November 28, 2017 | 5 min read
Your Performance Review Checklist: 6 Things You Should Do To Prepare


As we approach the end of 2017, for many professionals, this also means approaching a year-end performance review.  As you get closer to your review, it can be nerve-racking to be unsure of where you stand, and it may feel like there’s nothing for you to do except wait.  However, there are steps you can take to prepare for your review and get a better understanding of what may happen.  When you walk into your meeting ready to discuss your performance, you’ll be less likely to forget something you wanted to say, and it’ll probably help ease your nerves as well.  As a result, start by following this performance review checklist:

Reflect on your major accomplishments

When you think back on the previous year, you can probably easily point out your big wins.  While it may be difficult to remember what happened in January, your biggest accomplishments will stand out.  Whether this means that you closed a big sale, or you took on a large project, you’ll know which of your achievements matter the most.  Keep these big wins in mind as a reminder to your supervisor of everything you’ve helped the company accomplish this year.  Even better, if you have data behind your big wins, be sure to present this to your supervisor during your review.

List your increased responsibilities

In addition to your biggest wins, be prepared to discuss any increased responsibilities you’ve had within the year in case you feel that your manager hasn’t taken those into account during your review.  When you think about the type of work you were doing this time last year, hopefully you can see how your role has evolved in the last 12 months.  For example, you could have started managing another employee, taken responsibility for more clients, or led a new initiative at the organization.  When you present your supervisor with your increased workload, you can give them a clearer picture of why you may deserve a promotion or a raise.

Consider your major weaknesses

While considering your major successes is an important part of your performance review, equally important is assessing your weaknesses as an employee.  While it can be difficult to do, analyzing your potential weaknesses ahead of time can help you address them in the moment.  As a result, think about some of the mistakes you’ve made throughout the year as well (nobody’s perfect—you have made some mistakes).  This could include failing to communicate something properly to a coworker, missing a key detail on a project, or not using your time at work efficiently.  Be prepared to discuss these mistakes during your review, as they will likely come up.

Make a plan to improve

Now that you’ve thought about your mistakes over the year, think about how you may go about correcting or improving upon your errors.  If you had a communication issue, you may want to take a class, or if you had a time management issue, you may want to block social media on your computer.  When you present your supervisor with actionable items to help you improve your weaknesses, they’ll be impressed with your initiative.

Think about your career track

Another key element of a performance review is that this is the time to discuss a raise or a promotion.  If you’re unsure of where you stand on a promotion track, now is the time to bring it up.  Consider where you’d like to be next year or in 5 years, as well as what steps you may need to get there.  For example, if you’d like to move into a management role, gaining responsibility managing others on projects may be a key step to getting the right experience for that position.  Additionally, be sure that you remain open to other possibilities, as your manager may have a different idea of where you fit into the organization in the long-term.

Do your research

As your role and responsibilities evolve over the course of your tenure at a company, it can be easy to forget how your value in the job market may also evolve.  Even if you’re perfectly content with your position, it’s important to know just how marketable your skills and experience are.  This can help you understand if you’re being compensated fairly, and perhaps if it’s worth exploring other options.  If you feel that you’re not getting a fair deal at your current organization, you can bring up some of your research during your review to prove that you deserve more.

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