successcareerfeature-262793_1280It’s summer. You’re in and out of the office between vacations and days off. Who wants to think about a performance review?!

But it’s a fact. Your performance appraisal is coming up. Do you expect to get a raise or are you hoping you get a raise? The difference between expectation and hope is preparation and proactive planning.

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

Much like negotiating a job offer, you must know what it is you want to get out of your performance review, e.g. greater responsibilities, a raise, bonus, etc. You must also be prepared to defend your ask by outlining how you’ve positively impacted your company’s bottom line in the last year. However, it may be challenging to enumerate all your achievements and contributions on the spot during your review. You can prepare yourself by beginning to compile a list of your accomplishments or what I like to call an Achievement Brief. Ideally you will want to start keeping a record the week after your most recent review. But since you probably have not been keeping track, START NOW.

Your goal is to create a document that will help your supervisor with your review and make it easier for him/her to approve a bigger raise based on merit. Supervisors do have latitude and extra funds to reward high achievers. Think of the advantage you will have over your peers who have not taken the time to prepare this type of archive.

COMPELLING CONTENT WINS EVERY TIME

Take this process seriously. Your Achievement Brief should not be cobbled together hastily nor should it be a stream of consciousness that requires literary interpretation. You are trying to secure the biggest raise possible not write the next best seller. The Achievement Brief reflects you as a professional and bullet points should be written in a manner that showcases your contributions and results. It should be filled with exceptional content written in a compelling way similar to your resume. While format and presentation are important, content is king!

shutterstock_150x150Make it a weekly discipline to write down what you did that improved a process, saved money and/or time, increased revenue, mitigated a problem, etc.

A week in advance of your review, send the Achievement Brief to your supervisor with a note stating that you are forwarding a document listing your achievements and results over the past year so he/she can use it to prepare for your review and use it as a means of opening a discussion about broadening responsibilities, a raise or bonus, etc.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR WOMEN

Unlike your male counterparts, you don’t get the raises you’re owed because you do not ask. It is well known that men are much more comfortable asking for raises. Using an Achievement Brief can put you in the driver’s seat and make you more comfortable asking for and justifying your raise.

THE SILVER LINING

If you don’t get the raise, you now have a great list of accomplishments that can be incorporated into your resume so you can start looking for a job with a company who does value your hard work and contributions.

The best is yet to come,
Michelle

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