Knowing that your annual performance review is coming up can make your anxiety go from 0 to 60 real fast. It’s that dreaded time of year when you have to sit down with all of your supervisors and discuss how well (or poorly) you’ve been doing during the past year. And even if you think you’ve been doing stellar at your job, isn’t it crazy how many complaints your boss always seems to have?

But news flash, ladies. Your performance review doesn’t have to be a huge stressor. In fact, if you come prepared, you can actually blow your bosses away with your own review.

If your work anniversary is coming up soon, here are a few tips to really rock your performance review.

1. Know what you want to ask for.

Do you plan to ask for a raise? Would you like a work computer rather than working on your laptop? Are you interested in working from home one day or week or potentially becoming a digital nomad? Would you like to ask your employer to match your insurance payment or 401K/IRA contribution?

There are so many different perks that you could potentially be interested in that don’t necessarily have to be more money. Satisfaction with your job can tend to be more important than a higher paycheck.

Think about what it is that you want from your employer, or what would make you happier in your position, more productive, or a better employee. (I have a coworker whose attitude about work did a 180 when she did a three-month stint in Thailand as a digital nomad.)

Then, come up with the reasons that you deserve what you’re asking for. Have you increased the company’s revenue in your position? Have you been a reliable and responsive worker who hasn’t taken a vacation once (yet)? What have you brought to the table in your year(s) at the job that makes you feel like you deserve to be compensated?

For example, I have a coworker who has an extremely unique position. His position at the company was essentially created for him after he applied for a different position and we found out about his other skills. He does graphic design, photography, and videography for our agency. Knowing that it would be nearly impossible to replace his position exactly, he went into his review ready with a proposal for a raise. And he got it.

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2. Come prepared with feedback for your superiors.

Before my review, I was given a list of questions to answer that included things like, “Do you understand your role?” and “Do you know the company’s goals for this year?” among others. Since my review was at the beginning of January, I took the second question as an opportunity to suggest to my supervisor and our CEO (who were both involved in my review) that we have a meeting or company-wide email sent out detailing what, specifically, the company’s goals were for the new year, and how they wanted each of us employed to help achieve those goals.

I also recommended a few new tech options to buy for us to use for our clients. My supervisor and our CEO were both interested in hearing my feedback as to how we can streamline our work, and they appreciated that I was so invested in my job that I had feedback to improve the company.

Prove to your boss that you love your job and the company you work for by coming up with feedback for overall improvement of your own position, or the company as a whole. Keep this in the back of your mind for a month or so before your review so that you will make note of it if you come across an obstacle in your work that could be remedied by changes in the company.

3. Bring a little something extra into your review.

My coworker was recently promoted from Community Manager to our Advertising Specialist (a new position), handling digital advertising for all of our clients. Previously, we each handled the advertising for our own clients. She brought screenshots of ads that were created before she had the position to compare to ads that she had created. The point of this wasn’t to throw anyone under the bus, but to prove just how important and necessary her new position was to the betterment of the company.

My biggest client is actually our own company–I handle our own digital marketing as well as a few of our clients’. So before my review, I put together a 2017 marketing plan for our company and how I planned to specifically implement each item on the list. My supervisor and our CEO thought we were just about to wrap up my review when I pulled out three copies of this plan, handed them two copies, and dove into this plan. They were completely blown away.

If you have ideas for the future of your company, put them into a plan and present it to your boss. If you have documentation, screenshots, or testimonials to prove how well you are doing at your job, bring them to your review to help prove your worth. If you have been doing great work and you know it, use this one-on-one time with your boss to sell yourself and show them why you were such a great hire.

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Your review doesn’t have to be scary if you’re prepared and you know that you’re a hard worker and important member of the team. Try one or two of these strategies during your next performance review and let us know how well it goes.


By Chloe West

Chloe West
Chloe is a College of Charleston graduate with a B.A. in English and a Professional Writing Certificate. She now works as a blogger and a digital marketing professional at a boutique agency in Charleston, SC. She loves the food scene in Charleston, reading and writing, and playing superheroes with her son. Find her at messyroom.co.