If you’re thinking that it’s too late to do anything about optimizing your year-end annual performance review, well, think again. You can still make this a positive experience, even if you fear (or know) that all did not go perfectly well in 2019.
First, don’t just sit around and wait for the review to come to you. Get ready. Prepare a summary of your job description (don’t assume your supervisor is familiar with everything you do) and be able to describe how you successfully meet your requirements. If you have ideas for growing or streamlining your workload, now’s the time to speak. Scroll through your email history to refresh your memory of all you’ve accomplished during the last 12 months. If you’ve acquired any awards or letters of praise along the way, put them in a file to take with you to your review.
You also want to be able to talk about how you’ve evolved over the year. Think about the challenges you faced and what you did to meet them. Have you acquired new skills or certifications? Again, do not assume your boss knows. Did your last annual review include a plan of action for 2019? Dig that out and be ready with a rundown of the current status of all those plans.
Now is also the time to address problems. Don’t just hope this topic won’t come up. Take the bull by the horns and describe the steps you have taken, or will take, to ensure that similar issues won’t arise in the future. No one expects you to be perfect. But they do expect you to be able to recognize and address your shortcomings.
Finally, the supervisor conducting your review is probably going to ask you about your goals for 2020. Be ready! Think of two or three significant accomplishments you’d like to achieve next year, breaking them down into their component steps in case you’re asked exactly how you hope to achieve said accomplishments. If you’d like to take on more responsibility or learn new skills, now’s your chance to get this on the agenda.
The annual performance review doesn’t have to be just an empty exercise. If you’re determined to make it count, it can be really helpful to your career, both current and future.