Performance reviews are nerve-racking enough. Not being well-prepared will only make things worse. If you want to go into your next performance review with confidence, being prepared is critical. Preparation will also put you in a better position to ask for a raise or propose a new career plan within the organization.
Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as you might think. The best way to go into your performance review is with a very thorough S.W.O.T. analysis. While S.W.O.T is generally used to evaluate businesses, it’s also a great tool to assess your own performance.
Start by taking notes of all your successes and areas of strength. Outline them clearly so that you’re able to communicate the value they bring to the organization and lasting impact they’ve had. No success or strength is too small, so don’t limit yourself to the big wins. Instead, include the little ones you’ve had along the way that have also contributed to the overall success of your team.
Now evaluate your areas of weakness or those in need of improvement. It may not be fun, but being able to show your manager that you’re self-aware enough to know where your limitations are is very important. Don’t forget, your manager will most certainly be evaluating your areas of improvement as well. Hopefully, you will be in alignment and in a better place to work together on ways to improve them.
Next, you’ll want to look at opportunities for growth. This opens the conversation up to what you’d like to accomplish moving forward. What would you like your focus to be as you develop your career? Use the information from steps one and two to help you build a case for why you want to move forward in the direction you do. Generally, you can point to how your strengths will help you be successful. You can also share how this direction can help you improve one or two key weaknesses you’re trying to overcome. In either case, be sure you can clearly communicate how this growth plan is beneficial for both you and the organization.
Finally, identify any threats to the plan you’ve laid out. Maybe you lack a specific skill or need more support from your organization. Whatever it is, being able to show that you’re aware of what needs to be done or overcome in order to be successful will go a long way with your manager. Once you’ve identified the threats, be sure you can also provide your manager with the appropriate solutions!