Prep Like a Champion For Your End of Year Review

END OF YEAR REVIEW.  Did just seeing those words make you feel a little bit sick?  Did it make you future-cringe (that’s a technical term) about all the flowery language you will be expected to use in your written appraisal? Or did it stir up feelings of past disappointment?

Truly – you are not alone. Before we knew any better at NA the end of year review, or any management review, often involved passively listening to our bosses personal opinion of us, feeling like we had to defend our role/position, or coming to the frightening realisation that management had no idea what we did all day.

It shouldn’t be this way and it is actually easier than you think to switch the script here….If you start now.


  1. DO YOUR RESEARCH… Find out as much as you can about the process. If you are new to the company OR of you were unhappy with how it went last year – schedule 10 minutes with your boss to find out how it will run this year. Get the inside info on what they will be focusing on and if appropriate, ask what your teams budget is (9 out of 10 bosses will happily share this with you and be very impressed you asked!). This gives you the best chance of being well prepared AND lets them know that you really care about your career and the company. If your boss is super scary or for some reason you really don’t feel comfortable asking them these questions, take someone you do like (and trust) out for coffee and get their view.
  2. COLLECT EVIDENCE… If you don’t already have one, start a ‘Thank You file’. Pull together emails or notes from clients, colleagues and senior managers, that say anything positive about you (or your teams) performance. We are not suggesting you paste these into KikkiK scrapbook and present to your boss at review time (though that would be awesome) but rather use this to create a picture of what you have achieved and why you are worthy of recognition (ie. payrise/promotion). Also, spend some time analysing the projects and work streams you have been involved in this year. Make sure you can articulate what went right…and possibly what went wrong if you have to.
  3. WHO’S THE BOSS? … Step outside your role and think about the company as if it was your own business. What sort of results would you want to see? What would you change? Getting in this mindset is truly invaluable and you will be surprised at how it can really expand your thinking and improve your performance.  What would you want to see from your people if you were running the show? Displaying these characteristics over the next few months will get you noticed around the office more than bringing in to share a box of Cadbury favourites or those Paleo cacao protein balls your boyfriend made. Become a superstar in your role so management see you as a leader and consider you for greater things.
  4. FOLLOW THE MONEY…Start a simple list of everything you do that contributes to the bottom line. A sizable sale, winning a new client etc. and add to it regularly, daily if you can, as it’s always hard to remember these details on the spot. Now – This is important, If you are in a role that is not making the company money directly, then we love this advice from The Barefoot Investor, Scott Pape in his article, Ask not what the business can do for you, but what you can do for the business. He suggests you align yourself with the departments that are making money. If you are an exec assistant, you can still contribute by saving money or offering to do additional work for the sales team or marketing department (plus this looks great on your CV). Also – a lot of companies give sales incentives to ANYONE in the company that brings in a new client. Find out if yours does this too and think about your network. Do any of your friends need the services your company provides? Get creative.
  5. SETTING & KICKING GOALS… Have you looked at your 6 month, 12 month, 5 year goals recently? How about EVER? Now is a really good time to do this to make sure you are where you want to be in life and your career. If all you are thinking is “I want to make an extra $10k next year” that’s fine – but what are you putting out in the universe to manifest this? You have to be crystal clear on what you want and setting your goals is a great way to do this.