How to Prepare for Your Annual Performance Review

The performance review. Even if you’ve been knocking it out of the park this past year, those three words can set your teeth on edge.

Have your bosses been noticing just how often you’ve stayed after hours to meet a critical deadline, or pitched in on a project that isn’t specifically on your plate? Have they kept track of all the verbal “Nice work!” and “Thank you!”s that have come your way? And if some part of your job is suffering – how will that affect the good you’ve done?

The good news is that the answers to these questions are in your hands. Here’s how to prepare for your performance review so you can remind your supervisors of your contributions this past year and set yourself up for that promotion you deserve:

Name your best work (with examples).

Make a list of your work accomplishments in the past year. List projects you completed, improvements you made, and any ways in which you saved the company money. What new training or skills did you learn in the past year? What professional goals did you meet? How did you get better at your job?

While looking at what you’ve accomplished in the past year, take a look at the job description for your position. Wherever possible, tie your accomplishments to specific job requirements.

Include specific, concrete examples whenever possible. For instance, if you improved a work process that cut costs, put in numbers: “cut costs by 10 percent.” If you finished a major report, find a copy of it and bring it to your performance review. Be ready to talk about how your accomplishments and contributions benefited the organization this year.

Know where you’d like to improve.

Then, take a second look at the job description. Where was your work less than its absolute best? What specific, concrete steps can you take to bring these areas up to speed with the rest of your work? Make notes of these “areas of improvement” as well, and take them into the performance review with you.

While talking about areas of improvement in the review, stay positive. Don’t beat yourself up for past mistakes. Instead, focus on what you’d like to improve, and talk to your supervisor about how to seize opportunities for improvement.

Prepare to talk about your next career goal.

Are you aiming for a promotion to a particular position? Looking for a salary increase in your current job? Whatever your goal is for the next year, identify it. List questions you need to ask your supervisor in order to have a clear idea of whether your goal fits within the company’s goals and what you need to do to accomplish it. Don’t be afraid to ask the questions you need to ask to put yourself on track for the coming year – asking shows you care about the company as well as your own career, and that you want to work with your supervisor to meet everyone’s needs, not just your own.

At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters can help you prepare for your performance review – and make plans to move onward in your career if your current employer is no longer the right fit for you. Contact us today to learn more.

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