Annual Performance Reviews: Be Prepared, Not Scared

prepare for performance reviewYou landed the job, and have been working hard at it all year.  But while hitting the year mark at any job is an excellent accomplishment and cause for celebration, it can also be a source of anxiety for many employees, as it means that their annual employee review is coming up.  Performance reviews are in no way meant to be negative or scary, however.  If you approach your annual employee review in the right way and prepare properly, you will not only get through it, but also find that both you and your career can benefit tremendously from it.   Aside from the possibility of a raise or promotion, performance reviews are an excellent learning opportunity. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your performance review:

1)  Keep a list of your accomplishments

Throughout the year, keep track of any big accomplishments you have on the job, and challenges you have overcome.  This will help demonstrate in your annual employee review that you have gone above and beyond, and how your work has benefited the company.  Review the list before your performance review, and elaborate on what skills these accomplishments show and how they helped the company’s bottom line.

2)  Be aware of your progress

One of the main purposes of an annual employee review is to show the growth you have had in your job.  If you had a performance review at your current job before, you were probably given some tasks or skills to improve on, and can explain the progress you have made on them.  If this is your first performance review, then think of some parts of your job that were the hardest for you in the beginning, and how you have made improvements over the past year.  Show how your workload has increased, as well as the quality of your work.

3)  Think of what you can get out of it

There is likely to have been times where you have realized some way that the company could help you perform your job more effectively.  Now is the perfect occasion to bring these requests up.  In your annual employee review, be prepared to discuss areas of your job or skills you would like to improve on, and mention ways in which the company can help you do that, such as extra training or better software.  This way the performance review benefits both you and your employer.

4)  Don’t fear criticism

Go into your annual employee review in a confident and positive mood.  If you have worked hard, chances are your employer is aware of it and will commend you for it.  But in order to learn and grow in your career, you also must be aware of what your weaknesses are and how you can work on them.  So be prepared for constructive criticism, and welcome it instead of taking it personally.  Even the best performing employees have room for growth in some area, and to hold back criticism would be denying them the chance to reach their highest potential.

5)  Understand your company’s performance review style

Every boss and workplace is unique in the way they do performance reviews.   So while preparing, try to get some insight on how the whole process works.  To avoid any shock, you can ask your supervisor some questions about what to expect and what issues will be discussed, but don’t be a pest about it.  Approach him or her at the right time and in a manner that doesn’t appear to be self-serving.

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Jessica Cody

Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.

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