Shining without showing off – How to use your performance review to your advantage

Shining without showing off – How to use your performance review to your advantageWhen you see as many people as we do here at Jobwise, you get a real overview of how people see the world of work. One thing that employees and sometimes employers seem to commonly find awkward to deal with is the performance review. For some, it is a chore to be completed, for others, it is an opportunity that they really are unsure how to take advantage of. Some employees see it as almost a disciplinary process and other as a chance to air all their ideas about the workplace. Whatever the underlying approach taken, one of the biggest issues faced is that of evidencing your work and using that to build the next step in your career.

Make the most of your review

Here are a few things to remember and some tips to help you make the most of your performance review.

  • Remember, nobody is your enemy. If you go into the review with the viewpoint that you are going to need to defend your work, then it is going to be a stressful experience. If there were any major issues with your performance, then you would know about it because it would have been raised before now.
  • The review is developmental, and criticisms are there to help you. Part of the review process is going to focus on where you can improve. If you were an athlete, you would expect your coach to look at your performance and tell you where you can improve. Your performance review will work the same way. Criticism is necessary to find the building blocks for your development.
  • Evidence your work with specific information. Every review will have an amount of time set aside for you to talk through what your strengths are, and what you have achieved. Vague answers such as ‘I have worked really hard’ or ‘I am a good team player’ are not going to be specific enough. Explain, with clear examples, when and how you were a team player, or showing times you have gone above expectations will put your work into perspective.
  • Think about how you are useful to the business, and make sure you show how you are valuable. Try to really think about your employer’s needs and how you meet them. Your job must have a role to play in the overall business, so it’s a good opportunity to make sure everyone sees the value of it. Think about the impact you have on the business and then build that into your evidence.
  • Have an agenda and stick to it as much as possible. If you walk into the meeting knowing what you want to discuss and what you hope to get out of it, the chances are that you will have a very successful review. Nobody knows your development needs as well as you do, so this is your opportunity.
  • Choose your attitude and be positive. Part of the reason so many people find the performance review difficult is that they go into it expecting it to be hard. If you approach it as it should be approached (an opportunity to develop and grow your career) you find that your manager will usually pick up on that.
  • Your performance review is not an opportunity to moan about things or complain. It is about you, your place in the business, and developing you as an employee. Of course, if there is something wrong that the management team need to be aware of then raise it, but have a solution as well. The best way to evidence your importance as an employee and the value of investing in your development is to engage with the review process, accept development points, and have realistic career goals that will enhance the business.


If you use the performance review effectively then far from being a thing to dread it will be something that you can use to further your career.

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