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Making the Most of Your Appraisals

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 12 Sep 2010 | comments*Discuss
Making The Most Of Your Appraisals

When you left school you probably thought that was the end of reports but in your new job, they just take a different form. Appraisals happen in one form or another in every job so that your manager can let you know how you are doing and make sure you are doing your job the best that you can. To make the most of them. You need to be actively engaged and talk openly about how you're getting on.

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal is usually held every six months or every year and is a check up on how well you are doing in your role. They are not meant to catch you out but for you and your manager to talk about what you are doing well, where you could improve and set goals for the future. They can lead towards a pay raise or promotion so it is important to make the most of them.

Be Prepared

When you know you have an appraisal coming up, instead of being scared, start planning for it so you are prepared. Take the time to look at the work you are doing and decide where you feel your strengths and weaknesses are. Be able to give concrete examples of when you have done well and how you have been trying to improve.

Ask Questions

Having an appraisal doesn’t mean that you need to sit in silence while your manager tells you what they think. It is a chance for you to give your feedback too and ask questions about training, career advancement or issues that you would like addressed. Think about these questions in advance so that you remember to ask them and make sure that your manager gives straight answers.

Set Goals

An appraisal is not only about looking back at the work you have done but also about looking forward. It is a chance for you and your manager to decide what you should be focusing on and set goals that you are both happy with. This shows that you are keen and willing to learn and that your manager is taking your development seriously.

Prove Your Improvement

If it is your first appraisal your manager will be looking at how your role was defined and whether you have met it. From then on your appraisals will also focus on any goals that were set or areas that you needed to improve on. Show how you have done this by giving specific examples and being open and honest about the things that you still have to work on.

Appraisals may not be the most fun part of your job but they are necessary and something that you will have to get used to. See them as a chance to prove to your manager how you have progressed and why they should consider you for advancement. Make sure you are prepared by having examples of the what you have achieved and any questions that you would like to ask your manager. Think carefully about your areas of weakness and suggest realistic goals that you could achieve by your next appraisal.

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