As a new PR pro, your first annual job review with your boss can be nerve-wracking but there are many ways you can prepare in order to feel confident. The purpose of reviews is to evaluate the efforts you’ve made, your growth and your future. So, the more you prepare, the better you can help guide the conversation and put your best foot forward.
(1) Note your top accomplishments so far and be prepared to speak to them and how they align with the company’s vision.
By positioning your strengths with the projects you’ve completed, in tandem with how the organization is seeking to succeed/grow/evolve, you’re demonstrating your commitment to your role. Reiterate what a rockstar you are – even though you should be showing them all year long.
(2) Identify areas you’d like to grow and express vulnerability/how you’d like to fill those gaps.
Sometimes it’s an extra workshop or a class to improve your abilities, occasionally it’s a soft skill that you need to work on in order to have more effective interpersonal relationships… Whatever those areas are, embrace them. We all have growth opportunities – talking about them with your superiors allows for an opportunity to get feedback, and potentially a mentor.
(3) Be honest.
Talk about the parts of your job that you enjoy and why you enjoy them, and about how you’re feeling in your role. Call out your strengths (it’s not bragging!) and indicate your eagerness to continue working harder and accomplishing X goals. Also, feel free to provide constructive feedback about what you need from the organization to continue growing – they’ll appreciate your honesty.
(4) Ask questions.
Ask for more If a piece of the feedback that you receive is unclear, you are entitled to probing for more information. Seeking out feedback and asking for clarity demonstrates your willingness and eagerness, to grow and improve.
(5) Discuss what you’re doing outside of the office to elevate yourself.
Are you reading books to improve your skills? Are you listening to podcasts to elevate your leadership abilities? Have you joined a professional association that demonstrates your commitment to your career growth (if not join our chapter today!)? Tell your boss. They won’t know until you tell them. All your efforts outside of the office, in the name of becoming a better professional, are things your leadership need to know.
(6) Look over the requirements of the job one step above yours.
Understand how what you’re already doing aligns with that job position’s expectations. Be able to speak to your growth areas and how they align with the next job position’s requirements. Explain to your leadership how you feel that you are on the right track to get to that position and that it’s something you want (if applicable). Being future-oriented and results-driven are impactful attributes to share.
Feeling a bit better? Ok, take a deep breath. Go into that annual review with your head held high and your talking points nailed down. You got this!
Megan Bonelli (formerly Peterson) is a Senior Account Executive and Franco and a Detroit PRSA board member/blog committee chair.
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