Even when you've had a great year, annual reviews can be nerve-wracking. It's tough to wrap up an entire year's work in just an hour. Take some time to prepare yourself so the review is helpful and productive.
Review yourself. Go over your last year and identify your strengths and weaknesses. If you are thorough and honest with yourself, nothing your manager brings up should come as a surprise.
Note your accomplishments. Prepare a list of contributions you made over the year – quantify their impact on the organization's bottom line if you can.
Ask for help. While you were assessing your accomplishments, you likely identified some weaknesses as well. Make note of them and ask for the kind of help that will allow you to succeed on the job. Do you need more administrative help? Additional training? Closer supervision or guidance? Good managers want you to succeed and will welcome your input on what would create that success.
Be a grown up. It's tough to take feedback – particularly if it's negative. Listen. Be open and receptive. Ask for clarification or guidance, but don't be defensive. Take that feedback to heart when you are planning for the next year.
Set goals for next year. Your manager will have his own objectives that he wants you to work toward in the coming year, but create some of your own. Thing about weaknesses you would like to improve, strengths you would like to develop or projects you would like to take on. Check on your progress each month to ensure you stay on track.
Keep a Kudos file. Create an online or paper file where you can save any positive feedback you receive over the year so that next year's review is easier to prepare for. Whenever a manager, client or coworker has anything nice to say, it should go into the file.
Need more ideas to make your career successful? Did your self-assessment reveal that you are ready for new challenges? Contact the experts at Sparks Group. We can help you make the most of your career whether you are happy where you are or ready for a change.