This post was written by Alicia Magda, who is a member of the GreekForMe team. They cover all sorts of topics related to the college life experience, including the following article on how to best prepare for and get the most out of performance evaluations at work.
Many grad students pair their studies with a part-time or even a full-time job – it’d be nice to immerse yourself completely in your studies, but well, you have to eat! Just as you seek feedback from your professors in order to improve; it’s so crucial to do the same at your job. Yet, with both employees and managers wearing so many different hats these days, it can be hard for your boss to find time to give you that feedback, and you want to be sure you ask for it in the right way. Here are our tried and true ways for gaining that valuable performance feedback you need.
Schedule Time In Advance
One of the easiest ways to turn your boss off to you is by saying “I really need your feedback now.” Just like you, your boss’s day is filled with pre-scheduled tasks and meetings. Set up time with your boss in advance where they can choose a date and time that works for them. You’ll be demonstrating initiative in wanting to set up the meeting in the first place, patience, and consideration for other’s time.
Document Your Goals and Performance
Think of this like a syllabus. The beginning of a syllabus starts with an overview of the class (your job description), and then goes into detail about the various milestones you’ll encounter throughout the course (the goals you want to hit at your job), and concludes with a list of how your performance is evaluated, based on how well you did at each milestone (list specific ways you have helped the company and how they fit into your goals). Bring this with you to the review, and present your boss with a copy. This will show your boss you’ve taken the responsibility to do a personal evaluation of your work and evaluate how you are contributing to the bottom line.
Follow-up with Quarterly Reviews
Many companies do yearly performance reviews, but it’s easy to fall off track throughout the year or lose sight of a long-term goal. After your initial performance review, be sure to follow-up with your boss every three months, bringing along a synopsis of your goals and company contributions since your last review. Your long-term goals should stay first and foremost on your mind, so consolidate them into three points on a post-it note and stick it on your desk. This will help make evaluating your personal performance so much easier when the next performance review rolls around, and if you know yourself, it’ll be easier on your boss to review you, too!
Share with us your tips on asking for a performance review, whether it’s from your boss or from your professor! Is there anything you shouldn’t do when asking for a performance review? We’d love to hear your feedback.