Your Career >> Browse Articles >> Career Advancement

Your Career >> Browse Articles >> On The Job/Office Politics


8 Steps to Ace Your Annual Review

8 Steps to Ace Your Annual Review

Sara Gallagher | Ms. Career Girl

I’m always surprised when I hear that a recent college graduate has failed to earn a raise at her first annual review. Getting a raise after your first year on the job should be easy. After all, as an entry-level employee, you’re not yet earning a substantial salary; raising it shouldn’t put an undue financial burden on your employer.

Additionally, your learning curve the first year on the job is extraordinarily high. By the time you sit down with your boss for your first review, you will probably have learned many skills you didn’t know the day you interviewed.

Nonetheless, some supervisors are just tough negotiators – and in this economy, budgets are tight and competition is fierce. Here is an action plan to help you succeed where others have failed:

Learn to manage projects.

You probably won’t be managing many people during your first year on the job, but you will be managing tasks and projects. In my experience, the hardest thing to learn as a newbie career woman is how to get started. Fresh out of college, I found myself waiting for my boss to give me assignments. I didn’t understand yet that in many companies, the only assignment you’re ever going to get is your job description. While some supervisors will give you things to work on here and there, you’re responsible for meeting the objectives of your position whether or not your boss gives you step-by-step instructions on how to do so. The great thing about project management is that unlike “people management,” the results of projects are easier to quantify and communicate on a self-evaluation.

Don’t press your luck.

Gen Y has a reputation for self-entitlement and assertive office behavior. Understand that you have a lot to learn, and be careful about suggesting too many changes. Ideas show you have energy and initiative, but constant, unsolicited criticism of your company’s current systems and policies can sever important working relationships. Remember, getting a raise during your first annual review is easy–but so is getting canned before you get the chance to argue your case.

Next Page: Document your success →

Excelle School Finder

Save time in your search for a degree program. Use Excelle's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Sfriezs7400 received the quiz result of "Romantic Realist", 3 days ago.
rharken received the quiz result of "You are Somewhat Introverted", 3 days ago.
dhaynes16 received the quiz result of "Laidback Lover", 6 days ago.
KristinePG received the quiz result of "Your coworkers are calling you Uptight", 6 days ago.
KristinePG received the quiz result of "Your office enemy is The Suck-Up", 6 days ago.
KristinePG received the quiz result of "<b>You Just Need a Vacation</b>", 6 days ago.
wendyM1171 received the quiz result of "You should Set a Date", 7 days ago.
lorealkid received the quiz result of "ENFJ", 7 days ago.
tth gave a thumbs down to The Quiz "How Much do You Know About the Twilight Series?", 9 days ago.