How to Give Yourself a Performance Review

The performance review.

A staple in many corporate cultures and something we all have to endure at least once a year. It’s a time to reflect on all you’ve accomplished and where you’re falling short. It’s also a time to set future performance goals and talk about how to get to the next level in your career.

But why wait for your yearly review to do this important exercise?

My first list of goals when I joined MSLGROUP in September 2013
My first list of goals when I joined MSLGROUP in September 2013

Just because your company requires you to undergo a review once or twice a year doesn’t mean that it’s the only time you should reflect on your work. Enter do-it-yourself (DIY) performance reviews, conducted by you!

How will a DIY performance review help your career?

It helps you see your progress, accomplishments and mistakes in real-time, not months later, so you can adjust or maintain your performance level throughout the year. This leads to fewer mistakes, more accomplishments and getting ahead quicker.

Here’s how to conduct a DIY performance review:

1. At the beginning of each month, jot down a list of goals (big and small) associated with your personal and professional growth. The list can be long or short, depending on how much you can realistically accomplish in a month. If you’re unsure with how many goals to start with, try three, like:

  • Complete project X with limited revisions from my manager
  • Help win a new client account
  • Set up one coffee date with a mentor or professional contact to touch base

2. At the end of the month, revisit your goals to see how you fared. Make comments below each goal, noting if they were accomplished or not. If not, explain why and what you could do better next time to meet this goal. If you do reach your goals, explain what the outcomes was, like a job opportunity, praise from your manager, or an award. Also, check in with your managers or teammates and ask them about your performance to add to your notes.

3. After you’ve revisited all your goals and add follow up notes, see if you want to carry over any of the goals you didn’t meet to the next month and/or if you want to create new goals. It’s also great to have standing goals for each month that don’t change, such as attend one networking event.

By cataloging your personal and professional performance and development throughout the year, this exercise helps you keep track of your accomplishments to share with your managers during a required yearly review. Also, if you’re not meeting certain goals throughout the year during DIY performance reviews, you’re able to adjust your approach immediately and start meeting your goals before your next review.

Have you ever given yourself a DIY performance review?

4 thoughts on “How to Give Yourself a Performance Review

  1. great advice as always. Thanks for these tips. At the end of every month I summarize my accomplishments in writing as a monthly report which allows me to keeping a running record of my professional efforts. It’s so much easier to evaluate yourself when you can see on paper what you’ve accomplished and where there might me gaps and needs.

    1. sorry for the typos in my above comments. I need to re-read before submitting in the future. I think you got what I was meaning. (“keep” instead of “keeping” and “b”e instead of “me”).

      A couple of other tips: Go beyond what is expected of you and challenge yourself to try new approaches in getting the job done. Also do things that make your work and you stand out from everything and everyone else.

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