It’s finally here! You’ve been waiting for your performance review for three months, six months or a year – depending on how often your company does them – and the day has arrived. Channel that anxiety into excitement for hearing what you’ve been doing right and how you can further improve to continue advancing in your career.
Long before you head into the room with you manager for your performance appraisal though, there are a list of items you should prepare. It will make you better equipped to have this all-important conversation. Read on.
Come Open To Feedback
The most important thing about going into a performance review is to have an open mind and realize this is an opportunity for growth. Think of it as a two-way conversation, not just a report about your performance. If you can reframe it as a learning experience, it’ll take the pressure off. The bottom line is you’ve already conducted the work that’s going to be reviewed, so you can’t change that part of it. What you can change is what hasn’t happened yet, so take all the guidance you can.
Complete A Self-Evaluation
Some companies implement self-evaluations into their performance appraisal systems but, even if yours doesn’t, find one you can do to help level-set you. There are tons of self-evaluations online for soft skills and you may even be able to find one specific to your job duties. But, really, the most accurate way to do a self-evaluation is to look at your job description or list of responsibilities and rate yourself from 1 to 5.
Reflect On Your Current Goals
How close are you being to accomplishing the goals you and manager set forth during your last performance review? Look back at your notes to remind yourself. It’s a good exercise because you might be surprised how organizational or team priorities changed and how your personal goals have evolved. It’s likely your supervisor will be reviewing this information prior to the performance appraisal so you need to be prepared too.
Create A List Of Accomplishments
Regardless of what your goals were, write down as many accomplishments as you can from the last review period. Make sure you’re thinking of the accomplishments from the view of your superiors too. While publishing a press release is great, it’ll more impressive to talk about the results you got from publishing that press release. Any hard data – especially improvements on previous accomplishments – you can provide will be helpful. It gives context for someone who doesn’t live it every day.
Share Your Personal Goals
It’s likely your manager will have a list of goals for you to achieve during the next review period, but it’s a good idea to walk into the performance review with your thoughts on future achievements. It’ll show your boss that you’re proactive and have a desire to improve. This is especially true for goals that aren’t necessarily company-oriented, but rather personal goals. Think along the lines of getting a certification that could help you with your job or improving a soft skill that you use on a daily basis at work.
Conduct Outside Research
You’ll want to get an idea for what the market calls jobs with your responsibilities (this can help you complete a self-evaluation and come up with new goals). A performance review is a good time to ask for a title change and/or salary increase if it’s relevant. So, you’ll want to check sites like Salary.com or PayScale to get a thought about how much you’re worth. Be sure you not only have outside research to support your ask, but that you pair it with your own personal accomplishments.
Ask How You Can Improve
If you want to ace your next performance review, ask your manager what you can do to improve upon your performance. You might be surprised what your boss tells you to work on. Remember, these performance appraisals should be a two-way conversation and you should treat it as your open opportunity to gain any intel you can.