How to ace your next review

Performance review, appraisal, work evaluation or whatever you call it, the idea of sitting face to face with your manager to discuss your work is daunting. Even when you know you have been putting in extra hours, collaborating with even the most difficult team members and clients love you, why are the voices in your head filling it with negative thoughts?

Sometimes it’s easier to focus and remember the negative things rather than championing the great successes, but here are a few surefire ways to make sure you pass your next review like a boss!


Be your own cheerleader

Every time you have a big win, as an individual or as a team don’t forget to blow your own horn.  Email the team to pass on great feedback or post in your instant message group to share the good news. People like to work with others that make them feel valued, it’s also a vital leadership skill. You will stroke the egos of your colleagues and the best bit, they will return the favour down the line. Glowing peer report, tick.

People like to work with others that make them feel valued, so be a team player and share the love. Glowing peer report, tick.


Make an ‘I am awesome folder”

Most workplaces and companies have a standard review document that you will automatically get sent two or so weeks before a review. This is a common pitfall, though, most people can’t remember what they had for dinner last Tuesday let alone what their biggest achievements of the last quarter were.

You shouldn’t look at your annual or quarterly review as just something to pass until next time, this is your chance to shine and wow your employer with all the fab stuff you’ve worked on. The best way to create a realistic picture is to make a folder on your desktop (that colleagues can’t access) and add emails, documents, training certifications, photos or just passing thoughts as you go along.

This means when it comes to filling in that performance form again you have a folder full of material to share and reflect on. It’s also a great place to dip into when you are having a bad day and need reminding of the great work you’ve been doing.


The good, the bad and the ugly

Rattling off a list of your accomplishments and proud moments is the best part of an appraisal but you still have to tackle the struggles and things that haven’t gone so well.

Self-assessment is just as important as being able to call your colleagues out on their bad work habits, so dig deep, put your big girl pants on and be honest about areas of improvement. Take this list and figure out what learnings and insights they give you on your role and progression. Is there a training course you would like to take to combat a particular area of weakness or do you just need to focus more on specific tasks?

Everyone has stuff they suck at, but identifying them and working on a plan of action to move forward will far outweigh them in the long term.

So if you’ve got a review coming up, don’t put off thinking about it and follow these steps to make sure you ace this and all your future reviews. Remember, be your own cheerleader, don’t shy away from self-evaluation and go make that “I am awesome” folder right now.


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