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How To Craft a Smart, Strategic Self-Review

self reviewAh, the dreaded self-review. Every year  you get that note from HR asking you to think back through your past year and identify what YOU think you’re doing well and what you can improve on.

But for many, the task of calling back everything from the past year is nearly impossible.

Are you tracking your progress? Are you preparing for your performance review? Are you taking ownership of what you are doing?

There are numerous ways you can do this. Here are some tips:

  • Create a dated spreadsheet or Word document (or whatever program you find most user-friendly) to capture everything you are doing. Keep it updated.
  • Use your computer calendar to record a reminder of what you did. Many calendar programs feature a task list you can use.
  • Keep your list of written achievements handy in a file or desktop folder so you can review them at a moment’s notice if need be.

At the end of the month, review and edit your list of accomplishments. If you want to make sure that you get an “Exceeds Expectations” rating on your review each year, track whether or not you are meeting the basic requirements of the job first and then you can add the extra accomplishments (those additional projects or tasks that went above and beyond your current responsibilities.) This will help your boss evaluate what specific things you have accomplished and brought to the department, not to mention the overall organization.

Now I know for some of you the perceived monotony and detail of tracking your accomplishments feels like getting a root canal! It may never be completely painless, but if you can make organizing your accomplishments part of a daily or weekly routine, you’ll find it a lot easier. Doing your self-review in bite sizes – even 10 minutes a week – will pay off.