It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season means joy and family, but it also means some crazy times in the office, including annual review time. Every year, we have expectations for an annual review. You have opinions on how hard you worked this year, how well you managed your responsibilities and whether or not you were a good team member. Now you’ll find out if your boss has the same opinions,


Before your annual review, it’s a good idea to prepare. Think of this as an opportunity to interview for your job once more and perhaps, an opportunity to lay the groundwork for asking for a promotion. Here are our hints on the best ways to handle your annual review:



Your boss has put work into your annual review and you should too. Write down some specific examples of good things you’ve done this year. Consider adding some things that you love about your job. Mentioning these could lead to more of them. For example, if you mention that you loved working on the company presentation and feel you did a good job, perhaps your boss will push more of those projects your way.


Take notes.

Not only is it simply good practice to take notes in every meeting, it also shows your manager that you care about your job and their opinion of your performance at work. Make sure to note down both positive features and the negative features raised by your boss during your review.


Be ready for criticism.

As someone who has performed many reviews, I can tell you that a manager is always encouraged to deliver some good feedback and also some areas for improvement. You could be the very best employee, but there are still areas for growth, so be ready for some negatives.


Areas for improvement are actually a really great thing. If you note the ways your boss would like you to improve, you could return to them in six months, with specific examples of those things completed and potentially consider asking for a raise, or a promotion. So, if you don’t have any negatives mentioned in your annual review, you might want to ask for some.


And here’s two things to avoid during your annual review:


Don’t discuss other people.

This is your review and not the right time to air grievances. Don’t blame someone else or talk badly about a teammate. It will reflect poorly on you.


Avoid becoming emotional.

Sometimes, tears just flow and tempers bubble. It’s not good to be too emotional in the workplace as it makes other people uncomfortable, so if there’s a way to avoid it, take that way. For me, emotions tend to be heightened when I’m tired or anxious, so I rest the night before a big meeting and try to go for a walk or breathe slowly right before I have to go in.


If you feel yourself getting angry during your annual review, focus on taking notes and try to stay calm. Be polite and ask if you can think about what your boss has said and revisit it in a few days. Taking the time to calm down and think through your feelings logically will help you avoid saying or doing something you might regret.


Annual reviews can make people very nervous, but when you think outside the box, you can see the benefits of having them. We think they’re so beneficial that, if your company doesn’t perform annual reviews, we would recommend asking for one!


If you’re looking for more career advice, check out our other blog posts. If you’re ready for a change in your career, check out our open jobs and apply today!