The performance review. The moment you’ve been waiting for all year is finally here; where you get to sit down with your boss and have a conversation that could very well determine the next step in your career. However, your annual performance review doesn’t have to be a dreadful experience. In fact, it can be your opportunity to own your success, demonstrate your achievements, and secure your next promotion or raise!

Marketers can use their performance evaluation at the end of the year as a time for self-reflection and professional development. As a marketing talent agency, we know marketing leaders today use performance reviews as a way to guide employees rather than just critiquing them. So, it’s important to recognize that your performance evaluation is a two-way conversation.

What are you exactly looking to get out of your next annual performance review? You don’t always get the chance to sit down with your manager and get an inflow of feedback very often, so use it to your advantage and make your next annual performance review an effective one.

The Key to Growing Your Marketing Career to the Next Level

Ask This, Not That! A Marketing Talent Agency Guides You Through Your Next Annual Performance Review

These questions will help marketers just like you own your story, showcase your accomplishments, and effectively navigate the conversation:

1. What KPIs and goals have I exceeded, and what areas can I improve on in the coming year?

Your annual performance review should cover how your manager thinks you’re performing and what you could have done better over the past year. If your superior doesn’t address this early on in the conversation (as they should), lead the way. Encourage him or her to give you honest feedback – on both the good and bad.

How has your work helped your manager’s performance in doing his or her job? Discuss benchmarks and goals they think you surpassed, and the impact you’ve made on the entire team.

Ask for specific examples where you may have fallen short and for tips on what you can do to avoid doing so in the future. If their answers are vague, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. The more specific they are, the better chance you have at improving and meeting expectations.

2. What goals do you expect me to meet by our next performance evaluation?

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Your annual performance review should be a forward-looking conversation about growing professionally and setting priorities. Identify the specific benchmarks your boss would like you to meet before your next performance review. You can’t meet your manager’s expectations if you don’t exactly know what they are. So, figuring how they’re going to measure your success is critical for improvement.

KPIs and benchmarks will change throughout the course of the year, especially as a marketer, but outlining core expectations helps you know what you should be working on. Of course, consistently meeting with your boss will make it easier for you to be on the same page. Understanding the concrete objectives your manager wants you to meet in the next month, six months, and a year down the line is important. Document your goals as much as you can and keep track of your progress. This will help you streamline and point to goals you successfully achieved during your next performance review.

3. Is there a gap in my skills you’d like to see me work on?

For managers, labeling your growth areas is a challenging yet necessary area in your annual performance review. This question requires your boss to think long and hard about your performance, capabilities, and skills they want to see you develop.

If your manager says you’ve done a fantastic job and doesn’t give you specific growth areas, explain that there’s always a need for learning as a marketer and how your professional growth impacts the growth of the company. This will incite him or her to give you a few specific skills to hone in on in the coming year.

It conveys how serious you are to career progression and also opens up the door to present the skills you would like to develop as well. If there’s an online course or certification you’ve been wanting to pursue, this is a great opportunity to bring it up. Present a good case for why it would be beneficial for your development and the company.

4. What can I do to earn a promotion or a raise within the next year?

If you’ve done an outstanding job in your position, sell yourself! Once you’ve discussed your performance and goals, it’s a good time to ask what steps you can take to get a promotion or raise. However, remember that timing is key here. If you just got promoted within the last six months, it’s probably too soon to seek another one.

Use your annual performance review as a chance to demonstrate how committed you are to grow within the company. If you’ve exceeded your goals, discuss how much of an impact you have on your team and how your achievements have helped grow the entire company.

Most bonuses, raises or promotions are determined prior to performance reviews so don’t expect to get one out of the blue and without a track of success or proof of value to build your case. If this is new territory that’s never been discussed with your manager, it’s at least a good time to introduce it to him or her. Continue to demonstrate how deserving you are of a promotion or raise by growing and producing impressive work in the new year ahead.

5. What do you see as the next steps in reaching my long-term career goals?

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Even if you’ve been exceeding at your job in every way possible, you’re likely not at the climax of your career which means there’s always a next step for you. In the fast-paced world of marketing, there’s always room for growth. Whether it’s taking an online course or taking on a high-profile project, there is almost always something you can do to accelerate your career forward.

Use your annual performance review as a way to share what your personal career goals are with your manager and to discuss what they recommend you focus on to get there. From the skills you’ll need to certain projects you should be a part of, your manager can help outline a roadmap to pursue your ambitions. The skills you develop from any job will always be a part of your lifelong expertise as a marketer so leverage every opportunity as a learning experience!

6. How do you see me growing within the company?

The best leaders meet with employees and hold performance reviews with one true purpose – to help employees progress their careers. Delivering feedback and painting a picture of your future with the company are both things that should be communicated and shared.

This question will help you understand where your manager sees you fit in with the future of the company in the long haul. As an experienced marketing executive search firm, we know any great leader has a vision for each individual employee. If he or she sets expectations for you in the next year, they should likewise have a good idea of how they want to see you grow and progress within the team and organization.

7. What new challenges is the company planning to conquer in the new year?

This question is the perfect chance to show your commitment to not just your role, but the success of the entire organization. It demonstrates that you’re invested in the bigger picture and that you want to contribute to the company’s growth.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to get insights into the industry trends and challenges, helping you stay up to date and succeed in your role.

Final Words

You should always keep track of your progress and your efforts in relation to business goals, and avoid waiting until the end of the year for self-evaluation. An annual performance evaluation, however, puts your career into perspective and is your chance to formally showcase your achievements to your superior.

In order to make sure you’re on the right track throughout the year, meet with your manager consistently. Quarterly evaluations (if not more frequently) are ideal in order to engage with your manager in real-time. Proactively prevent any unpleasant surprises at the end of the year and discuss how you’re doing toward your goals.

As a veteran marketing talent agency, we know the thought of your annual review can be daunting. But if you’re prepared for it with the right questions, you can effectively plan for success and take your career to the next level.

What questions have you found valuable during performance reviews? Share them with us below!

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