Making your annual review work for you
How far do you prepare for your annual review? It's a superb opportunity to talk through your career plans with your boss - if you've properly prepared! Have you considered that preparing an agenda for your boss could be helpful to both of you?
In terms of preparing for your annual review, consider:
- What do you want to achieve next year in your current position or company? And in the next 3 years? Focusing on your future career will help you identify what's important to you, and how far your current employer will help you meet your career ambitions and wishes. Study your organisation to help you identify possible opportunities. It's also a chance to find out whether there is anything you can take over from the boss in a major way to support him further while boosting your own profile, skills and experience. Now is the perfect time to talk about any new challenges you want and how you see the role going.
- What support do you need from your boss and managers to meet your career goals? Should they be looking out for a project to develop your skills and experience in an area which excites you? For example, if you want to get more involved in training staff, could you take on a role as helping with inductions, or giving training? Can you support that by studying for professional exams the organisation might support you with?
- What new skills do you need to learn to be more effective? Where and what are the difficulties; do you feel you could do with more help in making presentations or supervising a team, for example? Let's do a skills audit will help you identify skills you need training in. You can save it, download it or print off your personal skills audit to use in your annual review.
- Once you've identified the training you require, find out which training providers are appropriate for you needs. Be able to show your boss that you've checked out several providers and chosen one above all others. 10 hot tips to getting the boss to agree to sponsoring your training and learning will help.
- Now is the time to talk to your boss about anything which is stopping you meeting your goals and career ambitions (within reason! If you're plotting a change of career, then it could be best to keep that to yourself). It's also a good time to discuss your working conditions, including salary and perks, your title and anything else which concerns you. If you feel you deserve a raise, do your homework first and find out what the market is paying. (See How to get a raise) If you want greater recognition, think through carefully before your meeting exactly how you want to receive that recognition.
- If, during your review, it becomes clear that your organisation won't be able to provide the career you want, you may need to consider whether it's time to move on. Check out the Recruitment pages for help and if you're a registered user also see the Interactive How do I get there? pages.
When your review is over:
- Put your plan where you can see it, take pride in it, and act on it.
- Regularly review your progress
- In these days of cost cutting, if your organisation won't fund any training you want, consider doing it anyway. 10 hot things to consider when the company won't fund a course will help you decide what to do.
- Update your CV accordingly with your new skills, projects, courses, responsibilities
- Let your boss know how things are going well
- Congratulate yourself!