It’s that time of the year: I’m talking about the all-important annual performance review.
You probably become more anxious as the day approaches.
Before I go into details on how to ace your performance appraisal, remind yourself that this is not a time to be passive and let your boss take control of the conversation.
Instead, it’s an opportunity to have a meaningful, productive discussion about your work and career trajectory. So take initiative and prove your value.
With no further delay, here are 4 tips to help you prepare for your annual performance review.
1. Write down a list of your accomplishments.
It’s good to be humble, just not this time.
Let yourself shine! You want to show your boss all the achievements and goals you’ve succeeded in over the past several months. Don’t assume that your boss has perfect recall of all of your contributions. Your boss is just too busy to see, know and remember everything.
Highlight your most significant work — projects that align with the company’s annual objectives — and how you accomplished them. Be prepared to give your manager some context and detailed examples of each highlighted achievement.
To further support your claims, prepare some metrics. Senior managers love to see numbers!
2. Give yourself an honest self-evaluation.
For your self-evaluation, it’s beneficial to use the same performance review form your manager uses, as it will include everything your boss deems important.
That said, a good alternative to objectively review your performance is to use a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis.
This allows you to look at each area with regard to your performance. You’ll get a better picture of where you’re most competent as well as how and where you can improve in the future.
If possible, mention the people who have guided or assisted you along the way. This shows that you care about other people and value teamwork. It’s a win-win.
3. Draft possible goals for the next period.
Be proactive. Show that you’ve done your homework and are ready to go beyond.
Write down a list of personal and professional goals for the coming year. Keep in mind that these goals should reflect your career trajectory and what you hope to develop and improve in the future.
Make sure these are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based) goals. They should also fit into the company’s goals as well as your job description, skills, and experience.
4. Whatever happens, be open-minded.
It’s easy to get defensive when you’re in a performance appraisal meeting. You may feel like you’re there to receive criticism.
Be open-minded. Defensiveness only clouds your judgment.
Just relax and listen to what your boss has to say. Welcome constructive feedback. Do not blame someone else. Take notes and be ready to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
Annual performance reviews should be a two-way communication where both parties have the opportunity to give and receive feedback. Be sure to do your part to make it a collective effort, not a meeting where only your manager is in charge of the conversation.
With these things in mind, you’ll be prepared and well equipped to take an active part in your upcoming performance review.
If you want to learn how to propel your career forward, fill out my contact form and you will receive a complimentary video coaching session with me… Coach Dave.