BEFORE THE REVIEW
- Perform regular self-assessments. About once a month, scrutinize your performance. Are you on track with your goals? Be honest. If you suspect a problem, speak with the boss right then about how you might resolve any issue.
- Put together a list of topics and career goals you’d like to discuss at your review, along with answers to potentially tough questions.
- Review the previous year’s goals. How have you measured up on each one? Write down your most important success stories. Include deadlines met, money saved and new ideas implemented. “Saved the organization $30K in travel costs.” “Brought in four new clients by June 30.” “Reorganized Marketing’s filing system to streamline workflow.” Give this material to your boss a few weeks before your scheduled review.
AT THE REVIEW
- Ask if you can start by discussing your accomplishments during the year. This will let you talk about your best work before problems are brought up. Highlight the success stories the boss already has in hand, then bring up any work you’ve done that went beyond your regular responsibilities.
- Be prepared to discuss shortcomings. Explain how you intend to overcome specific errors in the future—through training, greater attention to detail, and so on.
- Don’t get angry or defensive. Think of constructive feedback an opportunity to correct any problems you may not have realized existed. Stay calm and professional. Accept responsibility for mistakes. Don’t argue, complain or put others down.
- Present your career wish list. What new responsibilities would you like to take on? Share these goals with your boss and ask how he or she can help you achieve them. Use these as a starting point for next year’s appraisal. Explain how to plan to exceed expectations in the coming year.
Performance reviews are the perfect opportunity to present yourself as a stellar employee—and get the credit and career growth you want and deserve.