Do you want to get closer to your dream job? Get ready with us for your end-of-year evaluation!

by | Dec 14, 2023 | Career tips | 0 comments

As the end of the year approaches, most employees find themselves gearing up for the annual performance evaluation process. Preparing for this evaluation is not just a formality; it can be a crucial step in ensuring personal and professional growth.

Why should you prepare for your evaluation?

The objectives of the annual assessment are threefold:

  1. Assess performance
  2. Project future development potential
  3. Anticipate the support needed for this development

Evaluations provide a platform for both employees and employers to reflect on past accomplishments, identify areas for improvement, and align individual goals with organizational objectives. By actively participating in the preparation process, employees demonstrate a commitment to their own development, contributing to a constructive and meaningful dialogue during the evaluation meeting. Additionally, a well-prepared employee is better equipped to showcase their achievements, address potential concerns, and collaboratively set goals for the upcoming year.

A thorough preparation can also form a strong base for asking a salary raise, if this is something you are considering. Interested? Read on!

How should you prepare for your evaluation?

To prepare for your end-of-year evaluation, start by reviewing your job description and the goals set at the beginning of the year, either by your management or by and for yourself. What did you achieve this year? Which skills did you develop? What critical project did you work on? Assess your accomplishments and contributions, taking note of specific achievements and any challenges faced.

Consider gathering feedback from colleagues and clients, as their perspectives can provide valuable insights. Identify areas where you’ve excelled and those that may require improvement. It’s also crucial to be aware of any changes in the organization, industry trends, or market conditions that may have impacted your performance. Align your achievements with the company’s strategic objectives to highlight your value as an employee.


Here is a series of reflective questions you can use to guide your self-assessment:
  • What were my key accomplishments throughout the year?
  • In what areas did I face challenges, and how did I overcome them?
  • Have I acquired new skills or competencies that align with my role?
  • How did I feel this year, globally? How am I feeling now?
  • Did I meet the goals and objectives set at the beginning of the year?
  • If yes, what did I put in place that worked in my favour? If not, what obstacles did I face?
  • How did my work contribute to the overall success of the team or organization?
  • What feedback have I received from colleagues, clients, and/or superiors?
  • Are there any areas where I feel I could / should improve or develop further, to have more impact in my role?
  • Are there any skills that I wish to develop, that I am curious about?

By addressing these questions, you can provide a comprehensive and thoughtful self-evaluation during the actual performance review.

How should you bring up sensitive topics to your boss?

Ideally, you should be able to think of your end-of-year evaluation as a “safe space” in which no subject is taboo. It’s an opportunity to discuss things constructively, and to express both the positive and the negative, in a spirit of mutual respect and in the perspective of an improvement of the professional collaboration. If you feel like this spirit is not present however, don’t hesitate to raise the subject to a member of management or to a trusted person. You should be able to discuss any subject you feel is important to your professional and personal development within the company.

Discussing sensitive topics during an evaluation can be challenging, but is essential for professional growth. When addressing sensitive issues, it’s crucial to approach the conversation with a constructive mindset. Begin by expressing your commitment to your role and the organization, emphasizing your desire to improve and contribute positively. Then, always try and use specific examples to illustrate your points, focusing on facts, behavior and results rather than on personal judgments.

Be open to feedback and suggestions from your boss, and actively participate in finding solutions to any challenges identified. Remember that it is more constructive to try and answer to the question “How can the situation get better?” rather than to “Whose fault is it?”. By fostering a collaborative and solution-oriented discussion, you create an environment conducive to positive evolution and development for both yourself and the organization.

Salary can be a tough topic in organizations where transparency is not the rule (which is still too often the case, at least in Belgium). For concrete tips on how to negotiate it, you can find guidance in our previous article “How to negotiate a salary increase in an inflationary context”.

The answer you came up with to the questions shared above can prove very useful to justify your request for a raise: any proof of positive feedback received, impact on the company’s results, progress made during the course of the year, initiatives taken which have helped improve your work, other’s work or the company’s overall performance can only work in your favor.

Preparing your evaluation can lead to a more meaningful job

Investing time and effort in preparing for your end-of-year evaluation is not merely a routine task; it can be a strategic step towards making your job more meaningful. By engaging in a thoughtful self-assessment, aligning your achievements with organizational goals, and addressing sensitive topics with professionalism, you pave the way for a more constructive and collaborative dialogue during the evaluation process.

Proactive preparation demonstrates a commitment to personal and professional growth, fostering a sense of purpose in your role. As you navigate the evaluation process with diligence, you take a step back to ask yourself how you feel and what you desire in the future, which can not only contribute to your own development but also enhance your overall job satisfaction, making each milestone more than just a performance review but a meaningful step in your career journey.

Unfortunately, in some cases, no matter how constructive you try to be in discussing your next professional steps, you can end up feeling like you are not aligned with your current employer. In this case, it might be time for a change. Read our article on How to find a career that suits you, if you feel lost or unsure of which direction would help you reach professional bliss.

To go a step further, don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your situation, we will do our best to help.

Good luck on a constructive, satisfactory end-of-year review!

Quality & Process Improvement manager, Generations Recruitment

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