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How To Excel In Your Performance Review

May 8, 2008
Performance reviews can make or break your career - and failing to prepare properly for yours can negatively impact your professional life.

According to career experts, preparation is the key to get a more favorable outcome from your performance review.

Recap Your Professional Accomplishments for the Year

You need to have the necessary documents to support your accomplishments, as your managers are probably too busy to remember the achievements of each team member. Having a list of your achievements along with the necessary documentation makes it easier for you and your manager to go through your strengths and weaknesses.

Before the review, companies usually provide a form to their employees to list their goals and achievements to make the appraisal task easier for managers. As a part of your career goals, you may also write where you see yourself the next year or how you intend to go about reaching your goals. This creates a positive impression about you and tells your employer how serious you are about your career.

During your review, you can discuss your career strategy in more detail.

Let Your Boss Know Your Expectations

Many employees perceive performance reviews as a time to find out where they stand in the company and how they have performed in the last year. Contrary to popular belief, the performance review is a time when both you and your manager openly communicate with each other and tackle issues that may have hampered your performance. In addition, it gives you an opportunity to tell your boss what you expect from the company.

In other words, you directly or indirectly "coach" your boss to create a win-win situation for both of you. For instance, if you feel that you would like to enhance your public speaking skills, you may ask your boss for help or to send you to a public speaking course.

If your boss feels that such skills are crucial for the kind of job you have, he may make sure that you get the best possible training. It is entirely up to you to get the most out of your performance review.

Don't Run Away From Problems

It is likely that you belong to a team that may not have lived up to all of the expectations of the company. You may have lost a prestigious project due to lack of team effort or some unavoidable circumstances. The key here is to bring up the issue yourself and discuss how such situations can be handled in the future, and what role you will play to ensure that you are successful the next time around.

Performance reviews can be stressful for everyone involved - but by being prepared, open and honest, you will ensure that the next year you will meet your career goals, and then some!
About the Author
Tony Jacowski is a quality analyst for The MBA Journal. Aveta Solution's Six Sigma Online offers online six sigma training and certification classes for six sigma professionals including, lean six sigma, black belts, green belts, and yellow belts.
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