December 02, 2020 | 5 min read
Making the Most of Your Performance Review


Sitting through a performance review can be challenging, especially if you’re uncertain of the evaluation process. Wondering what criticisms await you and whether you’ll be evaluated harshly are legitimate concerns. The key to calming your nerves and gaining valuable insights from the review is to keep an open mind and prepare for any type of feedback, whether it be positive or negative. To make the most of your performance review, follow these steps:

Do your own performance appraisal

Go into the review knowing your work patterns, accomplishments, and areas that need improvement. Request a copy of the form that will be used to evaluate your performance from Human Resources or your supervisor, and study the criteria listed. Honestly reflecting on your performance will prepare you for what your manager will have to say, as their review of you is likely to be similar.

Review last year’s projects

Take the time to review the projects and assignments you’ve fielded over the past year, and reflect on relevant moments in which you felt you accomplished something in addition to situations that you wish you handled differently. This will help you assess your own strengths and weaknesses, which will allow you to easily discuss both strong points and areas you want to improve upon with your manager. Going forward, keeping a work log in the new year can be valuable because it can provide you with clarity on your overall achievements and what you may want to focus on for the upcoming year.

Be vocal about goal setting

In the review, your boss will give you goals and objectives to reach in the upcoming months. Be sure you clearly understand all these points, reciting them back if you must, and that you clear up any questions you may have about them. Now is also the time to articulate any type of project you want to work on or a new skill you would like to learn in order to grow and develop.

Clarify your job role

If the review hits a snag and you feel like you and your boss are on two different pages, ask for clarification as to what your role is, what you’re responsible for, and what’s expected of you. Before your review, if you feel like this may happen, it can be helpful to make a list of your day-to-day responsibilities and duties.

Consider your review a plan for future growth

Even if you don’t get a raise from your performance review, use the feedback from your manager to become an even better employee and work toward the goal of getting a promotion or a raise. Maximize your earning potential by communicating effectively during your review and having a clear takeaway on what needs work. Define a plan with your boss on how you can achieve the objectives and goals outlined with success.

Handle the review professionally

Your supervisor wants you to absorb the feedback they’re giving you, so listen actively and engage. For instance, if your manager tells you that in the new year they want you to work on improving something, it’s appropriate to ask for clarification as well as acknowledge anything else you want to work on. The purpose of a review, after all, is to assess both your strength and weaknesses so you can continue to professionally develop. To do this, your boss will want to hear your honest (but professional) opinion on their feedback.

Though performance reviews can be nerve-wracking, if you go into the evaluation with a calm state of mind and solid examples of your accomplishments, your boss will be impressed with your dedication regarding your performance and look favorably upon your detail-oriented nature. Listen to the notes regarding your performance carefully, and if you can develop and carry out a plan to meet the goals outlined, your next review is sure to go well!


Subscribe to the Tandym blog

Get our latest job search and career insights delivered straight to your inbox

Related Resources