Making the Most of Your Performance Review

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Do you wish you were making more money? Do you feel frustrated that you haven’t received the promotion you’ve been waiting for? Well, now’s the time to make a case for yourself. It’s almost time for your annual employee performance evaluation.

One of the biggest mistakes we all make at work is that we don’t take our performance reviews seriously enough. They’re just another item to check off the list by a certain due date. With everything else we have to do, we rush through the online review process. We feel that we have too much going on to waste time on this silly annual administrative task.

But, it’s this same silly task that is used to guide your future salary. It helps your manager to decide whether or not to give you the promotion you’ve been dreaming of. So, it is worth saying that a performance evaluation deserves as much time, if not more, than any other project on your desk.

Once you’ve decided to prioritize your review, what should you know?

The first thing is, start early. When you put time into your review, the amount of detail required is heavy. You want to be sure you have time to put everything together.

When you complete your online self-review, don’t give yourself lower ratings that you deserve in an effort to be humble. Your scores should accurately reflect your work. If you’ve done an outstanding job, say so. Don’t expect your boss to convince you that your work was better than your own rating.

On each area where you rate yourself, provide more than just a rating. Write a justification that includes specific examples of your work. Ideally, these examples should tie back to your goals for the year. They should be specific and if possible, quantifiable. Show without a doubt that you have met and exceeded each goal.

Once you’ve completed the online self-review, try putting the same information into another format. Online self-reviews are often text heavy and not a great way to represent yourself. A PowerPoint presentation can be a great solution. Create different sections that are tied to your online review, but add in pictures, graphs, and other screen shots to better demonstrate your accomplishments.

When it’s time to review your performance evaluation with your boss, be on time, and be prepared. Dress in what you might wear if you were giving an important presentation on behalf of someone else. But, this time, that someone is you.

Doing a self-review can be difficult. It’s tedious. It’s detail oriented. It requires you to remember everything you’ve done in the past year. Despite all of these things, a solid performance review is worth it. If you follow the steps recommend, there’s a good chance you’ll be the only person on your team who put in this much work. And, that hard work will be in your boss’ mind when they decide who to promote and give a bigger raise to in the New Year.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com or on Twitter at @CopelandCoach.

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