It’s the annual review, often dreaded by many of us. There’s your boss telling you everything you’re not doing correctly – or so we believe.

But an annual review actually should be a conversation between you and your supervisor. It should be a time to talk over your successes (and everyone has successes to discuss), what could be improved and the goals you both have for you in your position.

Conversations involve give and take, questions and answers from both participants. Read below for some questions you can and should ask of your supervisor during your annual performance review.

  • I think I need to improve in these aspects. Where do you think I should improve? Many performance reviews ask employees to rate their performance themselves. Even if your review process doesn’t, you should take a sit-down with yourself and decide where you could use some improving. You also should ask your supervisor.
  • What do I need to do to reach this improvement? It may be a case that your boss wants you to learn a new skill, or take some classes/seminars to improve on the skills you already have. If so, it’s perfectly OK to also ask if the company/department could help you with the cost.
  • I’d like to get a raise and/or promotion by this time next year. Could we come up with goals you want me to meet, skills you want me to acquire, projects you want me to complete that will prove to you I deserve this raise/promotion? Being upfront and proactive with your supervisor is a very good thing. You’re not just asking for a promotion, you’re asking what work you need to do to get there. Supervisors love employees who want to work. Just watch as your supervisor happily partners with you to come up with a plan.
  • What are your goals for this coming year and how can I help you meet them? OMG! You want to help your boss reach her goals?! You’ll become a god in her eyes. But, seriously, savvy employees understand that helping a boss reach her goals helps them reach their goals – a promotion, a raise, more responsibility, etc. By asking your boss about her goals and then coming up with a plan to help her get there? Very savvy indeed.
  • I have some ideas I’d like to pass by you to reach these goals (yours, hers and the department’s). Could we meet again in a week or two weeks to discuss them? Presenting your boss with written goals helps your goals (for yourself) become her goals. Aim to schedule regular follow-up meetings – perhaps one a month or at least every quarter – to help your boss stay engaged with your progress.

If one of your goals for the coming year is a promotion or raise – at another company – send your resume to the recruiters at Winston Resources. We can help you climb the ladder at some of Manhattan’s top employers. We look forward to hearing from you.

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