Your manager is prepared for your annual review. What are some things you should focus on to get ready?

It's time again for your annual review, with all its attendant anxieties, but also opportunities.

It's time again for your annual review, with all its attendant anxieties, but also opportunities. You want to hear praise and get a raise. The best way of ensuring both, naturally, is to meet and exceed your manager's expectations of you. Unfortunately, performance is often not enough; it's crucial that in the annual review, you can demonstrate how well you've performed over the prior year.

Keep a file of client and team kudos. Track projects you have championed, detailing how you've helped win a pitch or shepherd a successful program or media campaign and how you mentored others. It's also good to show that you can learn from your mistakes. Tell your manager how you'd solve a certain problem the next time. List your important contributions, including interviewing candidates, being a new-hire buddy, taking over client contacts, and putting in time on weekends.

For your review, be prepared to listen and take notes. This is your opportunity to learn. After your review, thank your manager for his or her time and effort on your behalf. Don't focus on the negative. Stress the positive and you'll be on your way to another year of growing as a professional.

Cathleen Graham is SVP of recruiting at Ruder Finn.

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