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10 ways to make the most of your appraisal

If the prospect of an appraisal makes you anxious, it’s time to determine exactly what it is you want to get out of the process. Rather than dreading potential criticism and comments on your performance, use your appraisal as forum to gather constructive feedback and a strong direction on the future of your role in the healthcare and life sciences sector.

An effective appraisal should provide you with an opportunity to discuss recent achievements, and what you feel works and doesn’t work in your role. It should also give you the chance to openly review previously agreed objectives and set new ones for the year/months ahead with your line manager.

Any appraisal should be conducted as a two-way discussion where you can speak honestly about your position, aspirations and potential growth within the company.

Here are 10 key tips to keep in mind as appraisal time approaches:

  1. Set your own objectives in advance and be clear on what you want to get from the appraisal process.
  2. Be prepared with examples of your achievements and successes. Every statement you make should be supported by an example.
  3. Show that you’re positive and upbeat. Give a brief but sincere account of your actions and achievements since your last appraisal.
  4. Revisit your last appraisal and ensure you have met its objectives. Think about how you can address any issues that might arise.
  5. Research and gather information on possible courses you would like to take with a view to future career development.
  6. Listen openly to criticism. Remember that an appraisal is an ongoing process, so even if you disagree with what is being suggested, you need to respond in a positive manner.
  7. Try to keep the subject on you, your contribution to the company and your future in a relaxed and non-confrontational manner.
  8. Show that you’re promotion material. If you’re aiming to move up the career ladder, make sure that you communicate it to your line manager.
  9. If you intend to ask for a pay rise, make sure you research what your skills and experience are worth in the local market. Visit the Michael Page’s Salary Centre to view current market rates.
  10. Arrange further meetings with your line manager to discuss your objectives and progress. Regular follow-ups are useful for ensuring that you’re on the right track.