I kicked off this series on preparing for next year’s performance reviews with my first suggestion – have a monthly 1:1 with your manager, dedicated to your performance and career.
Now, onward to my second suggestion:
Suggestion 2 of 3:
Document your monthly performance reviews like a monthly diary.
I suggest writing down whatever you’ve discussed with your manager regarding your performance somewhere – a notebook or a Google doc, for example. Keep it lightweight – limit it to one page or less, but don’t scrimp too much on the details. At the end of a year, you should have a page for each month.
Your diary should have pertinent details over time. Write down things that you’ve learned and how you’ve leveraged them in your job. Chronicle what you’ve accomplished and achieved, including the resulting outcomes of your efforts.
Most people focus on outputs: “did X number of code reviews” or “launched Y version of the product with these features” or “mentored two new hires and an intern.” These outputs may look useful, but what’s better is to write down the outcomes. How did your code reviews help the team? Were your team members’ skills up-leveled? The new features you released – how did those impact customer retention, or how did that increase sales opportunities? Having these outcomes shows your impact and can be used to highlight achievements for possible promotions.
And – depending on what your company uses – write your goals down in these monthly diary entries. Write down your OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) or MBOs (Management by Objectives) in your monthly diary entries.
More important than the goal, though, is the journey you’re going to take in the next year to meet this goal. Just as a long road trip from San Francisco to New York City requires you to map out your routes and where you’ll stop along the way, your goal should have a possible journey that can show progress stops.
Having these journey stops mapped out in your diary shows how you’re going to achieve your goal. And – like a road trip – you can always change the route along the way, or even the end destination – depending on how the year unfolds. You might want to end up in Boston instead of New York City, for example.
I hope this second suggestion has started the gears of your mind moving along. I would love to hear any intriguing thoughts you may have about this.
In the meantime, until the next newsletter, cheers!