Ah, your end of year review or appraisal…that time of year when your manager tells you how you’ve performed in your role over the past 12 months.

Or is it?

This is your end of year review and your manager’s feedback is just one part of it.

Here are 3 tips to feel more empowered in your end of year review: 


1. Self-reflection and evaluation 

  • Take some time to reflect on the previous 12 months. Ask yourself questions like:

– What has been my biggest learning?

– Where have I focused my time?

– What am I most proud of?

  • To take this a step further, ask yourself ‘why?’ after each of these questions. This can give you an indication of what else has been going on for you that has contributed to your performance but which you might not yet have considered.
  • If something hasn’t gone as well as you’d like, don’t shy away from it in the hope your manager won’t bring it up! Think about why it didn’t go well, what you have learned and what you would do differently next time. Use it as an opportunity to demonstrate your learning and growth.


2. Seek feedback  

  • Seek feedback from key stakeholders, peers, direct reports and people in leadership; anyone you work with on a day to day basis and those you have worked closely with on a particular project.
  • Be specific – just asking for feedback on your performance is unlikely to generate anything constructive. Try including questions like “what did I specifically do that contributed to the success of the project?”. Tailor the questions to the type of work you have done with this person and the nature of your working relationship.
  • Don’t be selective by only asking those people you think will give positive feedback. If you know something could have gone better, this is a great opportunity to learn and gain perspective.
  • Give people time to respond. At this time of year, inboxes can be inundated with feedback requests and most people will want to be considered and thoughtful in their response.
  • Quality not quantity – a couple of pieces of rich, constructive feedback are better than lots of generic words.


3. Looking ahead

  • As well as looking back on this year, it’s an ideal time to think about the year ahead and beyond. Some questions to consider as you do:

– What will I do differently as a result of my learnings from this year?

– What are my longer term career goals and what can I do in the year ahead that will get me one step closer?

– What can I do now with the remainder of this year, to set myself up for success next year?

Now you can use this to think about what you’d like to share with your manager during your review. Highlight those things you want to include as part of your discussion, for example:

  • What are you doing really well that you want them to know about?
  • Where might you need support or resources?
  • Where can you demonstrate learning and growth?
  • What particular feedback do you want to draw their attention to?
  • What are your longer term goals and how can your manager support you with these as you move into the year ahead?


Don’t be afraid to show your manager you have prepared for your review – let them see that you care!

I’ve created a template to help you prepare for your end of year review. You can download it here – carve out some quiet time, grab a cuppa and enjoy the process!

This article was written by Heather Hill, one of Careering into Motherhood’s Partner Coaches.  Heather is empowering quiet leaders to thrive in their career and reach their full potential without changing who they are.  You can find out more and book a free discovery call through her profile page.