It's the most stress you'll encounter this side of a job interview: your regular performance review. In fact, it's basically an extension of the interview process – convincing your bosses that you're still the best person for the job.
And like a job interview, you can boost your performance by preparing effectively. Having the right information and getting ready for the process will let you make a better impression. This will improve your bargaining position and grease the wheels for your long-term career development.
With that in mind, here are some tips to help you prepare for your next review:
Don't Wait for the Formal Process
Formal performance reviews typically only happen once a year. That's not frequent enough to help you improve on a day-to-day basis. It also packs a lot of communication in a very short period.
You can take some of the pressure off by having more frequent communication with your supervisor. On a regular basis, ping them for their feedback. You can use this information to tweak your performance as you go. That way, criticisms don't build-up for the once-a-year meeting.
Know the Score Going In
The details of your performance review shouldn't represent a surprise. Instead, you should have a fairly good idea of where you stand going into the meeting. Predicting what you'll hear in the discussion will allow you to prepare.
To do this, understand the metrics your boss will use to judge you. Review where you stand in relation to your peers and have an idea where you might fall short. This will allow you to anticipate criticism and focus your response.
Engage in Self-Criticism
This self-review requires honesty. In other words, don't believe your own hype. You need to go into your performance review with clear eyes.
Think about your contribution from your boss's perspective. Don't focus on excuses or the factors that prevent you from giving your best performance. Instead, understand your shortcomings and consider fixes that you can suggest. Your supervisors will likely appreciate the initiative and drive.
Keep Tabs of Your Accomplishments
A year can be a long time. Things you achieved just a few months ago might seem like ancient history by the time you reach your performance review. But all these accomplishments play into how you'll be perceived.
Keep a running list of your successes. This way, you'll have detailed notes you can review headed into your meeting. It will give you the ammunition you need to deliver a convincing argument on your behalf.
Listen to the Feedback
Hearing criticism can be hard. But don't get defensive. Instead, take the feedback to heart. Leave the meeting with a plan to improve your performance. Even if the general tenor of the review was largely positive, understand the steps you should take to get better.
Keep a list of the points your boss made. On your own, formulate a detailed program to put them into action. Then, follow up with your boss later, inviting further feedback and showcasing your commitment to continued development.
Be Prepared to Ask Questions
Your performance review will, of course, focus on you. However, it shouldn't completely represent one-way communication. You'll need to ask questions to grasp the nuance of your boss's feedback. Meanwhile, many companies use the review as an opportunity to receive commentary from employees. It might allow you to share your ideas, as well.
Drive Your Career Forward
Scoring well in a performance review will help push your career along. The process gets easier when you're a perfect fit for your position. By partnering with a top-ranked recruiting firm, like Qualified Staffing, you make sure you land in the ideal positions for your skills and background.
Contact your local Qualified Staffing branch today to talk about all the open opportunities that can help you drive your career forward!