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Mid-year review: 5 tips to feel more confident

Have you ever been prepping for a mid-year or annual review and been unsure what you’re going to talk about? How are you going to spend 30 to 60 minutes talking about yourself and your career progress? Whether you are considering how to progress your career, do more of what you love, or change direction altogether, there’s never a better time than now to talk through your development goals.


Here are 5 tips to confidently approach your next mid-year review:


1. Remember it’s your career


You may work for a company, but at the end of the day it’s your career – where do you want to go?


At Stryker, one of our core values is people, we like to say we grow talent.


What does that mean, how do we “grow talent”? We value our employees and provide them with the resources, time, and encouragement to decide how and where to develop professionally. At Stryker, we support you, but you own your career.


While you’re surrounded by people who are available and willing to help, you’re in the driver’s seat. You’re encouraged to forge your own professional path and to actively seek out education, opportunities, and challenges that will help with career development.


2. Be prepared to review and reflect


Feedback provided in this meeting should not come as a surprise, whether good – or constructive, your review shouldn’t be the first time you’re hearing something about your career development.


Be prepared to discuss things that have gone well and things that have been more challenging since your last progress meeting. Consider what questions you may be asked and having specific examples ready will help build your confidence as you prepare for these conversations.


Questions you can expect to be asked:

  • What was your biggest accomplishment over the last 6 months?

  • What was a miss, and what did you learn from it?


3. Build your career road map


Use this time as an opportunity to build a road map of how you’d like to develop over the next six months.


Before you go into your review ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do you enjoy doing in your current role?

  • What would you like to do more/less of?

  • Do you want to continue to grow with your current team or potentially transition to a new role?

  • Do you have interests outside of your current position that you could/want to develop?

  • Do you have specific career goals?

Already have specific objectives? Great, write them down, according to a study done by Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at Dominican University of California, by writing your goals down you're 42% more likely to achieve them.


4. You can’t be too prepared


Create an agenda ahead of the meeting. Whether you share with your manager or not, having an outline of talking points will help you organize your thoughts and speak confidently to your career objectives.


As you plan consider asking your manager the following questions:

  • What development opportunities are available?

  • Where are there growth opportunities within the company?

  • If you want to stay with your team, be more specific. If you’re open to looking internally at different teams, don’t be afraid to ask. Your manager should support your career growth – it’s better to lose a team member to an internal transfer than to have great talent leave the company!

  • What would make me a viable candidate for promotion? / What skills should I grow to continue to elevate myself?

  • How do you measure my progress?

  • Am I meeting expectations? If not, where can I improve?

While some of the above questions can lead to difficult conversations, remember that development doesn’t happen without intentionality and knowing where you are will help you get where you’d like to go.


In addition to preparing the questions you want to ask, it can also help to consider questions your manager may have for you.


Questions you might receive

  • Is there another role within the company you see yourself in? How can we get you there?

  • How do you think you’re doing in your current role? What would help you improve your performance?

  • What are your ideal work conditions?

  • What (if any) concerns do you have when it comes to giving me feedback? How can I alleviate those concerns?

  • Where has management helped/hindered your work?

  • What motivates you to get your job done?

  • How can I [your manager] better support you?

Candor is kindness – having frank conversations with your superior is a great way to activate change if there are aspects of your job you would like to change.


5. Take a deep breath


At the end of the day, your manager is on your team. As a teammate they want you to be happy and fulfilled in the work you’re doing.


Whether you’re looking for a career where growth and development are supported by your employer or hoping to have a diverse career within the same organization – apply to Stryker. We’re hiring now.


View current openings now.
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