Prepare For Success: 5 Tips To Handle Work Review Anxiety

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Jul. 10 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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If you’re anticipating your annual review and feeling nervous about it, you’re not alone. Even with regular check-ins, it can be hard to tell if your manager has the full picture of your performance over the year. That said, it can be easy to get caught up in worry, but the best remedy to worry is planning.

Instead of letting anxiety get the best of you, it’s time to shift your thinking. The goal is to put yourself at ease and show up more confidently. Keep reading for tips to handle work review anxiety for a seamless experience. 

1. Ask your manager what to expect.

Before your review, ask your manager how you can best prepare for the meeting. Knowing what to expect during your meeting will help you focus on what you can do to equip yourself. It also keeps you from being fearful about all of the ways the meeting could go.

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Source: Yan Krukau via Pexels
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2. Keep a file of your accomplishments.

It’s good to keep track of your accomplishments throughout the year, but even if you haven’t, taking an hour to review your work will help you remember how much you’ve contributed. You may be surprised about the ways you’ve pitched in on projects, taken the lead, and produced results for your team and company.

3. Prepare yourself for feedback.

No one is perfect. Going into your meeting with this attitude will prime you to receive both praise and constructive criticism. Your manager pointing out areas for improvement is part of their job. It’s easy to fly under the radar, but a manager who cares will see your potential and do what they can to support you in fulfilling that potential. If that doesn’t come from your manager, seek out a mentor who can help you reach your professional goals.

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4. Look to the future.

Letting your manager know what your professional goals are enables them to reinforce your efforts throughout the year. Together, you and your supervisor can identify obstacles together. Schedule time to meet regularly with your supervisor as you work throughout the year to progress.

5. Prepare your questions.

Use this dedicated one-on-one time to tap into your manager as a resource. Think about the lingering questions you’d want answers to regarding how your work and performance align with the team and organizational goals. Ask specific questions about what your manager would hope to see more of from you. Get feedback on your plans and, overall, gain an idea of your supervisor’s perspective on where you stand with the company.

Implementing these tips to handle work review anxiety will help position you for a satisfying meeting. By advocating for yourself with your list of accomplishments and priming yourself to receive feedback, you’ll walk away with a better idea of your professional possibilities. Knowing where you stand can help you optimistically create a path forward.

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By: Wanda Duncan

Wanda Duncan is a multipotentialite entrepreneur and travel and wellness writer. She’s slow traveled since 2010 through Europe, Southeast Asia, and parts of Africa and Central America. Find her work in Fodor’s Travel, Her Agenda, The Black Wall Street Times, Love B. Scott, and WeTravel. Wanda is the founder of Black Women Travel and won the Women in Travel Summit 2023 Bessie Awards Social Impact Award and was nominated for the 2021 Trailblazer Award. Connect with Wanda through her website

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