It may not seem like it, but performance reviews are the gift that keeps on giving. They are a tool that you can use to your advantage, whether you plan on growing at your current company or leveraging the information to move on to bigger and better things.
Most people think a review is when you sit and listen to all of the things you’ve done right or wrong, sign a document or two, and go back to work. But taking that approach means you’re missing a great opportunity to gain insight and clarity into future career moves you should make.
Knowing yourself and your worth is the first step to creating a six-figure résumé, trusted brand, and stellar reputation. Before your next review, take some time to think about the right questions to ask, and develop a plan of action to see results beyond your current state. Here are the top 5 tips on how to make the most of your upcoming year-end review!
Tip 1 | Conduct your own self-evaluation.
Think about all the information your employer will be reviewing, like consistency, creativity, client relations, initiative, work quality, and team collaboration. Start by looking at last year’s performance review, so that you can remember what your areas of growth were for this year.
Gather information on the projects you completed and any quantitative reports that can demonstrate tangible deliverables. Jot down information on what you did well and what you can improve on. Remember, part of being self-aware in the workplace is staying a step ahead at all times.
Tip 2 | Research your position.
If you’ve been in the same position for a while, you may have forgotten the core reason for your hiring. Make a split list that includes what you were hired to do and any additional authority you have been given that’s not in your job description. In addition, it’s important to know how the average salary for positions like yours may have changed based on your area, according to resources like Salary.com.
This is the time of year when companies create new budgets and are more willing to negotiate salaries, so don’t hesitate to bring up the topic if they do not. You’ll have the data from your research, as well as your deliverables from your self-evaluation, as leverage.
Tip 3 | Understand your current and future career goals.
Evaluate your goals for the future. Questions to consider:
Do you like the position you have with your company?
Do you like the company itself?
Will your position or company help you advance your overall career?
What skills do you want to develop?
Can you see yourself doing this exact job for another year?
These may be tough questions, but your answers are important in guiding your conversation with your reviewer. They’re not only the only ones evaluating. You’re also considering your relationship with the company and its ability to meet your current and future needs.
If they cannot partner with you to meet your goals and needs, then it’s time to build a strategy to get what you want!
Tip 4 | Be open to feedback.
Feedback on your work performance can be tough to listen to, especially when their view isn’t favorable. That said, think of it as a learning opportunity and information you can use to clean up your brand. Keep in mind that repeated complaints probably mean there’s something on your end you can do to improve.
Any form of branding goes both ways. Companies must listen to their customers to see how their brand is being perceived and build a strategy to change any negative perceptions. You are the CEO of your career and brand, so you must be open to criticism about your impact or lack thereof.
Their feedback can be also used to answer the common interview question, “What is your greatest weakness?” You can take a point made in previous reviews and show what you’ve done to improve.
Tip 5 | Use your review results to improve your résumé.
Throughout this entire process, you will have spent a lot of time reflecting on the current state of your job, career aspirations, brand value, salary, and professional development needs. Your preparation and soul searching will have given you the building blocks to create an impactful and leadership-focused résumé that gets results. This is a great time to rewrite or add anything that wasn’t previously reflected and begin to build a strategy that reflects your current aspirations.
Remember, when you are preparing for a performance review, you are not the only thing that’s being evaluated. Go into your review with strength and confidence, knowing that any outcome will not hinder your success. With the right mindset and perspective, a review can only help push you farther toward your true purpose.
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