5 Ways to Prepare for Your Annual Review

Preparing for your annual review is generally a year-round endeavor. Your annual review is a crucial opportunity to reflect on your performance, set goals, and discuss your professional development with your boss. That means you’ll need to prepare for your annual review, so you can make the most of it!

Sure, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, but with some proper preparation, you can turn it into a valuable discussion that benefits both you and your place of work. In this article, we’ll explore five ways to prepare effectively for your annual review without any concerns.

#1 Self-Assessment

It’s vital for you to reflect on your performance prior to the review, so take time for self-assessment. Review your accomplishments, challenges, and areas for improvement from the previous year. Be honest with yourself, acknowledging both successes and areas where you might have fallen short.

Use specific examples to support your self-evaluation, including projects completed, milestones achieved, and any extra efforts you made to contribute to the team or company. A good rule of thumb is to document your achievements and challenges along with the impact they had on the organization. This information will serve as a foundation for your discussion during the review, helping you remember your most-important contributions and demonstrate your commitment to growth.

#2 Gather Feedback

A good starting point when preparing for your annual review is seeking input from colleagues. Collecting feedback from your colleagues is an excellent way to gain additional insights into your performance. Reach out to peers, subordinates, and even clients if applicable, to understand how they perceive your contributions and areas where they believe you excel or could improve.

Remember to approach this process with an open mind and a willingness to accept constructive criticism. This feedback will help you identify blind spots and areas for development that you might not have recognized on your own. Be sure to thank those who provide feedback, as this encourages a culture of open communication and trust within the workplace.

#3 Review Your Goals

Take some time to revisit the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year or since the previous review. Evaluate how well you achieved them, if you’re on track to reach them, and determine the reasons behind any unmet goals.

Analyze the factors that contributed to your success in achieving certain objectives and consider how you can apply these lessons to future goals. If you didn’t meet some goals, don’t be too hard on yourself. Instead, use this as an opportunity to discuss potential barriers or areas where you may need additional support or resources to improve performance going forward.

#4 Career Development Plan

In addition to reviewing your progress towards goals, consider your long-term career aspirations. Get clear on the areas where you would like to grow professionally or within your organization. Then, think about how these align with the company’s objectives. Having a clear career development plan demonstrates, to yourself and your boss, your commitment to continuous improvement and shows your seriousness for growth in the organization.

#5 Prepare for Discussion

Take some time before the review to anticipate potential questions and feedback from your supervisor. Think about how you can address any concerns they may have and present evidence of your achievements. With a teammate, friend, or by yourself, practice articulating your points confidently. Confidence speaks volumes when sharing your progress.

Consider preparing a list of questions to ask your supervisor as well. This shows your interest in receiving feedback, learning, and growing in your role. Examples of questions could include asking about the goals of the team or company, additional responsibilities that can be taken on, and options for additional personal and professional development.

Related: 5 Ideas to Glow Up Your Career

All in all, preparing for your annual review is crucial for understanding your performance and future expectations for the year ahead. Approach your annual review as an opportunity for growth and learning, and you will foster a positive and productive working relationship with your boss, your teammates and yourself! Do you have any tips for making the most of an annual review? Share them below!

Also, don’t forget to tune into our City Girl Savings Podcast featuring our very own founder CEO Raya Reaves as she covers topics to help keep your finances in order along with featuring interviews with special guests. Check us out via our IG @citygirlsavings and hit that follow button. Lastly, if you have not already jump in the convo via our City Girl Savings Meta page!

The CGS Team



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