October 30, 2013

Showcasing your Skills for your Next Review

business team work building a puzzle isolated over a white backgroundMost people fitting the classical definition of “overachiever” dislike the term as they see themselves in a completely different way. If you are an overachiever, you probably just like learning new things, challenging yourself to move beyond your current comfort zone, and demonstrating your skills to yourself and others. And while others may either be in awe or resentful of your abilities, it’s up to you to take advantage of your unique motivations and get rewarded for your hard work. If you find that you aren’t getting the attention you are primarily seeking, such as from your boss, it is important to question why this is the case. If it’s because you aren’t doing enough to show off your skills or because you aren’t doing enough to track yourself so as to use your accomplishments most effectively, here’s how to use make sure you stand out during your next employee review and get noticed for all of the extra effort you commit to your job every day.

First, while you probably don’t want to be branded as the office suck-up, you do want to constantly display your value to your employer and your willingness to grow and remain competitive. That’s why it is vital to take advantage of all opportunities you have to stand out. Offer suggestions to solve problems, volunteer for large or unpopular projects, and diversify your skill set by helping coworkers with tasks not specifically within your field of expertise. There will always be occasions where you are turned down but you can enhance your reputation by being one of the few who regularly volunteers to participate in tasks outside of the typical daily routine.

The best way to keep up with your mounting list of contributions is to track them. Tracking can be as simple as creating a monthly Word document with a table that lists each task you have done that goes beyond the expectations of your job description. Don’t assume that your boss is keeping track of your accomplishments. If you are ever asked about your value to the company during a review, you have a list you can easily consult to show just how much you’ve contributed beyond the bare minimum.

Tracking also lets you see when your contributions may be flagging so that you can ramp up your participation in other projects. By regularly monitoring your output, you will always be aware of how you are doing and can even help you create new monthly goals by reminding you of ways you have stepped up in the past.

When it is time for an employee review, you will already have all of the information you need to present the positive things you have provided to your company. Now is the time to show it all off and make the best of the face-to-face with your boss by making the case as to why you are the best employee for your job. Of course, make sure your chosen tasks are relevant to your industry and help highlight how irreplaceable you are.


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.