Many professional workers, accountants included, dread their annual appraisal fearing a one-way attack on their performance. Others embrace them as an opportunity to discuss their accomplishments and highlight the value they have added to the business over the previous year. Reviews are a great opportunity to discuss your future plans and potential opportunities for personal growth and development strategies over the coming year.
It is your responsibility to make sure that you have carefully prepared examples of your work and performance, and collated all the facts before going into the meeting. Appraisals can be make-or-break moments in your career and as such it is vital to prepare for them as you would for an exam or an important interview. Think about what you want to achieve in your career over the next few years and how your current employer can help you get there. Ensure you take the time to think about possible training options, additional accreditations and qualifications you are interested in achieving, or how you can gain exposure to different areas of the business to broaden your skill base. This preparation will help you focus your professional goals and provide a roadmap for your career in the long term.
Be prepared to accept that your employer may not be able to meet all your demands and think about what you are willing to accept. Consider compromises that will ensure mutually beneficial outcomes for the appraisal. For example, offer to ensure the accuracy of your work by a certain percentage or guarantee the deadlines for your submissions in exchange for the opportunity to gain access to specific training programs or reimbursing the fee of costly qualification examinations.
Reviews are a great opportunity to discuss your future plans and potential opportunities for personal growth and development strategies over the coming year.
If you have ideas on improving the role, the team, or a specific accounting procedure, then this is your opportunity to speak up. You should take this chance to express your interest in taking on extra responsibility – this is a sure way of getting ahead, being noticed and showing your commitment to the firm and your position within it.
Above all, remember that a performance appraisal is a business discussion. Avoid emotive language and responses to the constructive feedback you may receive. Focus on factual reasons why you should be considered for a pay rise or a promotion, not just because somebody else got it. This is your best opportunity to convince your employer of the value you have contributed to the business and how you can continue to contribute in the future.
Performance appraisals should be a positive experience and an opportunity for you to communicate honestly with your manager about your career progression. Take ownership of the process and the rewards should follow.
Learn more about other career advice and tips.