Career Confession: I hate performance reviews

Welp, it’s that time of the year. That dreaded time of the year. Obviously I’m not talking about the summer. I love the summer. What am I talking about? Yearly performance reviews at my firm.

Reviews. Ugh. Necessary yet potentially nerve-wracking…

You’re forced to look back over the past year and determine whether you kicked ass or you’re just not kickin’ it enough.

You’re forced to have an awkward conversation with your supervisor(s), who will let you know whether a promotion (and more $$$) is in your near future or if you’ll be poor for another 6-12 months.

You’re forced to sit down and draft a few more goals for the next year that you basically pull out of your ass because at this point in your crazy, chaotic, twenty-something life, making sure you’re wearing matching shoes is a pretty lofty goal.


Side note: I had a very sad, sad day a few Thursdays ago when I was sitting in a meeting at the end of the day. It had been a busy, stressful week, so when I looked down at my feet and realized I was actually wearing two different shoes, all I could do was laugh.

Unless you have prior confirmation that you’re doing well and that you will be promoted, I think we can all agree that the review process seriously sucks. Because I’ve been working at my company for just over a year and a half, I’ve only been through one review. It went well and my hard work paid off, but when I walked out of that treacherous meeting, I regretted not highlighting all my successes more.

With my poor memory, I decided I needed to start keeping track of everything I did over the course of the next year. I haven’t had my review yet, but I know I’ll be more confident starting the process. Here’s what I did and I hope it helps you:

  • Kept a running list of all the big projects I’ve worked on and what I did for each. I also noted whether I was assigned the task of if I took it on voluntarily. In terms on quantity, This will help show my dedication to the job.
  • Created a file on my computer and dropped in work samples and copies of finished projects. This will show the successes of my efforts and that the quality of my work has evolved over the past year.

A common mistake we tend to make early in our careers is that our supervisors are taking notice of everything we’re doing. While I’m sure they do to an extent, we have to be our biggest cheerleaders. These simple tips for keeping track of what you do day-to-day may seem like unnecessary work, but I’m willing to argue that many people wish they did something similar when they couldn’t verbally or tangibly prove they were deserving of that raise or promotion.

What about you – What do you do to help prepare for performance reviews at your job?

Ms. Career Girl

Ms. Career Girl was started in 2008 to help ambitious young professional women figure out who they are, what they want and how to get it.

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