Let’s be honest, writing your own self-assessment can be nerve racking. You want to highlight the positives, but you know your boss will also mention the negatives. Researchers are just as torn on the topic. Dick Grote, author of “How to be Good at Performance Appraisals” thinks Self Assessments aren’t the best way to assess performance because we’re horrible judges of our own work. Regardless of how you feel about self-assessments, they’re likely here to stay. The best way to handle it is to learn how to deal with it.

For your career pleasure, here are 5 steps to make sure your next performance review rocks.

1. Start with the end in Mind

Before you put pen to paper, consider how the review will be used. This is a permanent part of your personnel record. Consider whether this will influence key decisions in your career and whether this will be viewed by key decision makers. This will help you focus on the key wins you want to highlight.

2. Emphasize your Strengths

This is one time where humility can take a back seat. Highlight the wins you had throughout the year and specifically what you did to ensure its success.

3. Be honest (but cautious) about your opportunities

Be upfront about gaps in performance because (chances are) your boss will be. However, for any gaps you highlight, ensure you have a robust rationale for why the gap occurred and how you to plan to close it.

4. It’s all about you

Keep the focus on what you accomplished and what you did to enable that success. This is one place where it’s not all about team effort.

5. Ask your boss for what you need

There is usually a space on performance appraisals for employees to write about their overall thoughts on the year. This is a great place to mention areas where you need the organizations’ support to enable your success. Whether you request training, a mentor, or additional resources, this is a great spot to ask for it.

Was this helpful? If so, leave a comment in the area below. You never know how your words may impact others. Need a more personalized approach? Just head over to the ‘Work with Me’ section and learn how you can get some personalized career love.

With conviction, courage and joy,



Adwloa Dadzie is a Director of  Human Resources for a Fortune 500 corporation and Career Strategist.  The views expressed in this post are Adwoa’s and do not reflect the views of her employer.  



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