If your company runs a regular appraisal process grab the opportunity with both hands. This is your chance to push your agenda and make headway with your career. It’s far easier to advance your case when your boss is actively asking for your feedback than trying to approach them in the normal course of work.

If you’re at all ambitious or frustrated (or both) take time out to think about your appraisal in advance. Don’t wing it. You’ll get far more out of the meeting if you do a bit of planning.

Firstly, work out your goals. What do you want to have achieved at the end of the appraisal session? And tell your manager clearly what those goals are – transparency will help your case.

Secondly, if there is a pre-meeting questionnaire, think carefully about how you answer it. Don’t be modest. Be direct about your achievements and ask for help in areas in which you feel you need it. Collect evidence of any glowing feedback you have received from clients or colleagues and take it to the meeting.

If you don’t really know how the appraisal session is going to be run and what the format is, get on the front foot. Ask your manager for an agenda so that you can prepare properly – it shows initiative.

Of course, this all assumes that you are pushing for recognition and possibly promotion. But what if you’re expecting a lot of negative feedback at the appraisal? If the feedback is fair, it’s always best to apologise, say you will do everything you can to address failings and, where appropriate, ask for help. If you think the feedback is unfair – speak to us.

If you need help preparing for your appraisal, are expecting a difficult conversation, or have any questions about your employment we can help. Speak to our HR experts today.

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