Using Feedback to Fuel Your Career Growth

Is your performance review coming up?

While they can be a little daunting, these reviews are actually a fantastic opportunity for professional development, simply by leveraging the constructive criticism received and turning it into actionable steps for growth.

Feedback plays a crucial role in professional growth by highlighting your areas of strength and identifying opportunities for improvement. A good manager will provide constructive feedback in the form of specific, actionable insights, and praise to reinforce positive behaviors and skills. Together, they offer a comprehensive view of your performance and potential which you can use to advance your career.

Preparing for Your Performance Review

Self-Assessment: Before your review, conduct a thorough self-assessment. You may even be sent a template of questions to help with this by your manager. Use it to reflect on your achievements, challenges, and areas where you believe you can improve. Compare this with your job responsibilities and include any added projects.

Set Expectations: Enter your review with realistic expectations. Understand that feedback is meant to help you grow. Preparing mentally for constructive criticism will help you stay focused on your development.

Active Listening: During the review, practice active listening. This means giving your full attention, not interrupting, and showing that you understand by summarising key points.

Ask Clarifying Questions: If any feedback is unclear, ask for examples or further explanation. Questions like, “Can you give me an example of this behavior?” or “How can I improve in this area?” can provide clarity and direction.


Analysing the Feedback

Based on the feedback received, your manager may provide you with next steps in terms of development opportunities or new key performance indicators (KPI’s). Additionally, you may like to consider the following for your own professional growth purposes, particularly if your’re considering moving roles internally or looking for a new job.

Identify Key Points: After your review, take time to identify and prioritise the most critical pieces of feedback. Focus on what will have the most significant impact on your performance and career.

Categorise Feedback: Separate the feedback into actionable categories: strengths, areas for improvement, and development opportunities. This will help you create a focused action plan.

Set SMART Goals: Use the SMART framework to set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals based on the feedback.

Skill Development: Identify resources and strategies for skill development. This might include attending training sessions, enrolling in workshops, or finding a mentor to guide you. If this wasn’t offered by your manager, put together a proposal of suggestions for their consideration.

Tracking Progress: Develop methods for tracking and measuring your progress. This could be a weekly check-in with yourself or your manager to discuss your progress and any challenges you’re facing.

Record Your Growth: Keep a record of your achievements and improvements. When appropriate, share this progress with your manager and team to demonstrate your commitment to growth.

Preparing for the Next Review: Use the insights and progress from your current review to prepare for future performance reviews. This proactive approach shows your dedication to continuous improvement.

Feedback is a powerful tool for professional development, particularly if you have career goals for progression. By understanding and effectively utilising your performance review feedback, you can set yourself on a path to continuous growth and career success.

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