juliana.performance.reviewYou just came out of your annual review at work and you’re not happy. Maybe you were expecting a pay bump and didn’t get one. Or perhaps you felt like you’d been doing great… but your boss didn’t share that opinion and blindsided you with complaints.

A disappointing performance review isn’t fun for anyone, so here are some steps you can take to ensure that next year’s review won’t leave you feeling the same way.

Check in with your supervisor early. Instead of waiting for your end-of-year review, set a meeting now to talk about goals for the following year and how you can improve. Make sure that these goals are tangible things that you can document and bring examples to your next review.

Ask for advice. Unless your boss is the type that just doesn’t like to be bothered, ask them for specific ideas to improve your problem areas and talk to them regularly about how you are doing. If they are invested in your growth as an employee, they’re more likely to look upon you favorably in your next review.

Work on weak spots. Did your boss complain about your tardiness? Try to get to sleep earlier, set a second alarm, or research new routes to work. Do you have trouble replying to emails in a timely fashion? Schedule reply time into your daily routine and treat it like you would any other meeting – no skipping! Whatever your issues, be sure that you come up with specific ways to address them.

Follow through. If you say that you are going to get better in a specific area, actually do it. Promising things without delivering results can end up being worse for you (as well as creating another weak spot for your boss to talk about in your next review).

Stay positive. It can be easy to get down on yourself after receiving negative feedback, but this can hurt your performance even more, and make people not want to work with you. Especially after getting a negative review, remain upbeat about not only yourself and your ability to improve, but about the company itself – you know you can do better, and you believe in what you’re doing there.

If you truly feel like there’s no way to improve at the company, whether it’s due to unrealistic expectations or your own lack of engagement, it may be best to start looking for a new opportunity someplace where you can grow. 

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