A is for… Appraisals

What is an appraisal? In its most basic form an appraisal is a performance review (usually for work). It might be tied to a promotion or a pay rise and in many scenarios is the only opportunity for you to brag about what it is that you do and for your boss to realise what it is you actually do.

Appraisals (whether they are annual or otherwise) are an important way of monitoring your progress and are usually your official and possibly only record. So no matter how nervous you are or how much you hate appraisals make sure you prepare, put your best foot forward and make them count!


  1.  Note the deadline for completing your appraisal and schedule a meeting with your supervisor in advance. 
  2. Make sure these dates are in your diary.
  3. Prepare by reviewing your notes from your previous appraisal (if it is your first – review the sample form or an example from a colleague who is willing to share). 
  4. Complete the appraisal form in advance of your meeting. Proof-read and review. 
  5. Know what you want to get out of your appraisal. 

Put your best foot forward at the Meeting

  1. Dress the part.
  2. Show that you have prepared (in your answers).
  3. Consider both your objectives and your company’s objectives – equally.
  4. Listen. 
  5. Note your learning points and consider them seriously.

Make it Count!

  1. Keep track of what is being said – plan what you want to get out of your appraisal meeting and make sure you got it. If not, follow up after the meeting.
  2. Understand how it can help with your overall Career Development Objectives – and use this to your advantage. 
  3. Follow up any outcomes/actions points as soon as you can. 
  4. Use it to work on your professional relationship with your boss.
  5. Make sure you get your appraisal form signed off and submitted.
This is an extract from Putting Pen to Paper’s upcoming Career Development Workbook. 

Discuss in the comments?

How important is your career development to you? In your experience – do appraisals make a difference or are they simply a ticking the box exercise?


9 thoughts on “A is for… Appraisals

  1. This is a quite informative list and one which I think everyone should read.
    But, even though it probably goes without saying….it's probably not a good idea to wear your nose ring to an appraisal…? Ditto on that white wife-beater you bought at Walmart…?

  2. That's great information! I have one coming up in July, so that will be helpful.

    In the past, my reviews have been a joke. In fact one time, my supervisor slapped it down in front of me and told me to read it and sign it, that was it!

    But I have a new supervisor this time, so we'll see.

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