Over the years I’ve had many performance reviews with several supervisors all with different management styles. They’ve all come with a fair amount of constructive criticism and I wouldn’t consider any of them bad reviews but each year – inexplicably – I have dreaded them. It wasn’t until recently that I realized why…
I don’t like bragging about myself! Self-promotion is not one of my greatest strengths. When being praised I have a tendency to be very modest, especially in a professional setting. I’ll follow up with a comment like “Oh that’s just part of my job.” or “It was really no problem. I was glad to do it.” So it’s no surprise that when my manager asks “What were your biggest accomplishments this year?” I totally freeze! Throughout the year I worked hard, did good work and met goals. Yet in this moment I become so tongue tied that I can’t come up with anything to say (and I am a woman of many words…just ask anyone who has ever talked to me.) I’ve come to realize that modesty combined with a lack of preparedness is the real issue at hand. I will prepare all week for a meeting with the boss or all month for a big presentation but when it’s time for my performance review I have literally done no preparation to promote myself.
Now that I have pinpointed the problem(s) here are a few things you can do (and I am doing) to be better prepared come review time:
- Post a list of goals in your workspace. This will help you to stay focused on tasks that help you reach those goals.
- Document your accomplishments. Start a list of accomplishments and add to it each week (you can always edit it later.) Include challenges you overcame, processes you improved, goals you met, projects you completed as well as a list of professional growth activities you participated in (ex: company-sponsored events like community service and engagement in professional organizations like the Minnesota Society of CPAs via webinars, conferences or networking events.)
- Back it up with facts. Muhammad Ali said “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” So true. Save emails from happy clients, coworkers, superiors etc. and bring them to your review. Also bring examples of your work if you can.
- Give yourself bragging rights. Not talking about your accomplishments can hit you in the pocketbook. So brag on friends, brag on.
How do you prepare for a review? Tweet us your response at @OggiPro with the hashtag #OggiAsks.
For more information on the important of bragging check out these related articles.