Putting a little bit of extra effort can help at year end
AS the end of the year draws closer, everyone get busy with planning for holiday vacations, making new year resolutions or hoping for better year to come. But the year isn't over yet and whatever is on your agenda, the coming few weeks can be crucial in determining how the new year is going to unfold for you and for your career. In fact, in many organizations this is the decisionmaking time when promotions and pay raises may be considered just as budget and staff cost reduction. If you want to ensure your position in the group that is getting ahead with more responsibility and, perhaps a higher title, now is the time to wrap up your year on the right foot, and make a strong impression with tangible results and accomplishments.
Needless to say, if you've not performed well throughout the year, it may be difficult to recover in a matter of weeks. But if you are one of the majority of people whose performance falls within the healthy range, putting a little bit of extra effort and interest can pay handsomely - both in abstract and literal terms.
Each company has its own way in setting and measuring employee performance, but if you have a written set of goals, having them fully accomplished is not negotiable. If your appraisal is due by the end of year, you need to check immediately where you stand on each and every goal. Now is still a good time to approach your supervisor and ask for help if you think one or more of your goals won't be accomplished on time even though it is always better to express these concerns as early as possible in the process. In short, get a close look at your goals and make sure you'll be able to nail that year-end appraisal.
Managers are different - and no everyone is good when it comes to communicating performance problems or issues through the course of the assessment period. If you're trying to preempt any surprise problems at the appraisal/assessment time, initiate and request your supervisor's feedback regularly. Don't only wait until you've a crisis on your hands to ask for help or advice, try to have weekly, biweekly or even monthly meetings where you go over your top issues, explain your progress on various projects and get your manager involved as needed. By doing so, you should be in better position as far as understanding your supervisor's expectations and priorities. One note, however, try to balance your requests for feedback and your ability to make decisions independently.
You don't want to undermine your own chances of promotion by appearing unable to work without continuous supervision.
One way to demonstrate that you're not scrambling to the last minute to catch up with your goals is to provide some forward-looking plans. For those in managerial position in particular, setting time aside to explain to your manager how you plan to improve you depart- ment's procedures or performance can show that you're on top of your work and you even think of how to take it a step higher.
This is the mentality and initiative that can earn you a promotion. However, be sure that you actually have well-thought out plans that are realistic and doable. If you come up with grand ideas and fail to deliver on them later on you will be shooting yourself in the foot.
Many new-year resolutions go around looking for and finding a new job. While this may remain as a priority for if you have not been satisfied with your current job, it is important to also be ready to dis- cuss with your supervisors the available alternatives within your own organization. Once again, only if you're performing well in your current job, you'll be able to position yourself for an internal move. That is why you need to be ready not only with your proposal for why you deserve a new job, but also with a clear quantitative way in which you describe your accomplishments in your current job.