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I feel like an adult. I recently had my first job performance review in my PR career. The only other job performance review I’ve had was as a resident assistant in college. Those were intense and formal. Surprising right? I was required to evaluate my strengths, weaknesses, what areas I’d like to improve on and goals I’d like to achieve. I did very well in past reviews and as a PR pro, it’s not like I’m a stranger to evaluations so why was I dreading this review?
Two reasons: A) In PR, it’s always “we.” In client updates, “the team” garnered these placements. There is no “I”. B) I am my worst critic. Aren’t we all? Unsure of how to prepare for my review, I turned to my trusted colleagues. They informed me that the review process echoes our corporate culture: business casual, and to not be worried. Still nervous, I searched Google for tips and still felt lost. I’m writing this after my job performance review because I worked myself up for no reason. However I figured if I was so nervous others probably are too. Here are some tips on how to prepare for a job performance review:
Be honest when evaluating yourself. If you lie to yourself expect a rude awakening.
List strengths and weaknesses. For some its easier to lists strengths than it is weaknesses or vice versa. I actually turn to colleagues to see what they think are my strengths and weaknesses. This allows me to see how others rely on me and how I am perceived within the team. Also, by knowing ahead of time what others think leaves less room for surprises. Be prepared for the constructive criticisms from managers and appreciate what they have to say.
Evaluate finished campaigns. Lets be real. Not every campaign is a complete success. Some are better than others. Take your best campaign, where you exceeded expectations and compare it to a campaign where you *just* met expectations or fell short. For each campaign make side notes of where and why succeeded/fell short. Bring these campaigns and notes to your review, especially if it is with someone who doesn’t always work with you directly. In my case, my review was with the CMO and my manager. We worked together only a few times so they appreciated having my work in front of them and gave their opinions on how I could do things better even on my successful campaigns.
Don’t be afraid of the word I. One thing I love about my company is that we send around what I call a “kudos” e-mail. If someone gets a great placement, new booking, job promotion, or lands a big client, we’ll send around an congratulatory e-mail. This keeps morale up and helps employees know they’re appreciated. If an e-mail was sent around about me, I immediately placed it into my “personal” folder. If a client was extremely happy with a campaign or/and expressed their gratitude via e-mail, that too will go in my personal folder. These are important items to bring up in your review. This is when I’d say it’s okay to say “I.” If the client extended their campaign because of your work or you landed the biggest placement out of the campaign (that no one was expecting) these are, IMO, essential, particularly when negotiating a possible raise or promotion.
What new tasks/challenges do you want to take on within your company. Think about your next step within the company. What new responsibilities would you like to take on. What goals are you looking to accomplish before your next review. By setting goals you can keep yourself on track and better evaluate yourself for the next review.
These are just a few ideas on how I prepared but as this was just my first review, I would love to hear how our community prepares for job reviews. What are your tips you’ve learned over the years?
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