End of Year Review Guidance for Every Assistant

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We know that having your appraisal can be stressful, worrying and one of the most difficult things to prepare for as an assistant. The lack of support available to assistants at all stages in their career is astounding so to help you have great end of year review here are some top tips from The Assistant Room team.

Ann-Marie Brennand, PA at PRS for Music

For me it is all about focusing on the impact that I have had and being able to demonstrate how my efforts have contributed towards the company’s mission and my Executives achieving their objectives.  It can be all too easy to get caught up in the detail and belittle the actions taken, by asking myself “So What?” helps me to focus on the impact that I have made. Even reversing that and thinking, “What would have happened if I wasn’t here?” can really help understand the impact I have had.  Also, by having a good grasp on what my Executives priorities are, aids my ability to demonstrate the impact I’ve had on areas that are important to them.

Jess Gardiner, Founder of The Assistant Room

It’s important to not feel scared or intimidated by the performance review process and to prepare in advance for what the conversation should include and your desired outcome. Practice makes perfect so take some time a couple of days before your performance review to self-reflect on the year you have had, your achievements and the areas that you need to spend time on improving. Create an agenda so that you feel in control and maintain a two way conversation throughout the meeting with your Exec, asking for their support in certain areas if they would like you to improve on/learn new things. Remember, you are a team and your success and happiness in your role directly impacts their own professional fulfilment.

Karina de-Bourne, Executive Assistant at FTI Consulting

It is so important to remember that we are so much more than ‘just an EA/PA to senior figures’. Aside from the work I have done for my Executives, I like to also focus on the impact I have had on the wider team. We are often the go-between for junior members and management. We are the person they can ask when they are unsure of where else to go. Always remember the power that your position gives you to the wider team.

Kirsi Swinton Executive Assistant Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Find your current Job Description and in parallel write down every task that you do on top of that. Remember most people don’t know what we do, so we do need to take the time to provide a detailed breakdown.

Based on your findings write out your actual JD as it is. Make your first draft as detailed as possible, remember that what you don’t tell they don’t know. So, if it is important, spell it out. Map out your next career steps to show your investment in the company- the training you are planning or already have undertaken. Every new skill increases you value, show how each of these skills can support company strategy. If you also want to negotiate a pay rise, then do some research on what you role would get paid outside of your organisation When negotiating you need to provide clear proof of your value and market research to support it.

To further support you in your ability to prepare effectively for your end of year review we have two resources for you to take advantage of:

Assistant Room Members Masterclass | Performance Review + Objective Setting: A guide for Personal and Executive Assistants. Register here to gain access to the masterclass.

Our Ambassador, Ann-Marie Brennand, has also wrote a blog How to have a great End-of-Year Review, with more tips and suggestions to beat the appraisal anxiety and make this a great conversation.

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