3 Tips To Surviving Your First Performance Review

By Kathleen Connolly

Performance review: sounds scary right? Someone sitting opposite you making judgements on every single thing you have done at work and telling you what they think about it. Well yes, that is exactly what performance reviews are about, but the truth is, your manager is already doing this. Every. Single. Day. The performance review is just a formal way to capture all the conversations you have (hopefully) had and a place to celebrate all your achievements, identify opportunities and assist you with your challenges.

As a manager, I know how important the annual performance review is to my staff especially if it is their first one. Here are 3 tips to make sure that your first performance review goes smoothly and is a true celebration of all your hard work!

1. Be prepared

It may seem obvious, but being prepared to discuss your performance is key to having a positive conversation. Read your position description, make a list of your achievements and challenges, have questions to ask your manager regarding further development, and be ready to discuss ALL of these. Just like your interview to get the job, this is an opportunity to show your manager you are serious about your role and the organisation.

2. Research the performance review process

Whether you are working at a large corporation or a start-up, knowing what to expect from the performance review will help you set your expectations. Before your review, have a conversation with a colleague, your manager, or HR department to understand what will happen before, during and after the review. If you are unable to get information about the process at your work, take the initiative and research industry standards and confirm your expectations with your manager prior to the review.

3. Post-review follow up

The performance review process does not end after the review meeting. It is essential that anything discussed during the review is recorded by your manager and shared with you to ensure there are no discrepancies. What you said and what your manager heard might be two very different things. The document also holds you and your manager accountable for any promises made during the review, such as commitment to training, pay increases, or changes in behaviour. If your manager has not given you a copy of the review within two weeks, send them a friendly reminder.


Remember, your performance review may be an annual meeting but the process is continuous throughout the year. Make sure there are no surprises during your review by discussing achievements, challenges and opportunities with your manager on a regular basis. Good luck!


What to learn more? Check out Lynda.com for further resources on preparing for your performance review.


Kathleen Connolly is the Operations Manager at UTS:Careers, and a UTS Alumni. Having worked in the tourism industry for over 10 years, Kathleen now ensures the Careers team stays on track by providing operational support through resource allocation and reporting.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels.


Author: Guest Contributor

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