It’s a meeting we are always looking forward to over the course of our careers. The coveted performance review. It’s a chance to understand where you stand and go over how you’ve been progressing over the past few months. You are aware you will get some praise along with some constructive criticism so you can know where you can improve, but how should you go about preparing for this review? It’s easy to sit and listen to what your boss has to say;but as you probably know, you want a performance review to be a productive conversation. To make the meeting as constructive as possible you need to prepare in advance. Here are a few ways you can do that.

 

Learn How to Handle Negative Feedback

Nobody is perfect, meaning there is a good chance you will be informed about some things you can improve on. To prepare for this, assess some of your weaknesses beforehand and think of ways you can improve on them. When your boss brings up a weakness the last thing you want to say is “Oh I didn’t realize that.” Chances are you are aware of the things you can improve, and it will go a long way if you are able to tell your boss a plan or steps you are going to take towards improvement.

 

Write Down All Your Accomplishments

As we all know, a performance review often comes with a good chance of receiving a pay increase and this is sometimes negotiable. If you want to get the largest increase possible, you’re going to need some ammunition to prove your worth. The best way to do this is to write down all of your accomplishments from the past few months and go over them with your boss. Your boss is probably in charge of multiple employees so he or she may not remember all that you’ve done. If you have this list ready to go, it will improve your chances of getting a larger raise.

 

Lay Out Some New Goals for the Future

Once you have gone over how you have been doing, it’s natural to progress to where you want to go. You don’t want to just ask what your boss wants accomplished going forward. It’s important to take initiative here and set some goals yourself that you can share with your boss during the meeting. There can be a variety of goals you’d like to accomplish. These can include news skills, responsibilities, or projects you’d like to pursue in the months before your next performance review.

The important take away from all of this is to take the initiative. You don’t want to take the positive and negative feedback and just move on. It’s important to make the meeting a constructive conversation by preparing beforehand.