It’s that time, dear readers. My one year anniversary is rapidly approaching – along with it – the inevitable "review." Below you will find some "tips." Basically, a few items I keep repeating in my head. Please leave a comment below and share your words of wisdom! I don’t care what those monster sites have to say – I love hearing from REAL people who bust their butts everyday! Subscribe to the blog.
Ask early. Your review is extra work for your boss. He’ll likely stall until the last minute – potentially holding up the process. Sure you’ll get some retro money – but you also have to suffer with some extra butterflies in the tummy for a few days, weeks or even months. Remind your boss early and often without being a pain in the ass.
Get a copy. Before you sign off, ask if you can have a copy of your review to review overnight. This way, you can look for items that you feel are missing or unfair and challenge them.
You’re unique. Create a case for the one-of-a-kindness of your situation. What you bring to the table is special and you don’t expect the 3% everyone else will sheepishly walk away with.
Emphasis on numbers. You must clearly articulate why those projects you were involved with were a success. The same way numbers catch your eye on a blog or in the newspaper – they will catch your boss’s eye too.
Six months. If you’re disappointed and feel secure in your status with the organization – recommend that you get another review in six months. Set goals and bust your ass.
Get a letter. If you listen to the podcast, you already know that this might be the perfect time to ask for a letter of recommendation "for your files." (Show #61) Sometimes, it’s difficult to ask on your way out (plus the boss might be resentful).
Keep a year-round log. Even if your boss doesn’t require any information from you, this will be helpful to remind yourself! We’re quick to forget our accomplishments because the failures leave a deeper scar.
More perks. If you get the budget excuse, "I’d love to give you more, you deserve it." – fire back with non-monetary benefits the company can hook you up with. Shorter hours, occasional telecommuting, etc.
Be prepared. Nothing sucks more then "self-evaluation" questions. What type of work do you enjoy the most? Where do YOU see yourself in a year? etc. Read up and have answers top-of-mind.
Clarification. A review is the perfect time to clarify your job description. Just in case your boss has strayed you from what you were hired to do – here’s your chance to set the record straight.
Reverse order. The talk about salary almost always comes at the end. I would encourage employers to do this first – then follow through with the rest of the process. It’s all we care about. Keep your praise and complaints for later – we want to know the % NOW.
No threats. However, if you are disappointed, I think it’s ok to show your hand if you’re in a "secure" position. If you’re in a place you like at least give them the opportunity to retain you.
Your turn. What annual review advice would you like to share?