It’s that time again – time for your employer to review your performance as an employee over the past year and rate your contribution and value to the company. The yearly performance review can be anxiety-provoking, particularly in today’s slow economy with the high possibility of layoffs. The ability to candidly appraise both your assets and shortcomings as they relate to your work environment can be challenging, but it is an important and necessary aspect of moving up the career ladder. Of course, hearing about your weaknesses in your job performance is not always a pleasant experience.
Liz Ryan is a former human resource manager who now operates a career consulting firm called Ask Liz Ryan. She encourages viewing the performance review in a more positive light to decrease your feelings of intimidation. “The annual review is one more opportunity to collect and claim the great things you’re making happen at work,” Ryan says. Do you need some help deciding how to present an impressive review of your work? Consider using some of the following tips from the experts.
Ryan suggests using your calendar or journal to jog your memory of those outstanding projects you put together this past year. Look at what you’ve done for the company as well as what tasks you have accomplished. In addition to those big events, make note of smaller, even unexpected, ways you have contributed to the company’s bottom line. Maybe you convinced a client to stay on with the company when they were contemplating taking their business elsewhere. Even though such accomplishments may not fit into the project or task category, they are still major contributions to the company’s success and to your value to the company.
Prioritize what you have done for the company suggests Ryan. Just listing what you’ve done would not be an exciting representation of your worth to the company. Make sure those accomplishments that have the greatest impact on the company are highlighted and then write a little information down about each one. Performance reviews can make you nervous and you certainly don’t want to forget vital information. Include any numbers or quotas specific to your accomplishments to help give them weight.
Use the fourth quarter to finish up any projects and tie up any loose ends. The holidays are a busy time both personally and professionally. Be careful not to get lax toward the end of the year. You want to make sure you have completed some of your long-term yearly goals prior to your annual review time.
Keep track of feedback from your boss, whether given to you during the annual review or less formally throughout the year. Make sure you are working on projects that are important to your boss and to the company, rather than projects no one else cares about. Ask for feedback and make sure you understand what your boss is saying to you, and then use this feedback to manage and focus your energy at work to make that review the best it can be!How-To Prepare For Your Yearly Performance Review by Harrison Barnes