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How to Learn from a Yearly Performance Review at Work

With a little effort and the right attitude, you can turn that dreaded yearly review into a career boosting opportunity. Learn how to improve in the coming year by following these tips.


  • Step 1: Prepare in advance Prepare for the review in advance. Take notes on your achievements during the year and jot down compliments from your manager or customers that set you apart from your colleagues.
  • TIP: If there are issues or topics you would like to discuss in the review that you do not believe your boss will cover, give him a list in advance so he can prepare.
  • Step 2: Learn the reason for the review Learn your company's reason for giving reviews. Knowing what to expect will help ease any jitters you may have.
  • Step 3: Smile Smile -- it will help you relax and encourage your boss to stay positive.
  • Step 4: Voice your expectations Voice your opinions and expectations. If you feel you deserve a raise or a promotion, ask for one.
  • Step 5: Keep an open mind Keep an open mind. Do not take negative comments too personally. This is your opportunity to see how other perceive you and work.
  • TIP: Separate your boss' emotions from the criticism they offer to learn from their suggestions.
  • Step 6: Keep calm Keep calm -- don't respond with feelings of anger. Wait to address any issues that spark a nerve. Prepare your case to defend against negative comments with examples of ways you overcame the issues and learned from the situation.
  • Step 7: Follow up Arrange a follow-up meeting with your boss to conclude any open-ended issues. Show your boss you care about the company and your position in it.
  • FACT: Studies as recent as 2010 have shown that praise and compensation that immediately follow an accomplishment, rather than yearly bonuses tied to a review, more effectively stimulate enthusiasm.

You Will Need

  • Job
  • Boss
  • Performance review
  • Calm demeanor

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