The holiday season is in the air. But aside from giving thanks, eating Turkey, and opening gifts, there’s one more thing you should look forward to: the year-end performance review.
For most people, the year-end performance review can be an exciting opportunity to level up your career without changing to a new job. It’s a chance to reflect on your accomplishments, receive feedback, and set goals for the upcoming year. If you play your cards right, it may even result in a big raise or promotion.
With that said, most people wing it and assume that their managers will remember all the good that they did throughout the year. Unfortunately, this does not happen that often. Most managers are too busy chasing their own KPIs for the year, and keeping tabs on their team members isn’t always on top of their priorities.
Like job interviews, you want to prepare for year-end performance reviews to ensure the best outcome possible. Here are three things that you should do to prepare for your year-end performance review.
Book Time With Your Manager
deally your manager should’ve already booked a one-on-one chat with you for your annual review. But if they haven’t, feel free to make the first move.
Think of it as your way of helping your manager with their job. Like I mentioned earlier, most managers are happy to leave their team members alone, especially if things are going well. This setup works well for most people.
Unfortunately, this can also result in certain achievements and milestones to go unnoticed. With a little proactivity, you’re ensuring that your efforts and achievements are given the spotlight they deserve.
If you haven’t been doing this all year, now is the time to document all the good work that you’ve been doing. Scour every email or Slack conversation and take a screenshot of all the times that you got kudos from senior management, especially those times when you made a big impact on your team’s projects.
While collating your achievements, it’s also a good idea to think about numbers. While it’s not always possible, try your best to quantify the results of your efforts — this can be anything from increased revenue and cost savings to improved processes.
Finally, make sure to tie it all up with a good story. Discuss the challenges you faced, the actions you took, and the positive outcomes. This storytelling approach engages your manager and offers a more memorable and comprehensive view of your contributions.
Know What You Want
What is it that you truly want to get out of your year-end performance review? Do you want a pay raise, a promotion, or maybe you just want to do a lateral move?
If you want to do a lateral move, you’ll want to evaluate your current position versus your interests and skills. It’s a good idea to connect with colleagues in the department where you want to transfer in and discuss how you could contribute to their work.
As for getting a raise or promotion, you’ll need to be convincing. Back your achievements up with data by researching industry trends. Find the typical salary range for your role in your industry, and use that as a solid basis for your negotiation.
Once you have this information, make sure to rehearse and practice your conversation. I don’t mean preparing a script to memorize. But it’s a good idea to anticipate potential questions or objections and prepare responses backed up with data.
When doing all this, remember to be professional and courteous. This is crucial especially when you encounter questions or objections while presenting your case. Try to keep emotions at bay and trust that you’ve already done the work, you just need to help them see it. Good luck!
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