Your browser is out of date.

Some content may be lost or will not be displayed correctly.

Please install a more recent version of your browser.

Update your browser

Use your appraisal to prepare your next career step

A good discussion between employee and employer is a result of a successful long-term collaboration. You constantly communicate with your manager, but formal discussions such as the appraisal also give direction to your career.

Bright Plus

2 min. reading time

Prepare your next appraisal and career step with this in mind.

An appraisal is a formal discussion between employee and manager the goal of which is to improve the employee’s performance and mutual cooperation. Together you discuss problems and come up with solutions on equal terms. The discussion is only meaningful if it is carefully prepared by both parties.

Prepare for the appraisal in the following way:


  • Agenda: think about the points you wish to address and if necessary add them to the agenda.
  • Self-assessment: Evaluate yourself and think about the objectives which you have or have not achieved. Critically assess why you haven’t achieved some of your objectives and identify any obstacles to achieving them. Were the objectives unrealistic and as a consequence unachievable? Or did you lack specific skills? Did any unexpected problems crop up which were outside of your control? Be honest and don’t be afraid to admit you were at fault.
  • Assess your collaboration and the organisation in general: Identify successes which you have achieved together, but don’t forget to discuss sticking points which could be improved upon as well. 
  • New objectives: Prepare the right arguments in order to give shape to the objectives and thus also your next career step. What do you hope to achieve? Do you want recognition for specific activities or to take more responsibility for specific projects, for example? Do you want to develop your new skills through training? Always start from your organisation’s stand point and align your objectives with an improved running of the company.

Give shape to the smooth running of your appraisal

  • An appraisal begins with a look back. You and your manager will look at whether you have achieved your objectives, why certain guidelines were not followed or which points you have performed well on.
  • The appraisal is a time for laying down new objectives: the company objectives and ensuing objectives in relation to your work. Make sure that your objectives are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-scaled. Discuss where the priorities lie and how you can best organise yourself in order to achieve them. Write them down and make sure all the elements have been mentioned.
  • Make other appointments: record who does what, when or which training courses you can plan. 

Follow up on your appraisal afterwards

  • Plan your objectives in a formal manner. Split the annual objectives up into monthly and weekly objectives. In this way you maintain permanent control.

  • Establish milestones for your projects and draw up a schedule. Note these down in your electronic agenda and add reminders.

  • Sign up for an approved training course or complete the other things on your to do list.

Do you have any other tips for preparing for an appraisal? Then share your experiences with the other members!