How to Ace Your Annual Review

Performance-Review.jpgNo matter what time of year you have your annual performance review, it’s never too early to start preparing. Being properly prepared will help ensure that you have a successful, productive meeting with your supervisor that will help you thrive in your current position and develop as a professional.

Follow these tips to make the most of your next review meeting!

Review your job description and make note of any discrepancies: Read through your job description with a critical eye. Does it properly describe your role within the organization? Make note of any duties you’ve taken on or any projects for which you’ve gone above and beyond your assigned role. Be sure to discuss these with your supervisor as examples of why you are deserving of either more responsibility, a raise, or even a promotion. This is also a good time to look for areas for growth. If there are particular aspects of your job that you really enjoy or in which you would like to take on extra responsibility, you should bring them up during the conversation to help ensure job satisfaction.

Make note of accomplishments and positive feedback: After reading through your job description, you’ve probably thought of many projects on which you’ve worked that have been very successful or resulted in a positive return for your organization. Make note of these accomplishments, and be sure to bring them up in your review. If you have examples - such as facts and figures or even “thank you” or “good job” e-mails from co-workers - bring them along! They’ll reinforce what a great job you’re doing. And be sure to keep a log of these accomplishments throughout the year so you’ll be even better prepared when it’s time for your next review.

Ask for criticism and accept it gracefully: These two tips go hand in hand. Of course we all hope our reviews will be full of resounding praise, but reviews are also a time to discuss with your supervisor areas for improvement and growth. Come prepared with ideas of how you can improve in your role, and ask your boss for this feedback as well. And if you hear something that might be slightly tough to take, don’t get defensive. Be positive and think of the feedback as an opportunity to grow as a person - and a professional.

Be clear about your goals and make sure they are meaningful and relevant: Before going into your review, take the time to evaluate your role within the organization and make a list of goals for the coming year that are realistic and attainable. Would you like to learn a new software ? Would you like better public speaking skills? Or maybe you’d like to take more of a leadership role in a particular project? Spell these out for your supervisor, and provide examples of ways to work toward achieving these goals, such as training courses, continuing education classes, volunteer opportunities or board service.
Hopefully these tips will help you make the most of your next review, and best wishes for a positive and productive meeting!
Got any other tips or success stories to share? Leave them in the comments section below!