How to ace your job performance review and prove your worth

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Are you feeling anxious about your performance review?

Many people feel anxious when it’s time for reviews. This is true even if they have done a great job in the past year. It can still be very nerve-wracking.

You don’t need to be scared of a review. It can actually help your career. Here are three reasons why:

  • A performance review is an opportunity to show your worth. You can talk about the successes you have had and the challenges you faced.
  • This is a great chance to get feedback on your work. You can talk about what changes you can make to make it better.
  • This is an opportunity for you to ask for any help or training that you might need.

What is a performance review?

A performance review is a meeting between an employee and their manager. The manager will talk about the employee’s work. They will discuss what the employee has done well and what they can do better.

A performance review is a way to measure how well an employee is doing their job. It’s like a grading system. It’s usually done at the end of the year or after a certain amount of time. The results of the review can be used to make decisions, such as:

  • Giving a raise
  • Moving up to a higher position
  • Letting someone go from their job

The Human Resources (HR) department usually starts the process of evaluations. They will teach managers and supervisors how to evaluate people in a respectful and kind way.

Making the most of your performance review:

Here are some tips to help you do well in your performance review:

  1. Review your job description

    • Read your job description and the goals you need to reach.
    • Look at the skills you need to do your job well.
    • Think about how well you did. Do you need to improve?
    • Make a list of any issues that made it hard to reach your goals.
    • This can help management figure out if there are any problems with the system.
  2. Track your performance

    It’s important to keep a record of what you do. Your manager won’t remember everything. Write down important details like how many clients you got or what systems you improved.

    • Before your review, you can write a self-evaluation. This will help you feel more confident.
    • You can also use your list of achievements if you want to ask for a raise or promotion.
  3. Prepare three goals for the upcoming period

    • Come up with three goals that you want to accomplish in the next year.
    • Make sure they are achievable and you can measure your progress.
    • Have a plan to show how you will reach them.
  4. Be open to feedback

    Listen to what your manager has to say and don’t be angry. Even if you think someone might give you a negative comment, accept it and think of a way to fix the problem.

  5. Prepare questions

    Before the new year starts, talk to your boss. Ask them what you should focus on. Ask what you can do to meet their expectations. This will help you understand what your job should be. It will also show your boss that you are eager to do better.

What if you disagree with your boss?

If you don’t agree with the review, you can appeal it. You can talk to your manager or the Human Resources (HR) department. Tell them why you think the review is wrong. Give them evidence to back up your argument.

For example, if someone said you were not punctual, but you were always on time, you can prove them wrong. Look at your time sheet or official attendance records. This will show that the person’s opinion about you being late is wrong.

It is important to keep track of your work. This way, you can show someone what you have done. For example, it is a good idea to keep a record of your work throughout the year. This way, you can easily show what you have accomplished.
Article updated February 21, 2023.
Sources: Employee evaluation, Susan M. Heathfield, the balance careers; 6 phrases you should have in your back pocket if you want to ace your performance review, Caris Thetford, the muse; and 7 things to do before the night of the review (if you want it to go well), Alyse Kalish, the muse. Accessed January 6, 2021.

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