5 Strategies to Help You Prepare for ESS

These tips are a collection of my personal strategies for building a record for ESS. They reflect the guidelines and factors established by the WSU Library System, as well as my experiences working at other institutions.

1. Know the Guidelines & Deadlines

ESS is a commitment for the university, so guidelines stress that your professional record should reflect: “cumulative and consistent excellence in performance of the primary assignment(s) to date, prospects for continued consistent excellence, and excellence in professional achievement.” [Wayne State University Libraries Guidelines for Employment Security Status] Keep a copy of the deadlines at hand.

2. Keep a file

Every year I start a folder (after I complete my dossier for the past year) for documentation. Every time I go to a workshop, do a presentation, get a thank you note, or attend a conference I put a flyer, handout, or other record of the event in that file. That way I have a readymade pool of items to draw from when I am ready to prepare the dossier.

3. Keep focused

I keep a copy of my goals handy. Since Job Performance is a big part of the evaluation, I want to be sure that the activities that I am involved in support those goals and that I do not get drawn into unrelated activities.

I create a monthly “audit” of my activities in the 3 areas of evaluation: job performance, professional achievement, and service. Preparing that helps me see where my energies are going and identify areas that may need attention. Best of all, when the time comes to update my professional record, I have a very good start.

4. Use your calendar

Outlook has a Task function that I use to keep track of the projects that I am working on. That list - as well as your calendar - can be printed and used as a tool to jog your memory about when something happened and what you have been doing.

5. Find a mentor

Be a good colleague to others and seek their professional support. Have your professional record reviewed and ask for advice from someone who successfully navigated the ESS process. Get counsel when you need to decide what to undertake and what to refuse.