Performance reviews are valuable tools to help you and your employer gauge growth in your current role. But, these reviews can often lead to feelings of panic because although they speak about your achievements, they also speak on topics you can improve on.

Nobody enjoys being critiqued, but by following a few essential tips, you can enter your performance review feeling confident and prepared.

Write Down Your Accomplishments

If you want a raise or promotion, you should build yourself a deserving case. One way to show your employer that you are an asset to the company and merit a raise is to be able to list your accomplishments.

Create a list of successful projects, the revenue you brought to the company, the new skills you’ve gained, and the client relationships you’ve built. Clearly stating what you have done to improve the company will lay the foundation for your employer to increase your pay or offer a promotion.

Compile Your List of Professional Goals

You can not just rely on past achievements. If you want your employer to understand your role’s importance, you must also inform them of your future goals. Showing you have plans to offer even more results proves your worth as an employee.

It is equally significant to share how you plan to meet these future goals and how they may build on your already completed accomplishments. You want your employer to see that you still have a lot to offer and feel motivated and excited about taking on new projects.

Take Criticism with Grace

Performance reviews are not just about discussing your accomplishments and the great ideas you’ve brought to the company. They are also designed to let you know what areas you are struggling in and where you need to improve to be more efficient. Unfortunately, one of the worst things you can do during your review is to take criticisms too personally. Negative feedback can be hard to swallow, but it does not attack who you are as an individual.

It is vital to remember that your employer is critiquing your professional traits and qualities, not your personal ones. So, instead of getting defensive and explaining how “unfair” certain evaluations feel, acknowledge them and then inform your reviewer of how you plan to fix these flaws.

Be Ready to Negotiate Your Raise

If your review went well, towards the end, you could expect to be offered a raise. However, you shouldn’t accept the initial offer blindly, just as you wouldn’t when you first took the position. Salaries are negotiable, and odds are your employer isn’t offering you the highest increase they can.

If you are going to exchange a better agreement, then you need to be able to back up your claim and prove why you deserve a higher rate. When asking for more money, you should come to the review informed of the current market conditions, including what others with your position, experience, and

skill set get paid. You will also need to revisit your accomplishments to remind your employer why they are offering you a raise.

The Take-Away

Don’t let a performance review intimidate you. Your employer is obliged to help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are. These reviews also help you to know how well you are valued in your current role and act as an opportunity to gain raises and promotions.

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