmos is here for you. We’re creating How To Guides for Asian women, by Asian women to unpack and tackle the real shit we go through. Because we deserve to flourish and thrive together.

1. Make peace with your expectations. While most of us are not coming home to a picture-perfect Hallmark movie scene, it’s likely that we’re holding onto some unrealistic expectations.

Dr. Crane shares why this can backfire: When we build up our expectations to unreasonable levels (like those Hallmark visions), we set ourselves up to be disappointed. Don’t compare your family dynamics, personalities, or traditions to anyone else’s. Comparing can all too often lead to finding your own family lacking or disappointing. Remember, nobody’s family is perfect, no matter how they look on social media.

Before making holiday plans:

  1. Pull out your journal (we recommend Asian-woman created Passion Planner!) 

  2. Set a timer for 15 minutes

  3. Jot down any past holiday memories that come to mind. 

  4. Circle the memories that involved conflict or tension with family.

  5. Notice if this exercise brought up any feelings. Think about what expectations you had in those moments of conflict. Recognize that you have the power to make this holiday season work for you. Scratch out any expectations that no longer serve you!

2. Decide if you want to make the trip home. But let's be real... the anxiety of Mom, Dad, and extended family guilt-tripping you can be enough to throw your own needs out the window.

Take a deep breath and write down 3 points that express your needs and practice saying them aloud to a friend. When it comes time to share your decision with family, speak from an honest and vulnerable place to help them understand where you’re coming from.

When you share what you're going through, you give your loved ones a chance to show up for you. And yes, putting yourself first is going to feel weird at first. But that’s exactly why we all need to do it more often. 

3. Show love your way. Do you know what your love language is? If not, take the 5 Love Languages quiz to understand how YOU like to show love. Buying gifts or giving a red envelope might not feel right to you, and that’s okay. Once you know how you like to give (helping mom peel ginger or going to the market with grandma counts!), expressing love and appreciation for our family members can feel like something to look forward to.

4.  Draw those boundaries! Eating every meal with family. Greeting grandparents. Shopping with cousins. Running to the post office. Buying the ingredient your brother or sister forgot. The holidays sure have a way of draining our positive energy (and ca$h money)! 

Here's Dr. Crane guidance: Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries! This is tough in Asian families where parents and elders might expect you to be available on demand. Consider where you can draw boundaries, especially with regard to answering intrusive questions or reacting to upsetting comments. If you feel overwhelmed, take a bathroom break to breathe and remember that the visit is temporary.

5. Text your sister (or brother!). The holidays have a way of bringing old wounds to the surface. Family members might say or do something that triggers… and next thing you know, you're in tears, a heated argument, or snapping at someone you love. Your eight year old self is still inside along with all the hurtful things you may not have processed.

Find a quiet space and recite these 3 mantras:

  1. I am not alone.

  2. I deserve to ask for support.

  3. I am not a burden.

Before you head home for the holidays, find a brother/sister you trust and ask him/her if you can reach out in case anything comes up. If you're at home, come up with a system of signaling to a family member you're close to when you need support or at least a hand squeeze. We love this reality check by Dr. Crane: Family drives us craziest fastest, so we always need someone on the outside to remind us of who we are.

P.S. You can always email us at hello@jointhecosmos.com if you need extra shoulders to lean on!

This guide wouldn't be possible without    Dr. Leilani Salvo Crane   , Cosmos Community member and recent New York Retreat attendee. She is the daughter of a Filipina immigrant mother and a New England WASP father who is passionate about addressing the unique challenges faced by multiracial individuals in the U.S. You can book an appointment with her at    Zencare   !

This guide wouldn't be possible without Dr. Leilani Salvo Crane, Cosmos Community member and recent New York Retreat attendee. She is the daughter of a Filipina immigrant mother and a New England WASP father who is passionate about addressing the unique challenges faced by multiracial individuals in the U.S. You can book an appointment with her at Zencare!