How to prepare for a mid-year review

We’re just about halfway through 2019 and a whole bunch of us in the Bossed Up Courage Community have questions about how to best prepare for mid-year review season.

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Here are 3 quick tips to get you prepared to make the most out of your mid-year review:

1. Break out the Brag Book

Just a few weeks back, Jessica shared a boss tip blog post all about how to start a brag book to track your achievements and accomplishments. This is the time to put that book to good use!

Tally up your latest achievements, take stock of any recent awards or recognition, and tap into the file full of happy client feedback. Prepare for your mid-year review with as many concrete metrics that you can bring to the table as possible.

Struggling to find any good validation in the data? If you’re short on positive outcomes, focus on calculating some numbers that reflect the effort, energy, and commitment you’ve brought to the task at hand.

For instance, an editor friend of mine once had what turned out to be just a really lousy year in terms of how many book deals she was able to secure for the publisher. But it wasn’t for a lack of trying. She brought all the data to her boss and tried to analyze where she went wrong, showing all the competitive bids she’d made for book deals that year. Upon review with her boss, they agreed it was nothing more than a fluke! Even thought her win-loss record wasn’t stellar, my friend went into her review able to show she brought her A-game nonetheless.

2. Get Clear on Your Goals

Showing that you’re forward-thinking and always focused on making progress is a key factor for acing your mid-year review. Be clear about what goals you’re pursuing in this chapter of your career – but keep in mind who your audience is, too. You should not feel the need to disclose that you’re looking to grow in a totally different direction that your current position allows, unless there’s a culture of radical honesty at your workplace or if you work for the kind of giant company that helps facilitate employee’s cross-departmental transitions.

The best way to describe your goals moving forward is to focus on how you’re looking to develop your craft. What skills are you looking to hone and develop? What professional development opportunities are you pursuing? And how does your growth tie directly into the company’s overall growth, too?

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3. Have a plan for growth

Whether you feel like your performance is in need of improvement, or that you’re absolutely crushin’ it at your job, go into your mid-year review with a plan to propose.

Need to step things up? Don’t wait for your manager to put you on a performance improvement plan (a PiP). Propose one yourself. You might say something like this:

“While I feel confident about the reports I’m writing up, I want to avoid making mistakes in the accounting processes, so I’ve found an interactive online course I’d love to take and have asked for some one-on-one time with Teresa in accounting to gain some training from her directly as well.”

Feel like you’re killin’ it at work? Don’t wait for the red carpet to be rolled out for your promotion. Ask what it would take to make it happen. You might say something like this:

“I feel confident in my performance and committed to our organization. I’d love to explore what opportunities for growth exist for me in here in the form of a raise or promotion. Do you think I’m eligible for that kind of growth this year? What do we need to do to explore that further?”

Make the most of your performance review

As much as you’ll want to prepare for your mid-year performance review, remember that this is a two-way conversation, too. Stay open to receiving feedback, actively listen for queues from your manager about how they perceive your performance and where they see you going in the organization, too.

At the end of the day, these reviews are not just about pleasing the boss, they’re also about gaining more information about your potential for growth and development. And if you’re not liking what you’re hearing, they might just be the impetus you need to pre-game your career change.

This article first appeared on Bossed Up