Understand where you are now to clarify & advocate for what you want
I know what you’re thinking: why would anyone in their right mind start preparing for their annual career review now? For many people, the annual review process feels painful. It’s often rife with administrative processes, inauthentic feedback, and very often disappointment. It doesn’t have to be that way.
So, why start your review process early?
Two reasons. Communication and influence.
The review process is not usually a one step process. If you are simply writing your achievements down on paper and walking away you are likely missing out on key opportunities to share them with people that may have strong influence in the feedback, promotion, and rewards processes. Starting the process early allows you to start having conversations with peers and management so you can get valuable feedback on what the company is looking for and start communicating what you want.
What should I do?
- Counteract recency bias. Bear in mind that people most often remember you for the last thing you did so it may be time to remind them of that huge January win and how much you loved working in that specific area.
- Celebrate your achievements and learnings. Even your own mind can get caught up in the power of recency bias and fall prey to thinking you have had a “bad” year if you only remember what you did yesterday. List out key accomplishments and learnings throughout the year so you can absorb your achievements and talk about them more confidently.
- Know what you want. Inevitably the question will come up of what you want to do in the next 2, 5, or 10 years? Take time to understand where you are now and then look at what you want in your future. It will allow you to highlight achievements that directionally align with your goals and look for gaps in experience so you can ask for projects and assignments that help you fill those in. If you feel stuck about what position you might like next, then start talking to people about what energized you in specific projects or areas that interest you and see what emerges in those conversations. This can help you gain clarity before those final end of year discussions.
- Be strategic. If you are like most large companies, you probably have S.M.A.R.T goals, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. So, when you write up your review, there will some obvious things to include such as if you hit a specific numeric goal or date for example. However, there is often also space to provide context – and what you put there may be the difference on if you are seen as “meeting” the goal or not AND what your management considers when thinking about your next step. While there are probably a million things you did to meet that goal, consider which steps or learnings demonstrate that you are ready for your next desired position and highlight those so that management already has the examples they need to put your name forward.
- Influence what you want. Don’t underestimate the power of these early conversations to help drive the direction of your next step and how you are seen. The truth is your management team is often having conversations long before the review process even kicks off on the amount of your raise, promotions, and upcoming positions. If you want to be poised to be recommended for a bigger raise, your next project, or a position you want, you need to start highlighting your wins and learnings strategically and often.
Market research opportunity: Start your review process preparation with a free workshop on 4th October online in exchange for your feedback. Find out more.
If you still feel stuck, I’m excited to announce that one of my favorite partners in crime, Lindsey Eynon of Start to Thrive, and I are already working on our next generation career workshops off the back of our famous You Step Programme. In the spirit of market research, we will conduct a free workshop on October 4th to help you find the baseline of where are you now? We will walk you through some of our favorite tools to reflect on your year and your career and set you up for step two post-workshop to answer that question of where you want to be 5 years from now. All we ask for in return is that you provide us some feedback, which will be structured into the last 10 minutes of the workshop. To register, click here.
And, as always, if you as a leader, team, or organization want additional support in creating a connected review process that marries values and performance, allows people to hear authentic feedback, and will help take your business forward in a way that honors your amazing people, do not hesitate to contact Livthentic for an exploratory discussion or schedule directly on calendly. I see your spark and want to help you grow it into a flame. You can also join our mailing list to stay in touch or follow us on Linkedin, Facebook, or Instagram.