Don’t Let the Annual Review Sneak Up on You
A new year more often than not means it is time for your annual performance review. Haven’t thought about it? Maybe you should. Not only do you want to do well – but if you aspire to develop your career and take it to the next level, an annual review is a great opportunity to get direct feedback that’s all about you.
Prepare yourself and look at this as an opportunity to get better… and maybe even earn a little more money!
Know the Rules
Has anything changed since last year? If this is your first evaluation, ask your boss what the process is and what you should be expected to bring to the meeting. Understand what you are supposed to contribute before, during, and after the appointment.
Be Honest With Yourself
You have the job… now is not time to get cute when looking at your weaknesses (that you care too much or work too hard). Honestly evaluate your own performance and come up with ways that you can improve or be prepared for the tools and guidance to shore up your weaknesses. Employers appreciate employees with an understanding of where they need to improve and a desire to fix these areas.
Don’t Forget the Past
Look at last year’s evaluation and take stock in where you succeeded and fell short. What has changed and what has stayed the same? Did you focus on improvement where your manager suggested you do so? Be prepared to address last year’s evaluation – because your boss will be.
This is your performance evaluation. Go into it with a list of your achievements over the past year. Where did you rise to the occasion and overcome challenges? Where did you show initiative and/or take more responsibility? And how did you make your boss’ job easier. There’s nothing wrong with sending these to your boss before a performance review.
Having a hard time remembering all the exciting and praise-worthy work you did in 2014? Now is the time to start keeping a list to present at next year’s annual review.
Look at the Big Picture…
The performance review is a chance to get solid mentoring and guidance for your career. Tell your boss what your long-term goals are and ask for help to get to the next step in your career. How can you develop skills to obtain your goals? Ask your boss to help hold you accountable as you seek professional development.
…As Well As Next Steps
Make sure to end the meeting with a plan for improvement, next steps, and a mechanism to check in regularly on how you are doing.
Whether your organization ties reviews with raises or not, take these annual meetings as an awesome opportunity that will pay off in terms of career development.
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