You're standing at the halfway mark of the year, and you have a choice to make:
Will you settle for mediocrity, coasting through the remainder of the year, or will you seize the opportunity to elevate your performance, push your limits, and achieve extraordinary results?
It may feel like it’s too late, but the second half of the year holds immense potential for growth and success.
The problem is most professionals drop the ball. Instead of taking a long hard look at where they are at and making changes, they stick their head in the sand and wait for the year to end.
That mistake can cost you years in the long run. If you make every year last 6 months, you'll double the amount of time it takes to grow your career. Let’s change that.
If you know what’s broken you can fix it
The first step towards a killer second half of the year is doing a check-in. I like to call it a Personal Performance Review (PPR).
The goal is to evaluate your progress, identify what’s not working and make adjustments.
If you do this well you’ll:
1) Prepare yourself to have a killer performance review
2) Grow your career much faster
2 achievements with one process. What’s not to like?
Personal Performance Review
Funny enough PPR is exactly what it sounds like. You mimic a performance review to help you understand where you stand and how well you are meeting expectations.
Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture when you are busy with the day-to-day. Taking a step back and asking big picture questions can help.
PPR questions to ask yourself:
Do you understand what your team and company is optimizing for? Y/N
Do you have clear goals and KPIs? Y/N
What percentage of your work is aligned with your goals? 0%-100%
How would you assess your progress against your goals? (1- below expectations 3- meeting expectations 5- exceeding expectations)
Can you provide notable examples to support your assessment?
How would you assess your progress in comparison to peers? (1- below expectations 3- meeting expectations 5- exceeding expectations)
How would your manager assess your progress on your goals? (1- below expectations 3- meeting expectations 5- exceeding expectations)
How would you rate the overall impact of your work? (1-not meaningful 3- small impact 5- moves the needle and impacts bottom line)
How would you rate your level of productivity? (1- not productive 3- getting things done 5- working at peak performance)
How would you rate your motivation to exceed expectations? (1- not motivated 3- interested 5- highly motivated)
How to analyze your PPR
The questions above are divided into 3 sections. Each section would help you highlight a specific problem, so you can take the relevant action to solve it.
Section 1: Clarity and alignment
It is impossible to exceed expectations when you don’t know what is expected of you, or when your work does not align with your goals.
If you don’t have clarity it’s time to have a conversation with your manager and set SMART goals you can work on.
Section 2: Evaluation
Time to take a hard look at your performance so far to make sure you are on track.
Your goal is to get as close as possible to exceeding expectations based on your clearly defined goals.
If you are not doing as well as your peers, you can ask the question: why? Do they have better support, resources? Are they doing something you are not? It’s an opportunity to learn, not belittle yourself.
If you are not sure your manager will assess your performance the same way as you will, you’ll need to understand why. Is it a lack of communication in sharing your achievements? Is it due to misalignment of expectations? Or is it because you are not doing well enough?
Section 3: Blockers
This section is meant to help you better understand what is holding you back.
Is your work not making an impact? Are you wasting too much time in meetings and context switching that you are not being productive? Or maybe you are not motivated enough to succeed in this role with this company or manager.
How to follow through
Taking this personal performance review will help you see where you are stuck, but it won’t solve the problem. Once you identify where you stand you need to take action.
That might look like…
Realigning on expectations with your manager.
Changing your priorities and focusing on value-add projects
Taking control of your calendar and managing your time.
Rethinking strategy and launching new initiatives.
Asking for resources or support.
Whatever that looks like for you the important part is to DO something about it.
The assessment is only valuable if you follow through and make changes.
Crush your next (real) performance review
You know how athletes train for months before a competition? How artists rehearse relentlessly to give a perfect performance?
That’s what PPR is for. It’s a way to prepare yourself for the real performance review so you are never surprised or disappointed. It gives you a way to identify red flags as well as opportunities to shine, so you know exactly what to do in order to ace your next evaluation.
And the best side effect?
It takes away the anxiety of waiting for an unknown future and gives you peace of mind and confidence. In my book, that is well worth the 20 min you’ll put in to go through your PPR.
Don’t let the second half of this year slip away. You still have time to make an impact and grow your career.
I believe in you and I’m rooting for you.