7 Strategies to Help You Prepare for a Yearly Review

Annual review time can be scary, especially if you’re unsure where you stand in terms of your job performance. You may have to face some tough realities, or you may find you really are the superstar you had hoped to become.

By adequately preparing for your review, you can ensure that your manager has an accurate picture of your performance and goals. Moreover, you can mentally and physically prepare yourself for the feedback you’ll receive and be ready to respond. These tips can help:

Perform a self-assessment.

Take some time to critically and honestly assess your own performance. Try to take the perspective of an outsider looking in. Ask yourself:

What challenges have I overcome?

What progress have I made?

Where can I do better?

How have I added value and contributed to my company’s bottom line?

Make a list of questions you need to ask.

It can be difficult to bring up certain issues face to face. Create a list of items you want to discuss and questions you need to ask your supervisor. If you feel it will build your comfort level, rehearse in advance with a trusted friend.

Be prepared to hear the truth.

Even top performers have room for improvement. Prepare yourself for a few hard truths. You cannot grow as a professional unless you know where you’re falling short.

If something you hear comes as a total surprise, ask for some time to digest it. Then, come back with some ideas to fix the problem. If it’s expected, be ready to respond with ideas on the spot.

Know your goal.

This is your chance to ask for whatever it is you need from your employer. Maybe it’s coaching or training, or even a raise or a promotion. Or perhaps you simply want an open discussion on your career path and potential opportunities. Reflect on your goals ahead of time so you’re ready to have this conversation.

Have evidence ready.

If you don’t already to this, start now: Keep files and lists of your accomplishments and performance highlights. Make note of anything you do that creates a positive impact on your team or the organization. Write down specific actions, numbers and results.

Quantifiable data is critical. Unless you record them, important details may be overlooked. With proof in hand, it’s easier to point out the best aspects of your performance.

Prepare a list of areas for development.

Identify any areas where you struggled or where others may have noted that your performance lacked. Note ways in which you would like to expand your skills, experience or expertise.

Do as much advance work as possible. For instance, look into available courses and training activities. Bring a list of options with you to your review.

Follow up.

Most performance reviews end with a list of action items. Don’t drop the ball – even on the most glowing of reviews.

  • Set a date for a follow-up meeting. Check in on a regular basis and report on your progress. Don’t try to fly under the radar. Instead, face the situation head on and take a proactive approach.

Wherever you are in your career strategy – seeking your next great job or working to enhance the one you have – turn to the experts at Employment Professionals Canada for tips, resources and support. Read our related posts or contact us today for more information about our great job opportunities in the Niagara Region.