Wednesday, October 10, 2012

5 Secrets to Success at Your Next Annual Review

It's that time of year again -- time for the annual review -- the time I jokingly refer to as "Defending My Life".

NOTE:  I really, really love the movie Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep.  If you haven't seen it, you must.

I know that annual reviews vary so much depending on the type of business, it's size, company culture -- hell, even the preferences of the individual bosses doing the reviews; but there are a few secrets that apply across the board. 

  1. If your company has a form that you fill out prior to your review, spend some time on it.  Don't wait until the day or night before it is due.  I promise that if you give yourself some extra time to start it, put it away, then go back to it, your documentation will be more complete.
  2. Be honest about your accomplishments, but make yourself shine.  Go through your emails, your calendar, everything to trigger your brain to remember all of the great things you did for the agency.
  3. Use numbers if you can.  "My redo of the donor database helped the 2012 event raise 15% more money than in 2011."  Most bosses are all about the bottom line.
  4. Raises are based upon performance at CPD (and at most businesses I know).  While your boss may sympathize with your need to make more money because your husband was laid off, that is your problem, not the company's.  Don't even mention it.
  5. Sleep well the night before and wear something that you love for the review.  My mom loves the expression "fake it until you make it" -- looking and feeling your best can't hurt you and it will help you to shine and be on your toes.

Of course, since I work for a small non-profit agency, those of you in the corporate world may not relate.  I'm sorry.  But don't judge -- as the CEO of a non-profit agency, my "boss" is 28 volunteers -- our board of trustees.  Defending my life can be tough!

P.S.  My #FundraisingFriday gift is going to The Wilkinson Center.  They help put people to work!


  1. I would MUCH rather be on the receiving end of a review than having to give one!

    1. When you have so many wonderful people working with you, it is a breeze. I'm a lucky boss for sure, Leslie!

      Now having to fire someone sucks.