Pre-Performance Review Prep

Nov 7, 2019 | Career Development

annual performance reviewAs the year draws to a close, many administrative professionals are thinking about their annual performance review. For some, this is a time to let themselves shine and prove their worth to their executive. For others, it’s a source of stress.

Your annual performance review is a chance for your executive to touch base with you in a one-on-one setting and evaluate your performance over the past year. You’ll receive feedback, discuss your strengths and weaknesses, and work together to set goals for the upcoming year.

Often, I find that there’s a tendency for admins to be passive during the review process. They see it as something that “happens” to them, not something in which they actively participate.

This is the wrong mindset! Smart admins use their performance review to ensure that their accomplishments are being recognized and their executive understands the value they add.

A fantastic performance review takes preparation – and there’s no time like the present to begin!

Start With a Strategic Administrative Career Plan

Your strategic administrative career plan serves as a roadmap for your entire career. It documents where you are, where you want to be, and how you’ll get there. It can help keep you on the right track, take advantage of new opportunities, and guide your decisions. And it can even help you in your annual performance review!

Your career plan gives you something concrete to share with your executive. When you already know where you want to be, it’s easy to set goals that will help you get there. And when your goals align with those of your executive and organization, it’s a win for everyone!

Are you looking for advancement? If so, how quickly? Are you content to stay where you are? If so, what are the skills you need to keep doing what you’re doing? Where do you see yourself next year? What about five years from now? What support do you need from your company and executive to help you get there?

It can be frustrating for executives to constantly have to create goals for their team. They begin to feel more like dictators than a member of a strategic partnership. When you walk into the room with a list of goals that benefit both you and the company, it makes your executive’s job easier and paints you in the best possible light.

If you’re not sure how to create your career plan, there’s help! Our free webinar and 5-Day Challenge provides daily training videos, action plans, and access to the templates and resources you need to design your career plan. We also offer a OneNote Notebook template with more than 30 pages of tips and ideas to help get your career plan off the ground. And members of the All Things Admin Training Center can download even more career planning tools for free. Click here to request your free templates and join the training center.

Track Your Accomplishments Throughout the Year

A pat on the back and a sincere “good job” is always nice to hear – but will you remember it when review time comes around? Can you track down that nice “thank you” letter you received from a client last June? Have you documented all the work you did to make the office holiday party a success?

It would be great to share all these things at your review, but it’s easy to forget them when you’re on the spot. That’s why it’s so important to keep a running file of your accomplishments throughout the year so you can share them with your executive at review time.

Keep track of where your time goes and what you do each day, as well. Documenting your time and tasks is a simple process, and it can be a huge help during your performance review. Are you doing things that are outside the scope of your job description? Have you found a way to save time and increase productivity? Are you effectively balancing your priorities with your executive’s?

The more you can share about what you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, the easier it is for your executive to base your review on your actual duties rather than just what’s listed in your job description.

Share your list of tasks and accomplishments with your executive in advance of your review so he or she has time to give it the attention it deserves.

Show Off Your Portfolio and Procedures

Your performance review is also the perfect time to show off two key components of your job: Your professional portfolio and your procedures manual.

Your professional portfolio is a repository for your career accomplishments. It contains work samples, an updated copy of your resume, details about your educational background, photos of any events you’ve organized, etc. Anyone can say they’ve done something; your portfolio proves it.

Plan to share your portfolio with your executive during your review. If you’ve been at your job for some time, you’ll only need to share the highlights of the past year, as your executive has likely seen your portfolio before. If you’re working with a new executive, however, there’s no harm in presenting the entire thing, although it’s best if you submit it well ahead of your review so they’re not pressed for time. Your portfolio can be a fantastic way to educate your executive on the scope of your skills and the depth of your experience.

Your procedures are yet another way to demonstrate the value you bring to your organization. The fact that you took the time to document and share the way tasks should be handled proves your dedication to the job and demonstrates leadership.

As with your portfolio, you only need to showcase procedures that have been put in place since your last review.

Make Your Next Annual Performance Review Your Best Yet

Performance reviews are intimidating for many administrative professionals. Sitting across the desk from the person who holds your future in their hands is enough to raise anyone’s blood pressure a bit. But when you take a proactive approach and come armed with evidence that supports your value, you’re positioning yourself to have the best possible review!


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures. 

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