How Nikki Powered Through Her Performance Review #LikeABoss

Annual review time at work can be scary. The days leading up to it has your stomach in knots. Did I meet their expectations? How do I compare to my peers? Did I earn a raise? Bottom line: these meetings can drive you downright crazy.

Nikki felt that anxiety, too.  She wanted to make the most of this key opportunity to advocate for her needs, and she was nervous about being assertive.

She sat down with me to share how it all went down.

Emilie: Hi Nikki! So, tell us why your review had you all shook up.

Nikki: Well, I had been working hard for years, but really struggling to balance my personal and professional commitments. My number one objective was to get some much-needed time off. But I was scared to ask!

E: Yea, that can be a tricky conversation. Had you negotiated any of your benefits before?

N: Yes, but it had been a few years. When I accepted this position last summer, I knew it was a great opportunity in a field I wanted to grow in. I thought I needed to prove myself on the job and that advocating for my own needs might seem self-serving.

Even now, after working hard for our great organization, I felt really guilty about asking for more. Everyone in our office works really hard, so to ask for a raise or time off made me uncomfortable. Having my needs met could improve my personal life and my performance at work, but why should I get that over anyone else?

E: Feeling like we might not deserve a fulfilling or sustainable career can hold us back. So how did you prepare for the meeting and find the courage to proceed?

N: Right. I drafted a short list of my highest-priority goals to keep in mind what I hoped to accomplish during the meeting. I wanted to stay focused on those objectives and not talk myself out of asking for the time off I needed.

I built my confidence up through role-playing and getting specific feedback through practice.

E: Awesome. So when it came to the big day, what did you say?

N: I framed the discussion as a benefit to the organization as well as a benefit for myself. I started by talking about my progress and highlights on all the projects I’m working on. This led to how I want to grow with the organization and what I needed to do so.

The result: I just did it! I asked for the additional time off I needed – and it was approved!

E: Congrats, Nikki! Feel like you’ve made some big progress?

N: Totally. This whole past year helped me think critically about what I need to succeed for the long term – including being mindful of my health and my well-being for the first time, really.

Now, I feel like I’m living the life I want and am better able to communicate my needs. Joining the Bossed Up community at Bootcamp was a big step in getting me here.

E: What advice do you have for women who may be facing a performance review soon?

N: Get crystal clear on what you need to be successful over the long term – and speak up! You are your best advocate.


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