What advice would you give an employee who is awaiting his or her first performance review?

Your first performance review can be exciting and a bit nerve-racking, but it does not have to be.

Your first performance review can be exciting and a bit nerve-racking, but it does not have to be. If you use these sessions wisely, they will become an invaluable resource for your growth and overall career development.

Be prepared. You should be ready to discuss your accomplishments and overall contribution on accounts. Have examples of your work ready, and share your goals for the next review period.

Have an open mind. Be open to constructive criticism from professionals who have been in your shoes and learned vital lessons along the way. And don't be defensive - those who truly listen will learn from this feedback.

Make sure you understand your supervisor's expectations for your success. Ask specific questions, and be clear on what you need to succeed.

While the performance review is an important tool, don't wait for these formal sessions to get feedback and ensure you are on the right track. Schedule time with your supervisors to check in and discuss your progress often so you won't have any surprises when your performance review comes around.

Erin Weinberg is managing partner at Alan Taylor Communications.

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