Most managers write performance appraisals from a blank page. They sit at their desks trying to remember all the good things employees did throughout the year. But it’s hard to remember a whole year’s worth of events. So the appraisal ends up being a review of the last quarter, which is all they can remember.
Don’t let this happen to you.
The time to start preparing for your performance appraisal is now. Not in January, now.
Two months ago I wrote a blog encouraging you to ask your boss’s permission to give him/her a list of your 2012 accomplishments. Just in case you didn’t do it, I’m reminding you again.
Most of us are not great at self promotion. We think that if we do great work, the right people will notice, and we’ll get the recognition – status, money, responsibility – we deserve. In fact, many people critique others who are good at self promotion thinking that they’re suck ups, who make themselves look good at others’ expense. And we don’t want to be like that. So we decide, “I’ll quietly do my job well and eventually I’ll get the recognition I deserve.”
You can promote yourself and the work you do without appearing arrogant, self inflated, or trampling on others.
Think about it this way, no one knows the work you do better than you do. Your boss doesn’t follow you around. S/he doesn’t know all the great stuff you do every day. It’s your job to tell her.
Here’s how to promote yourself:
Create a one-page sheet of your projects and accomplishments. Bring this sheet to your one-one-one meetings with your boss, however frequently they occur. At the end of the year these sheets become the cheat sheet from which to write your review. Aggregate all the information you’ve captured during the year and ask your boss’s permission to provide it to help him/her write your appraisal. S/he won’t say no. Writing appraisals is time consuming. If you can make the process easier, it strengthens your relationship with your boss and makes you look good. But you must ask for permission to send the list.
If you haven’t been assembling a list of accomplishments, create one for 2012 now. And start creating a list in January of 2013, and add to the list regularly.
It’s your job to promote yourself and tell the people you work with what you’re doing. Simply say:
“Here’s what I’ve been focused on…”
“Here are a few projects my team finished…”
“Here’s something I’m working on…”
“I’m really proud of…”
Any of these phrases will do the trick. Don’t make your boss guess. Make it easy to promote you.