Your annual review is coming up and the time is here to write your self evaluation. I get it, people hate annual reviews. Even Yahoo Finance weighs in about exactly how much we hate these and how far from valuable they are. However much we hate them, they still exist, and spending time on them is imperative.
Often we look at these evaluations like we look at most activities that we dread. We think, how fast can we finish with the minimal amount of effort? Your performance evaluation is a chance to ‘advertise’ what you have accomplished. It is not a good time to RUSH THROUGH this assignment. This is an opportunity to SELL YOURSELF in a positive light. It is an annual advertisement for YOU. I suggest you write an annual evaluation even if your company doesn’t require you to do it. If you have little to write about, then resolve to change that in the next year.
What did you do all year? This is your chance to put on the CEO’s hat and look at your performance from an aspect of ‘what value did you bring’? You did something this year, right? Did you contribute to a project that is pushing your company forward? If not, why not do that in the next year? This annual review is your chance to ask yourself if you are really set on making a difference at your place of employment and exactly HOW you are doing that.
Start by following this Table of Contents:
- The Year in Review: Mention notables in performance and contributions that affected the company in a positive way.
- Projects/Major Efforts/Successes: List out honorable mentions and successes that you have achieved.
- Customer/Employee/Supervisor Feedback: Who has said great things about you? You own your brand, and, like an advertising agency, you should be able to find some notable quotes.
- Small Successes/Assists: Don’t forget to mention the small successes or assists. You may have supported a co-worker and helped them to achieve a major deliverable. This is worth mentioning.
- Goals for the Upcoming Year – both Professional and Personal
- Career Goals/Plans for the Next 5 Years
Spend the kind of effort that you spend preparing for a college term paper. So what if you stay up all night to document your accomplishments and set a plan for the next year. Five years from now, it will still be an important piece of your work history. It will not fade out of existence like all of the effort that you poured into those college term papers.
Send out a few queries to co-workers and customers and others that you come into contact with at work. “I am in the process of my annual review. It would be beneficial if I had a chance to hear from you a few key points on what I’ve done well and areas that I can improve.” I’m suggesting that you solicit feedback. You will be more valuable as you begin to understand how you fit into the organization and how others view you and your brand.
Include charts and graphs of key data points. Remember that the goal in this is two-fold, one to raise awareness of your successes with your supervisor and within the company and ALSO to keep an ongoing record of your contributions over time. As your brand manager, you will be able to shape and mold the message about who you are and where you are going based on these write ups. It will also help you in this world of ever changing people, to review with new bosses where you have come from and where you are going.
There are great resources on the web for details on evaluation write ups. The most important thing to remember is that career death is made up of mediocre successes. This evaluation gives you a chance to look over your year. You have time to re-orient yourself to do much better next year. Commit to making a difference. Commit to caring. Commit to delivering a brand that says ACTION, RESULTS, IMPROVEMENT, and GETTING THINGS DONE.
Be truthful and honest in your write up, but also expound on the parts that you played in the successes. Use active verbs. Use more than one verb to describe your accomplishments. Sometimes you feel you should humbly deny your participation or minimize it. Don’t! You are competing for positions and pay with others who will not humbly deny their participation. Lay humbleness aside and give yourself credit for what you have done. Propagate a positive message and reinforce your value and your brand.
by Bethany Williams