Take a deep breath. You made it through your annual review, but it’s not over yet. Now you have to follow through.
Let’s file this under “Shit I Wish I’d Done Earlier in My Career.” If you’re syndicating this content (thank you!) please disregard that sentence.
Your annual review is an important opportunity for you to learn and improve. It’s also your responsibility to make sure that you really understand everything in the review and can implement it moving forward. People may think that something has been alluded to, or that something can be inferred, but it’s important for everyone involved to be on the same page. Here’s the system I recently implemented (and wish I had done much sooner). Luckily we can all learn from our mistakes.
Write a Game Plan:
Write down the main themes in the areas for improvement. Write down specific action items for how you can address these areas in the future. Make sure that they are all action-oriented so that you can check them off and keep track of your progress. For example, if the point is better communication with team members, write down three things you will do to achieve this, like answer emails faster, get to inbox zero by the end of every day, and speak up more in meetings. Now write down the main themes from the areas that were your strengths. Do the same thing so that you can replicate your successes moving forward.
Set Up a Follow-Up Meeting:
Set up a meeting with your manager so that you have the opportunity to clarify any questions. Print out your game plan and give it to your manager so that you can talk through it together. Believe me, he/she will be impressed that you were so proactive, and you’ll feel better knowing that you truly understand what you need to do.
Set Up Another Follow-Up Meeting:
If you asked for a promotion or raise but didn’t get one, set aside a date to revisit the conversation. No doesn’t mean no, it just means not right now. Put the meeting on both your calendar and your manager’s calendar to ensure that everyone is prepared. Just make sure that you do all the goals that were discussed prior, otherwise the follow-up meeting will be unnecessary and ineffective.
Keep Your Game Plan Nearby:
It’s very easy to take a deep breath after your review and then forget to follow up on everything. Keep your plan nearby and read through it at the end of every week so that it’s always fresh in your mind. I recommend checking it whenever you write in your work journal.
These tips will impress your manager and set you up for success. You’ve got this!
Image via Cupcakes and Cashemere