You hear the words “performance review” and it probably doesn’t make you jump up and down with excitement. It can be a nerve-wracking or intimidating experience to await the direct feedback from your supervisor. Or, you might feel it’s simply a corporate process that is not worth your time.
The truth is, your annual performance review can be very valuable to you. It gives you the opportunity to receive well thought out feedback from your boss. And, the chance to discuss how you are doing and self-evaluate how you can keep taking steps forward building your ideal career. Which is what we’re after, right? Ab-so-freakin-lutely.
Here’s the thing though, you get what you give. Usually an annual performance review isn’t one sided any more. Many companies will ask you to take an active part in the process and write a self-evaluation. It may seem annoying at first because you already have so many things to check off on your list, but it’s worth it.
And, even in your employer doesn’t formally ask you to evaluate yourself, do it anyways. You should still carve out time to reflect on the past year. If you do this, I promise you will find the whole experience to be worthwhile.
Step One: Prepare
Like I said before, you get what you give. You need to put in the time to ensure the performance discussion you have with your boss is as valuable as possible.
Take the time to look back on the goals you set out to accomplish throughout the past year and what the status of those projects are now. Are you where you set out to be? We’re there any obstacles? Did your goals evolve?
When it comes to your professional skill set how have you grown? This is often weaved into the performance review process too. While meeting a sales goal is awesome, employers also need members of their team that can work well with others, communicate effectively and think strategically. It’s not all about the bottom line or meeting the numbers. Think about what areas you’ve improved and what you want to continue to perfect in the year ahead.
Step Two: Illustrate Your Value
Let’s be real. Your performance review is also important because it usually means the chance for mo’ money. Based on how you are rated, it usually equates to an increase in your salary or hourly wage.
If we’re being honest, all of us want to leave a review knowing our paychecks are going to get a little bigger. This is another reason you need to prepare ahead of time. You should be able to speak to your accomplishments throughout the year. It will help if you can answer one or more of these questions:
- How did I directly contribute to the company’s mission and goals for the year?
- How did I make the company more profitable?
- How did I take part in a vital project or initiative throughout the year to make a successful impact?
By being able to continue to illustrate your value to your boss, they’ll be more informed on why they should reward you for your work. Your boss is busy, make it easy for them and lay out the case for why you deserve the performance rating that you do.
Step Three: Discuss Your Future
You probably don’t want to be in the exact role you’re in right now forever, right? I didn’t think so. You also probably have an idea of the next role you see yourself in, the ideal next move for your career.
This is a good time to share those thoughts with your boss. Most, want to see you continue to grow professionally and become a bigger asset to their team. Have a conversation about where you see yourself in two, five, ten years from now.
Ask them: If I would like to be [insert that –awesome –next –role –of –your –career here], what do I need to work on to be considered for that position in the future?
Taking these steps will allow you to make the most of your review. While your boss obviously plays a big role in the process, so do you. It’s about you after all.