The year is cruising along. For many of us, performance reviews feel like a welcome thing of the past, something to put out of our mind for another year, something that makes us cringe and wish we could avoid at all costs. I’ve been there. I’ve gone into reviews looking for validation and scared I would be told I wasn’t good enough.
But, the reality is, we know we’re good enough. We can change how our performance review looks and feels by thinking and planning for our next review now.
I get it. Even though it’s already March, sometimes I feel like I’m still hobbling along trying to figure out my goals for the year, let alone starting to think about my performance. But, I’ve also noticed that to get the best results at the end of the year, it’s helpful to start preparing now. Your review is an opportunity to tell your story. And, you are the only one who can tell your story. No one else knows you like you do.
Your boss needs your help to know how you’re doing. Put yourself in her shoes. Just like you, she is juggling multiple priorities and it’s impossible for her to know everything you’re doing. How can you help her evaluate your performance with the most accurate information?
Make your life and your boss’s life easier. Keep track of your successes throughout the year. As you reach your goals, record the following four items:
- Record what you accomplished.
- Record the strengths you used to reach your goal.
- Record how this accomplishment related to your goals.
- Record how this accomplishment related to your boss’s goals.
Create trust with your boss by keeping her informed.
Share your accomplishments with your boss at regular meetings throughout the year.
You are the perfect person to tell your boss all the great things you’re doing. Through regular dialogue, you create trust. It’s your opportunity to check in, ask for feedback, make sure you’re on track, make course corrections if necessary and ask for support to break down barriers that stand in the way of getting your work done.
Your boss wants to celebrate your successes. She doesn’t know what you think is important if you don’t tell her. You know what you have accomplished. You know your strengths and passions. You have to tell her what you want her to know.
When you play an active role in recording and sharing your accomplishments, you become a partner in your performance evaluation. You are no longer looking for validation because you have been in conversation all year regarding your performance.