It’s that time again: performance review time. It can be a time of dread or glee depending on how you look at it. Some of us look forward to the possible bonus and talking about our successes while others are apprehensive about evaluating themselves- especially if they feel they haven’t been doing their best work lately. Whether you’re on the negative or the positive end of the performance review spectrum, anyone can get through it unscathed. This may be the only time you get to talk exclusively about yourself to your boss. A performance review is helping you in your development as a professional in your career, so take it seriously and make the best of it.
Have list of topics you’d like to discuss with your boss. Go over your achievements and your obstacles beforehand. Know your strengths and weaknesses and have examples for both. Have answers for tough questions prepared. Ask your boss what the performance review is going to be like. Is it more focused on the future of your role in the company or is it just about your past performance and comparing the two? Figure out exactly what kind of tone the review will have. If your boss can’t provide you answers then ask a coworker. The more prepared you are the better your performance review will go because you’ll be confident and quick to answer any tough questions.
Nobody is perfect, and your boss knows it. If you are asked to evaluate yourself beforehand, don’t give yourself excellent scores. Part of the review is to go over any challenges you have and discuss ways to properly conquer them. Your boss will see right through your phony review, so be honest about it. This doesn’t mean you need to be too critical on yourself either. If you know you did excellent on certain tasks and have the evidence to prove it then go ahead and bring that up. The performance review is a time to bring up the good and the bad.
Set Your Goals
Performance reviews are times to set your goals for the future. Come prepared with an outline of goals you’d like to accomplish for the year. Make sure they correspond to the path you want your career to take as well as the companies. If you’re looking to move up in your position then set goals that will take you there. When you go over your goals with your boss, they will see that you are committed to staying and growing in the company.
Show you’re really listening to the feedback your boss has by asking questions. This will also clarify any misunderstandings you may have about your work or your role. Share your own feedback on the work atmosphere and the business in general. This will show that you’re just not thinking about yourself, but you’re also thinking about your role in the company as a whole. Bring ideas to the performance review that you think you can implement within your department to help with the current challenges your company faces. The more engaged, creative and frank you are with your feedback and ideas the more your boss will be impressed.