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A Guide to Career-Progressing Performance Reviews


Performance reviews are a key part of building a successful career, especially for legal professionals. It’s the ideal way of identifying training and development opportunities, ensuring objectives are met and it’s helpful when it comes to planning your career path. It’s a time to talk about performance, development, growth and results with your manager. A lot of organisations conduct performance reviews once a year, though many are embracing a more regular approach. The aim is to make sure that you are on track workwise and it creates an environment for feedback, guidance and career planning.

Preparation and Planning are Key

A good performance review relies on preparation and planning. Think about what you want to achieve, and work back from there. For example, if you are a solicitor and you want to become a partner, think about what you need to showcase in order to establish yourself as the perfect person for the job. You will have been set objectives during your onboarding process, and you need to prepare and plan how to achieve these. Don’t simply take your objectives as a suggestion, come up with a plan on how to achieve and exceed them. It’s also important to think about the values and behaviour that your employer is looking for, and focus on demonstrating that.

Have Evidence of Your Achievements and Results

When you go into a career-progressing performance review, make sure to have evidence of what you are doing and the results that you are achieving. Instead of only tracking recent achievements or those in relation to a specific project, keep an ongoing record of what you are doing well. Include things such as winning a new client, delivering a presentation, helping on a new project and taking on tasks outside of your remit.

Ask for Regular Catch Ups

The chances are, your manager doesn’t know everything that you are doing at work, and they might not know the ins and outs of your workload. With other people to manage, they might not be aware of any stresses or struggles that you are facing, or if you need help. By asking for regular catch ups, they can stay up to date about how everything is going. Even if regular performance reviews aren't common in the business, there is nothing wrong with asking for a casual catch up every once in a while. Not only does this enable you to continuously receive feedback and guidance, but it also showcases your commitment to performing well at work.

Don’t Shy Away From Feedback

You need to know how to receive feedback, as it’s a key part of career development and progression. Though it’s easy to receive positive feedback and praise, it’s also easy to get caught up on negative comments and constructive criticism. It’s likely that your manager will have things that you can improve upon, and you should embrace this information. No one likes to be reminded of their mistakes or shortcomings, but it’s this feedback that will help you to improve and progress in the industry.

At the end of a career-progressing performance review, ask questions. A performance review is a conversation that goes both ways, and it’s the ideal time to find out more from your manager. If they make a suggestion on something you could improve on, ask them how you could go about that. If they are happy with your performance, ask what you could do to be even better. A performance review is also a great time to ask about future opportunities for growth and progression, such as promotions.

If you aren’t achieving the progress you want in your current role, it could be time to seek an employer who values your personal and professional development. Get in touch for a bespoke job search and confidential chat.

Posted by: LR Legal Recruitment