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Reflect and Celebrate - Year End Performance Reviews

At many workplaces, it’s the time of the much dreaded year end performance review. A time when you are expected to document your accomplishments and meet with your boss to try to convince her/him to give you a raise or a coveted promotion. We have some ideas about that!

Consider the impact you had

Instead of writing reams that your boss is unlikely to read anyway, focus on a few key accomplishments and the impact you had. If you work in marketing, instead of saying you managed five new campaigns, think about the impact you had and the results that occurred.


What were the results of your actions? Did your accomplishments increase revenue or reduce expenses? Did you win new clients (or followers) or retain clients that were on the verge of leaving?

Deadlines - Be kind to yourself

Year end deadlines are motivating for some people and a drudge for others. Be kind to yourself. If this is a self-imposed deadline, ask yourself does it really need to get done and is it achievable in the time remaining? Better to do a task well than rush to get it done poorly. Your boss will likely value your ability to prioritize the important things over completing every single thing on your to do list.

Communication is key

Many of us shy away from regular communication with our boss. Most of us value autonomy and don’t want someone looking over our shoulder all day. The reality is that many bosses just want to be kept in the loop. Make it a habit to check in on a regular basis. If your boss isn’t into in-person or virtual 1:1 meetings, send her a brief email at the end of the week listing your achievements.

Feedback is a gift (yes, really)!

It may not seem like it at the time but feedback really is a gift even if it’s not what you want to hear right now. If the feedback you are getting is all sugar (you did amazing!) without much details, ask about what you could do to leverage this into getting something you want e.g. more flexibility, or a better title.

If the feedback makes you cringe or get defensive, do your best to ask questions. What could you have done differently? More importantly, use the feedback to show up differently. Doing things the same way over and over is unlikely to get a good result.

Celebrate you! As well as your accomplishments.

As you reflect on the year, reward yourself with a treat!

Consider other things you did. Did you show kindness to a new co-worker or home-school your kids while working in a pandemic? There may not be a promotion for best co-worker of the year or to senior director mom but giving begets gratitude, you can be proud of what you did.

As 2020 draws to a close, we’re reflecting on the “annus horribilis” that people all over the world are experiencing together and looking forward to an “annus mirabilis” next year.

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