Confidence knocker

My team had a poor year and there are no bonuses to be had - we all knew that was in the post.

I have my annual review last week and it was unexpectly brutal - lots of negative comments and no bonus and tiny pay rise. 

Although I get that is how the game is played it has affected me quite badly which is not good.  

The comments were unfair and I feel I should counter them but tbh, I should probably just move on. 

Anyone else had this?  I am not junior, been there many years and this is the first negative review I have had

Why has your team had a bad year?

Not even work being brought in? 

If you are senior....that might be why it's neggy nelly? 

If not, find a new job. Or don't. 


Sorry to hear it.  About 15 years ago I was motoring as an MD in an in-house role then things got very difficult, I got bogged in the management of people who were struggling with issues and between each other. The team was ragged. I went into my appraisal with a GC who was getting a lot of stress from the board and he syndicated some.  For years prior I was rated top of pile then suddenly out of nowhere, when money and goodwill had disappeared, I was downrated, given a shafting on the money and it hurt. It hurt enough for me to turn round and say that's unfair, unacceptable and to be properly demonstratively angry and upset with the little shite.  He suddenly realised he was putting spreadsheet process over humanity, went back to his HR overlord and changed his mind and put me back where I should have been.  

So, first message is if it is truly invalid then stand up and stick it to the man. Be ready to walk if you don't get anywhere. Show resolve and he/she will see it in your eyes.

Second message is be honest. Is it unwarranted or actually true and painful? We all go through performance ups and downs.  It can be adjusted. Feedback is good and sometimes they are saying here's the path to improvement and it's very easy to go there and then prove performance improvement by reference to what they told you to do. Then demand that the financial arrangements address that and if they don't then you go with head high and nothing to be ashamed of.

Third message is don't apologise for being emotionally impacted by performance criticism. We all put a lot in to what we do in order for it to be good enough to meet the demands of clients and stakeholders.  That takes emptional investment, so when the tide goes out there is an emotional price.  If it doesn't hurt then maybe you're not that invested.



You will know yourself the reasons why the year has been poor (you just will) and you will know whether or not you could have done something different to change that (in dark times/imposter syndrome days you will feel it is all your fault but you need to try to be more objective than that).

Also you have been posting for a while about job issues (I think going back to your last review when they didn't talk partnership...?) and on here you certainly come across like someone who has one foot out the door in any case.

The danger is you start believing what the man says, lose your confidence, then it will be very difficult to get another job in that state.

So, reflect with as clear a head as possible on what has been said and prepare a counter the points in writing (just so they are clear in your mind) - based on that, decide whether it is reasonable to go back.

The danger in quiet quitting is you lose your mojo and you need you mojo to get the next job

In my experience it takes about six months to a year to go down then back up again but these moments are in fact quite important moments of reflection and change and transformation. A snake sloughing off a skin etc. 

I know it’s glib and not easy for everyone to do but remember it’s just a job and there are good days and bad days and good and bad years. Don’t sweat it but if it gets you down long term just leave and find something else.

Sorry to hear this. I'm not a regular poster, but made a similar thread about 7 years ago on sensing I was being managed out (which ultimately I was), and got very comforting advice from all about keeping chin up etc. 

The one that stuck in my mind all these years was from OGR. I can't better it, but will repeat as I think it applies generally in work (and perhaps life):

Try not to take it too personally. Take it from an Old Git - what will define your career will be how strongly you bounce back from setbacks like this.

Good luck m8.


Good to read the responses. I am in or not far from the position the OP is in. No bad review - yet, but the business is struggling and I already had a few toys slapped out of my hands. 

When our team had to let two (of 7) people go earlier this year that really was a motivation killer. now in Q4  we are really short of - four - hands....

Personal development budget that had been racking up in recent years due to being too busy has been pulled. The fact that I have invested jack s. in myself in recent years makes me feel very uncomfortable and does not make a good story in any job interview. 

The thing that bars me from whining too much is that I am still very privileged in comparison to many other people.

You can control how you feel about it

Behave like it didn’t happen

If they want you out they’ll let you know and you can adjust your approach once you know 

Otherwise continue to do a great job



This sucks. I'm sorry to hear it. Good response by Mutters.

For me it's micromanagement that has helped knock my confidence...

Good luck and I hope things improve.