graphic of 8 things to do before your next performance review

8 Things to Do Before Your Next Performance Review

Performance reviews are like root canals – no one likes them (not even your boss), but they, unfortunately, can be necessary. Instead of dreading your next performance review, think of it as an opportunity to learn and grow, while clarifying expectations and setting goals. Performance reviews can also be used to justify raises and promotions, so you want to go in prepared.

Before your next performance review, try these eight things to be better prepared:

Compare Your Job Description to Reality

Your job description has probably become a little outdated in the past year. Take a look at your job description and ask yourself:

  • What do I no longer do?
  • What now takes up too much of my time than it needs to?
  • What new responsibilities have I taken on?
  • What work am I performing outside this description?
  • What do I like most about my current job?
  • What do I like least about my current position?
  • What do I want to see changed or eliminated from my job description?

Think about Your Most Significant Accomplishments in the Past Year

Keep a record of your accomplishments throughout the year, so you can easily remember what you did. If you don’t keep a record during the year, it’s too easy to only focus on the months leading up to your review.

Review Your Goals for the Past Year

Hopefully during your last performance review, you and your boss developed your goals for the year. Before your next performance review, look at those goals and see how well you stacked up.

Ask yourself:

  • What did I accomplish for each goal?
  • Which goals did I want to accomplish, but didn’t?
  • What did I learn from each goal?
  • What would have helped me accomplish those uncompleted goals?

Try to take away at least one “Aha!” moment from each goal that you can build on in the next year.

Determine Your Goals for Next Year

After you’ve reviewed your job description and past goals, you’re ready to start writing your goals for the upcoming year. Pick goals that will help you and your company grow. Determine what your boss can do to help you accomplish your goals over the next year.

Be Honest about Your Shortcomings and Mistakes

Be honest with yourself and think about your shortcomings and any mistakes you’ve made over the past year. Don’t write them down and hand them to your boss, but just think about them. If your boss gives you critical feedback during your review about your shortcomings or mistakes, you’ll be better prepared to react.

Thinking about your shortcomings in advance will also help you create an improvement plan that you can share as soon as your boss discusses your shortcomings with you.

Think about What You Want to Achieve in Your Career

No matter how much you love your job now, you probably want to move up at some point in your career. Start thinking about that now. Determine what job you would like next in your company, so you and your boss can determine what professional development you need and how your boss can help you.

Ask for Feedback Regularly

You shouldn’t be surprised by anything during your performance review. Your boss might think they’re bad at giving feedback, so they’ll avoid giving it to you throughout the year. Every now and then during the year, just ask your boss for some feedback, so you’re not surprised later.

Start a New Project

A couple of months before your performance review, start a new project. This will show your boss that you can take initiative, which will go a long way. It will also show your boss that you’re always thinking of ways to make the company better.