It’s that time of the year again when you and your manager sit down to talk about your performance at work.
You may be dreading it, but the truth is that formal performance reviews are a great way to:
- Have a focused discussion about your work
- Find out what you’re doing right so you can keep it up
- Get feedback on the things you could improve
Read these tips for a fruitful performance review.
Get in the right frame of mind
Contrary to what you may feel, performance appraisals are not an opportunity for your manager to highlight your faults and make you feel bad. Performance reviews exist to help you take the next step in the right direction in your work and your career. After months of rushing to meet deadlines to complete assignment after assignment, you may be so wrapped up in your tasks that you forget to look at the big picture and see if you’re on the right track in your career.
This is where performance reviews come in. These sessions are meant to re-orientate you, help you grow and improve, so receive every feedback you get with the goal to use them to plan your next steps.
Review your year and self-evaluate
Review your previous performance review document. What goals did you meet and what did you miss? This preparation stage helps you prove your worth.
Find evidence of your accomplishments in your daily to-do lists, your email correspondences, and in other communication channels that you may use for work. Note down what you successfully achieved, as well as the things that failed or weren’t completed. Think about why things did or didn’t work out. Be honest with yourself and keep in mind that if you don’t acknowledge your weaknesses, your manager may do so.
It’s also important that you’re not too hard on yourself or dismiss achievements because they seem small to you. Acknowledge any effort that you’ve made to help your team or company achieve its goals.
Don’t forget the courses and certifications that you earned during the year, too! They show that you’re making an effort to grow in your career.
Think about future plans
Once you’ve looked back and thought about how you did, think about how you can improve in your job.
Start with setting goals for the coming year. You might want to look for opportunities to sharpen your expertise, broaden your knowledge, or take on more responsibility. Then think of the actions you will need to take to achieve those goals. Set milestones so that you know you’re progressing towards your goals.
Research the courses and training activities that can help you develop the skills you need to improve your performance.
Your self-evaluation and plans for the future should be shared with your manager before the appraisal discussion. This helps them prepare for your meeting and respond to your notes after having a chance to think about them.