With July just around the corner, we are halfway through 2022. Companies often use the mid-year mark to assess business performance, make adjustments, and strategize on how to finish strong.
Smart, growth focused Finance and Accounting professionals understand the same can be said for advancing your career.
Mid-year reviews or check-ins provide an opportunity for career-focused conversations between you and your manager. They are designed to evaluate and measure how well you are achieving or advancing toward individual and team goals. But savvy employees can turn mid-year check-ins into a catalyst for personal and professional success by entering the conversation with a growth mindset.
The key is planning beyond your mid-year milestones. In preparation for the conversation, you’ll want to focus on your career trajectory, long-term professional goals, how you contribute to the larger team, and where you make an impact in company culture.
Here are four tips to highlight your contributions and leadership to position yourself for advancement, a promotion or bonus.
Focus on your commitment to growth
Review your key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals prior to the meeting. Prepare to highlight how you’ve met or are advancing toward your goals. Detail concrete examples of your successes and business targets, especially in areas that you have excelled or gone above and beyond. For example, exceeded in reaching projected numbers, brought in a specific number of new clients or completed a project before deadline.
Then, transparently explain gaps or areas in which you need support. Don’t be shy in discussing roadblocks, pivots or projects that are “stuck.” The best way to talk about these are:
- Begin with a brief explanation of the issue or challenge.
- Showcase your problem solving skills and the steps you’ve taken to overcome the issue.
- Present your recommendation on how to move forward.
- Ask for the tools, resources or support you need and emphasize how they will be implemented or utilized to achieve the goal.
Ask for candid feedback
It’s critical to seek input on your performance. Not only does this illuminate blind spots or areas of improvement that you might not be aware of, but it also shows that you are focused on accountability and being a team player dedicated to helping the organization succeed. Soliciting constructive feedback highlights your communication skills and self-awareness in personal and professional growth.
Showcase your leadership skills
Empathy, critical thinking, motivation, organization, decision-making, communication and team building. These are some of the traits that managers track for internal promotions. Discussing your effective leadership skills helps your supervisor understand how and why you are qualified for a promotion or managerial role. For example, you may have good rapport with colleagues and are quick to resolve conflicts. You try to see situations from the perspective of your peers, or you consistently accept new responsibilities and opportunities.
If you aren’t clear on what good leadership is, or if you haven’t had leadership opportunities in the past, now is the time to ask for help in building these skills. Before the check-in, think about your strengths and weaknesses and identify one or two areas in which you want to grow. Ask for support with leadership development and explain that you are ready to tackle challenges with new thinking and skillsets.
Make your ask
Whether you are asking for professional development, a promotion or raise, make sure it’s justifiable. Prepare your key points and metrics and do some research. If asking for a raise, detail your achievements and KPIs to concretely explain why you deserve more pay, and research your job title and the labor market. If it’s professional development you’re after, reference some coaching classes or online training that interest you, or identify a colleague who would be a good fit as your mentor.
While some companies defer to year-end for decisions on promotions, bonuses and pay, your mid-year check-in is the perfect opportunity to start that conversation and understand the steps needed for year-end success and to catapult your career.