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Preparing for Virtual End-Of-The-Year Reviews

It is around that time of year where your monthly, biannual, and or annual reviews are to occur. It can feel nerve-wracking to have these reviews because you have a little-to-no expectation as to what is going to happen. This year, in particular, is even harder for some because most companies are still remote. We are here to help you ease your anxiety and understand what you need to do to prepare for these reviews. Here are our best tips for navigating and feeling confident in your end-of-the-year review(s). 


Reflect on the past year


Before you have your review, take a chunk of time to sit down and reflect on your past year at the company. It is crucial to reflect on all aspects of your year, such as how positive/how well you fit into the company culture, management, structure and order, organization, your performance, what goals you achieved, and goals you did not execute. 


Reflecting is the given opportunity you have to discuss with your higher-up as to how you both struggled and succeeded. Within struggling and succeeding, it is also necessary to decipher why you did so. Was it an internal or external factor, and could you have done anything differently to change the outcome?  


Personal reflection is necessary if you want to be honest with both yourself and your superior and if you desire to be as successful as possible in your position. It is a good idea to jot down your main points of reflection and bring it with you into the review, so you do not forget to bring up these topics of conversation. Jotting down your main areas of reflection can also help you gain clarity on areas of confusion.   


Prepare for critiques


We are human, and that means it is hard to accept flaws, challenges, and criticism about ourselves and our ability to perform as a professional. It can be easy to take what your manager says to heart, but to leave the review on a positive note and to grow as a professional, you have to leave your emotions at the door. 


I can promise throughout your review there is going to be some sort of critique. Instead of being blindsided by the criticism, do what you can to prepare beforehand. Make a list of areas that you may not have succeeded in and areas that could use improvement. It’s okay to have flaws within your career; that is the entire point of the review. You are meeting with your superior to understand how you can be the best at your job and where you need to succeed, so instead of looking at it as receiving criticism, change your perspective to see it as an opportunity to grow. 


Taking critiques is not easy, but do yourself a favor and mentally prepare yourself as much as possible. Your superior only wants to help mold you into the most successful version of yourself, so surrender to the resistance of accepting your flaws and take them as a lesson to grow. 


Create future goals for yourself


You should create both personal and occupational goals for yourself before your review. It’s crucial to understand what you want to achieve, how you want to achieve it, why you want to achieve it, and how you’re going to get there. 


It’s just as necessary to create personal goals because you need to develop as a person to evolve within your career. Whether that goal is to stimulate your mind more, work out more to increase your levels of productivity, etc., you must create personal goals alongside your goals within your career. 


Not only should you create goals for yourself before the review, but you and your superior should work together to construct your work goals. You might want to achieve something on your own, but your manager may have an objective in mind for you. Working together with your manager to create a goal will help you understand where they see you now and where/how they see your growth. Creating objectives together will also help you understand their expectations for both you and your title. 


Overall, it is always a nervous feeling to have a review with your manager, so instead of letting that feeling get the best of you, do whatever you can to prepare before the review. We hope that these tips and tricks will help you before, during, and after your work assessment, and we wish you the best of luck!