Are you one of those people who think if you do a good job at work, everyone will notice and you’ll be rewarded appropriately? Yeah, you’ll do *okay*… but will probably never have more than just a mediocre career. Now performance reviews are key. They’re your best chance to get feedback on how you’re doing (+ and -), discuss promotions, ask for a raise, etc. So don’t show up expecting your manager to do all the talking. Here’s what you need to set yourself up right.
- List of your accomplishments in the given timeframe. I kept a running list of pretty much everything I did at work so that I didn’t forget when it came to review time. Did you join an extra committee and they implemented your idea? Add it to the list. Did you help the marketing team out by representing your company at an expo? Write it down. Helped hire some new interns? Yep, add that too.
- Have one or two examples of challenges or things you might have liked to do better, or more of. Best are things that you and your boss jointly decided to defer until later in the year, for example, rather than epic failures on your part. That said, if something came up and it’s clear to both of you, you have to reference it – but choose your words carefully.
- Have a script and a few ‘themes’ that you can talk to around your performance, based on your accomplishments that you’ve noted. Your script ensures you’re ready to speak to ‘how do you think you did this year, Kari’? I’m always ready with something along the lines of, ‘I’m really happy with how 2012 went. Looking back over what we’ve achieved, I’m especially proud that I… ‘. Now your boss doesn’t want to hear your laundry list of good deeds. Instead, you use these accomplishments mentioned in the first bullet as ‘proof points’ for your themes. For example, a theme might be that you contributed to a wide range of projects and work across the organization, not just limited to your immediate responsibilities. Another theme might be that you’ve found creative ways to improve your team’s efficiency. Then you can, more subtly, mention 1-2 examples are your ‘proof’ for each point.
- Have questions ready for your boss and show that you’re playing an active role in your career. If you don’t get any specific feedback, ask what they’d like to see you do more/less of. Ask what more you can do to support them (managers love this question). And if you think the timing is appropriate, ask what they would expect to see from you for you to be ready for a promotion. If they give you specifics, take notes – these should then be revisited at each next performance review where you ask your boss how you’re progressing on those items.
Have you had a particularly amazing, or horrible, performance review? Sharing is caring – leave a comment below :)