Our annual reviews at Lake Forest Academy take place between the end of January to the beginning of March. I am working on mine right now. (Insert the sound of a record scratching here) What?!?!?!? Yep . . . I have learned the hard way that I need to be preparing for my annual review the day after my annual review (I need at least the day to bask in the positive feedback OR to lick my wounds)
It is hard to remember all the things you did over the course of a year. Keeping a list makes preparing for the review a snap. Here is an easy way to make your list:
- Each day before you head home from the office, write down three (3) things that you accomplished that day. You can start out by adding the things you do every day, but as you continue this practice you will begin to write down the things that are not exactly on your job description. By putting these items down daily on your list you can begin to show the progression of skills learned. This is also a good way to keep track of how much time you spend each day on certain projects if you want to take it to that level.
- At the end of the week, pick at least three (3) things that you did that will continue to show the progression of your skills. Don’t forget to put down things such as watching webinars like Joan Burge’s Office Dynamics, Chrissy Scivicque’s Eat Your Career, Melissa Esquibel’s Excel on the fly and Lucy Brazier’s #Admin Chat or Be The Ultimate Assistant Podcast by Bonnie Low Kramen and Vickie Sokol Evans and Being Indispensable by Liz Van Vliet to name a few. These are all great ways to obtain Professional Development.
- And of course at the end of each month, you will want to continue culling your list as well as at the end of a quarter. Then you will start the process all over again stopping at each quarter.
BOOM!!! Here is your review the start of your review. Now before you go all crazy on me because I have only pointed out the positives, you will want to look at the lessons you have learned. Just as I keep a daily/weekly/monthly list for the things I have done, I like to keep the same daily/weekly/monthly lists for what I call “insight”. Everyone makes mistakes, but what did you learn from it? How would you approach this issue differently? What measures have you taken to insure it does not happen again? Have you found new ways of doing something that takes less time?
I use a two page weekly calendar that I got for free. I take each day and divide it in half. One side for the accomplishments and the other for the insight I gained. I have also used both an Excel spreadsheet and OneNote to keep track of these two lists.
By putting these lists together, you make it easy on yourself for when you need to talk about your accomplishments, professional development (you took upon yourself to obtain) or issues that you need your Executives help on resolving. And if you send this to your Executive on a Quarterly basis, and then send all four (4) Quarters to you Executive right before your yearly review, you will make your Executive’s job easier (because you have essentially prepared your review for them) which is our favorite thing to do. Right?!?! And, BONUS – it can relieve the anxiety we often feel when review time is upon us.
There is so much to glean from these lists including having a reference on how you are coming along on achieving your goals. This is a blog post all by itself that I hope to tackle in the future. If you have some ideas on how to prepare for an annual reviews, please share with us all.