Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.
- Helen Keller

How to Leave a Great Impression in 2013

Excellent performance review paperwork

Use the final 90 days of 2013 to focus, maximise your performance and leave a great impression so you are well-positioned for new opportunities.

Control your own destiny or someone else will.”  Jack Welch

If you deliver results and make your line manager's life easy you can both can rest and recharge over the festive break, satisfied in a job well done.

Let’s start with some facts:

  • There are 90 days until Christmas Eve 2013, and then many offices have a lull until the New Year.
  • Leaders at all levels recognise the first 90 days in a new role as a critical career transition period.
  • 90 days is time enough to get on top of a job and move forward.
  • Many companies have end-of-year performance reviews, or end of year accounts, or both.
  • If you do not prepare for your end of year performance review no one else will do it for you.

Take stock

  • Review your objectives for the year (and those of your line manager / company).
  • What did you achieve? What evidence do you have?
  • What did you intend to do but haven’t yet completed?
  • Have circumstances changed? If so update and agree objectives now, not at year-end.

Take action

  • Prioritise: get really clear on the vital few things that must be delivered by year end.
  • Focus on the outcome, don’t sweat the small stuff. Nothing says success like delivering results!
  • Plan your diary for the next 90 days as far as possible; make time for delivery and visibility.
  • What opportunities are there to get in front of people who can get you where you want to go?
  • How can you go above & beyond to stand out?
  • Schedule time to prepare for your end of year review. Schedule a review with your line manager.
  • Compile quantifiable evidence of outcomes you delivered, collate testimonials or praise given by email.
  • Complete mandatory training etc so your line manager is not distracted from your other results.

Take time

  • List and quantify any major challenges during the year, or times when you got lucky.
  • Prepare a STAR statement (Situation, Task, Action, Result) for each objective.
  • What went wrong? What did you learn?
  • Think ahead – what does success look like in 2014 ?
  • What skills, knowledge, behaviours, and attitudes do you need to perform at the next level?
  • Mentally sit in your line manager’s chair, how have your outcomes supported them to achieve their objectives? How can you make their life easier? E.g. comply with company-wide processes or deadlines without being reminded.  How can you present the information so they can best receive it, what suits their style? E.g. a few headlines and a conversation, or a detailed write up and give them time to reflect before you meet. Recall any times when they supported you and acknowledge their support during your review meeting.
  • Condense your objectives, outcomes and aspirations into a minimum set of key messages.
  • Rehearse the meeting as though it is a job interview, maybe with a trusted mentor.

Leave a great impression

  • Deliver a concise, evidence-backed, objective account of your performance in the year and show your passion and credentials for any future opportunities you’re interested in.
  • Ask for specific sponsorship, training or support.
  • Send a ‘thank you’ email and complete any follow up actions as soon as possible.

And finally

It is easy to get caught up in day-to-day delivery; getting into the habit of 90 day cycles provides an opportunity to take a step back, celebrate how far we have come and plan the way forward.

Finish strong... (and save some energy for the festive celebrations)


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- Rob Borland, Validation Engineer, Caterpillar

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