The prospect of an upcoming performance review makes even the most confident of us quake in our boots. Instead of preparing for an hour or two of shattered egos and dampened spirits, remind yourself what performance reviews really are: an eye-opening review of your abilities and your effectiveness as an employee. Though more than half of Singaporeans are not satisfied with their appraisal policy according to a recent survey by Monster.com in Singapore, these reviews can offer us insight into how to advance our careers. If you have a performance review around the corner, keep these tips in mind:
1. Plan betterThe famous adage "failing to plan is planning to fail" is applicable in this situation. Even if your review is disappointing, if the meeting does not end with you and your boss creating a concrete plan for improvement, the meeting will have been in vain. When charting out a course of action for the future, be as detailed as possible, including actionable goals, criteria, special projects, milestones and deadlines for the implementation of each. This way, you have a clearer picture of tasks to complete.
2. Be IntrospectiveProfessional and personal obligations can leave you time-strapped, making it difficult to carve out time to sit down and check in with yourself. But don't underrate the importance of knowing yourself, as being aware of your capabilities and limitations will mentally gear you up for future performance reviews and help keep you grounded during high-pressure moments. After the close of a major project, spend a few minutes answering some basic questions about your level of contribution, major obstacles, learning points and the scope for improvement. Being in tune with yourself will help prepare you both mentally and emotionally for the next performance review.
3. Be proactivePerformance reviews usually happen once or twice a year. As a result, you go long stretches of time without talking about your performance, and it's hard to squeeze in time for more frequent performance reviews. However, having informal catch-up sessions with your manager will help both of you remain in the loop regarding each other's expectations. Your boss will be able to keep better track of your progress, and you will receive the opportunity to voice any concerns you may have or problems you're facing. Plus, proactively proposing such meetups demonstrates to your boss that you are serious about your professional improvement.
4. Do not dwellAs disheartening as it may be to receive a negative performance review, you must not allow yourself to dwell on the past and sabotage future opportunities for growth and development. A single negative performance review does not define your worth as an employee – so avoid going down a rabbit hole of gloomy thoughts. Instead, identify what you need to work on and look forward to focusing your energy on new tasks at hand and proving your worth as a talented, valuable employee.