Career Tips: How to Make the Most of Your Performance Evaluation

Do you anticipate performance evaluations in the same way you would taking a middle seat on an airplane or a trip to the DMV? Few of us look forward to annual performance evaluation time, even if we know that we have been strong contributors. Despite the cloud that often accompanies them, performance appraisals can be great times to showcase professional growth and engage decision makers in conversations about our own professional goals. They also give us the opportunity to critically reflect and ask for changes to improve our work satisfaction.

Here are a few tips to make the most of your annual review this year:

Showcase Your Strengths
Cite specific examples of your accomplishments, distinguish yourself by highlighting your impact on the organization, your co-workers, clients, or customers. Keep records of positive feedback you receive from others and incorporate those testimonials into your review. When you receive verbal praise, ask those individuals if they would put it in writing. Provide examples of times when you have done your best work, when you have made a significant impact on a project, etc. Are you the office expert on something? Don’t be shy, showcase your strengths!

Speak Up
Is there a way that you could work more efficiently? Do you need additional training or are you asking for a promotion? This is your opportunity to self-advocate. If you’re nervous about asking for what you want or need: write it down and read it out loud, rehearse the conversation with a friend or a counselor in OCP, ground your request with specific evidence, and align your request with organization or department goals.

Stay Positive
Everyone has something that can be improved. Stay positive when receiving critical feedback from your supervisor; avoid becoming defensive. Use feedback as a roadmap to reach your goals in the coming year. It is helpful to spend time taking an objective look at your performance and preparing a thoughtful self-appraisal before entering the conversation with a supervisor. The National Association of Colleges and Employers consistently reports that the ability to work well in a team is a top quality that employers desire. How are you viewed within your team?

Strategically Select Your Goals
Include your boss in the conversation as you develop your goals. Align your goals with the organization’s strategic plan and your department’s objectives. Choose goals that are both relevant to your role and realistically achievable. Track your progress throughout the year, and communicate your successes to your supervisor as milestones are surpassed.

OCP counselors are available to assist you in strategizing, outlining, and/or rehearsing your performance evaluation conversations. Do you feel confident talking about your strengths? OCP counselors can help you articulate your natural talents and accomplishments effectively. You can schedule an appointment with a counselor at any time by calling (919) 760-8341. Contact with any questions.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330