6 Tips for Acing Your Year-End Review

With all the distractions the end of the year brings, it’s easy to neglect your day-to-day work. But this might be the most important time of year to focus on your job and your career. Many organizations hold year-end performance reviews, and acing them is often your ticket to a pay raise or promotion.

Here’s how to prepare for a performance review so that you can garner glowing results:

  1. Be prepared. Conduct a self-review before you meet with your manager. Be honest with yourself—evaluate how well you managed your objectives, summarize what you accomplished and give yourself an overall rating. Be sure to include detailed information. Did you save the company time and/or money on a certain project? Determine the numbers. It also helps to create a detailed list of everything you’ve accomplished since your last review. It’s good to have concrete information you can point to when you’re meeting with your boss.
  2. Be sure to share one or two stories that illustrate how you’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty. This is the time to remind your bosses of the kinds of additional contributions you make and your dedication to the organization.
  3. Study your weaknesses. Identify what you can do better, and have a plan prepared illustrating how. Create goals for the upcoming year and formulate a plan for how you will achieve them.
  4. During your review meeting, take notes. It will be useful for you to have them so that you can follow up properly during your next review. Do not lose your composure during the review process, no matter how difficult it might be to accept criticism. Ask questions of your evaluator to illustrate that you understand his or her concerns.
  5. Keep the conversation focused on yourself, advises Erisa Ojimba at Salary.com. It may be tempting to talk about your colleagues, but don’t succumb. Straying to discuss others may reflect poorly on your own performance.
  6. By the end of your review, try to reach some kind of consensus about your overall performance. If you can’t agree with your supervisor’s assessment, ask for more time so that you may find information to back your claims, says Ojimba
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