Four Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Performance Review

reviewAs we head into the home stretch now for 2014, one thing’s for sure: If your company’s fiscal year is also the calendar year, there’s no time like the present to kick things up a few notches to end things on a stellar note.

And by that we mean acing that year-end performance review. The only way to do that? Ace your work, of course. Here are a few pointers to rev things up…

1. Be proactive and meet with your boss. Instead of waiting for ubiquitous year-end meeting with your boss, go ahead and schedule a meeting next week. That’s right — next week. Specifically tell him or her you want to be rated exceptional and you want to focus on your work now rather than get feedback after the fact.

2. Be prepared. Go into that meeting with awareness for your strengths and weaknesses but also your current project load. Inform your boss of the progress and point out how you’re going above and beyond.

3. Ask questions. One way to make the most out of your performance review whether it’s at year-end or not is to ask questions. Inquire about where your role is headed and if there’s a promotion in sight. Find out about the department if there’s been buzz about perhaps doing work with another one, raise that hand and offer to be the liaison. Also, if there’s talk about your company merging with another one, be transparent in your concerns and raise them with your boss.

4. Focus on skill development. Lastly, as you talk about your quest to be reviewed well for your exceptional performance, find out what skills you can further develop and if the company provides training in that area.

While the goal of the meeting is to talk about your current role, always keep your eye on the prize — your next one.