Four Things to Remember to Ask During Your Annual Review

Whether your year-end review pops up after Labor Day, in early spring or even June, chances are as a full-time employee there are metrics in place to measure your importance.

As such, your pals here at MJD are doing our part to remind you of key things to ask during the year-end meeting, as inspired by a piece on The Daily Muse.

1. Areas for growth. For starters, a review may feel good when you get accolades for a job well done but you can get even more out of the meeting when you ask your performance manager what you should focus on and more importantly, how you can get there.

The key as well to valuable meetings is knowing your manager’s abilities. While you should leverage the meeting as a growth opportunity, realize not all managers are created equal and your boss may not even be able to provide you with productive feedback.

2. Setting goals for the future. Some companies have mid-year review meetings and others have very informal ones throughout the year but another reminder entails outlining goals with timelines attached. This way, when you meet them next year during review time you’ll be able to reflect upon your accomplishments and show you’re worthy of a promotion, raise, and/or bonus.

3. Show me the money! Okay, it’s not like you’re going to come right out and say it but we know you’re thinking it (and if you’re not, you should be). Annual review times should equate to dollars in your pocket! Although it won’t necessarily yield greenbacks depending on how your company performed, you can ask what it takes to get into the top level of increases. And if you hadn’t already asked during the interview process (that is, if you’re a new employee), you should definitely ask when performance gets reviewed and new salaries are implemented.

Of course, you can couch it as a positive statement with a tactful approach. For instance, if you’ve been working there for two years, you can ask what you need to do to put the wheels in motion for a promotion and ask for specific guidelines to get there as well as a guideline to the salary range of the new job.

4. Ask about next steps. When you stop to think about it, a formal review isn’t that much different than a formal interview. When you ace an interview, you probably naturally ask the interviewer and/or recruiter about next steps. A review is pretty similar.

Ask about next steps! Get a date on the calendar to follow up from this particular meeting and get an informal check-in. By managing the performance review process yourself, you’re better equipped to get ahead by knowing sooner rather than later if you’re on track or off, and by getting feedback in writing.

And if the reviews aren’t so positive and you see the writing on the wall such as no room for growth and/or stagnant ability to take on exciting projects, at least you’ll know it’s time to look for a new job externally.

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