How to ace your quarterly review

Quarterly Reviews are becoming more common in workplaces around Ireland.

Overtaking the annual review, they are regarded as a more productive way of setting targets, evaluating productivity while providing people with a forum to discuss their professional objectives and concerns.

Usually, staff members are notified of their appointment time for their review; they will mark it in the diary and proceed to attend on the day. However, often people are completely unprepared and miss an opportunity to use their review to set their own career agenda.

A lot depends on the outcome of these meetings.  Even if your manager is someone with whom you have worked closely for some time and someone with whom you may be on the best of terms with, don’t underestimate their sense of responsibility when carrying our your appraisal.

No matter how pleasant and how well you got on in the workplace the review will be a review, hard-nosed and factual. Keep in mind they are going through the very same process with their manager and if they are seen to be not applying themselves to the process seriously and delivering well-considered reviews, they too will be censured for not being a responsible manager.

In preparation for your review, you should take some time to examine the main topics you will be rated on and reflect honestly, to yourself how you believe you performed in respect of these.

Be critical, and most of all make a note on what you have learned and how you might deal differently in the event of these situations/issues/problems presenting themselves again. Think it all through very carefully, re-live the events, refresh your memory and practice your responses.

If there were any shortcomings in your performance then openly acknowledge it and relate how you learned from it.  If you are fully prepared you will have anticipated this and will have prepared your response to these other elements of your work under review.

Don’t get emotional in the course of a conversation, you should always remain calm throughout your discussion. Being well prepared will help.

A quarterly review is a great forum to request additional training. Just as your manager is setting targets for you then you should also set targets for them to support your own professional development.

If there are promotional opportunities within your company then this is a good time to let it be known that you would like to be considered. Show enthusiasm and a desire to progress within the business. This can be a little embarrassing when talking to someone you have worked closely with for some time. If you don’t say it, they will never know, so be positive and go for it.

In suggesting a promotion, you will be throwing yourself into a full interview process where you need to be fully prepared as you would for any interview. You need to review your progress, your skills and achievements and most importantly your experience. Do not assume your manager knows all this. Thorough preparation is the key in every situation.

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