A performance review can feel intimidating, but if you regard it as a chance to have a two way conversation with your boss and further your career, it can become an exciting opportunity. At Careerwise, we have a wealth of experience in helping our clients progress and gain the job satisfaction they deserve. Here is our guide to how to prepare for a performance review.
Prepare Responses To Feedback
The aim of a performance review is to build on your achievements and decide how to improve going forward. Constructive criticism may well play a part in this process. You need to prepare yourself mentally to analyse your work, and accept the recommendations your boss might make. It is likely you will already know your strengths and weaknesses; being ready with strategies you could adopt to tackle those weaknesses is a good way to respond to criticism. Remember that this is a two way conversation; if you need specific support to attain your goals in the future, now is the time to ask.
Review Your Goals
Sometimes we trip ourselves up by setting unrealistic goals. While it is great to aspire to the highest achievements, if they are completely unattainable then we are setting ourselves up to fail. Make a realistic appraisal of your goals for the past year. For any you have not been able to achieve, consider whether you set the bar too high in the first place. For instance, you may have hoped to reduce delivery times for customers by streamlining your online ordering system – but even if your order processing has become faster, if the delivery infrastructure isn’t there, you won’t be able to succeed, and should adjust your goal accordingly.
Establish Some New Goals
Once you have assessed the previous year, you can decide where you want to head in the upcoming twelve months. Again, setting realistic targets is important, but don’t shy away from ambition. Ask yourself, what projects would you feel passionate about taking on? What new skills would you like to master? And, importantly, where do you know there is room for improvement? An honest appraisal of the areas that need to improve is a far better use of this time, and will impress your boss far more, than an attempt to gloss over any flaws. Think constructively – is there specific training that could help you excel in this weaker area? Does your team need a different approach before they will be able to achieve the goals that have been set? Or have you been using the wrong metric to measure success? Be prepared to discuss all these angles with your boss.
Know Your Achievements
Although honest analysis of where you are is important to any performance review, you should also be ready to take credit for your achievements. Rather than a vague sense of the things you’ve done well, arm yourself with as many statistics as you can. Quantify exactly what you have achieved – measurable success is much easier to praise, and much easier to build on for the future.
Make The Most Of The Conversation
This is your chance for a one to one conversation with your boss. While you are tackling the nitty gritty of your working life together, make the most of the chance to ask the questions that have been bothering you. Perhaps you want to request a raise, or you have a suggestion about the running of the department. A private conversation where you have showcased your commitment to your role could be the perfect time to bring these things up.
Give Yourself Credit
A performance review can feel stressful, but try and remember that it can be a highly constructive conversation. Be clear on your achievements, and have the facts and figures ready to hand to back yourself up. Use the time to progress your career goals, reinforce your relationship with your boss, and set yourself a positive programme for the year ahead. Most of all, give yourself credit for everything you have achieved in the past twelve months. With careful preparation, a performance review can set you up for an even better year to come.
CareerWise is Ireland’s leading specialist recruitment agency, based in Cork, Shannon, Galway, Mayo and Dublin – bringing together employers with the perfect employees. We specialise in the Engineering, Supply Chain, Science/Pharma, IT and Accounting industries in Ireland, and we look forward to working with you. Contact us online now or call us on +353 (0)21 206 1900 to arrange a consultation.
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