How to Write Your Best Ever Year-End Review

Life isn’t easy, but The Cosmos is here for you. We’re creating How To Guides for Asian women, by Asian women to unpack and tackle the real shit we go through. Because we deserve to flourish and thrive together.

If you are not required to write a year-end review for your company or client, this guide can still be helpful. Take a moment to reflect on your work year with us to set yourself up for a success in 2019!

Writing your self-review is probably the last thing you want to do before the holidays (I promise to do mine after one more episode of Terrace House...) but it’s one of the most important steps to owning your career success.

F*ck the patriarchy by standing in your power and writing the best ever year-end review. This is your chance to show your manager all the boss moves you’ve been making. Research shows that women are less likely to talk about our achievements, which can hold us back from promotion and leadership opportunities. We know this can feel uncomfortable / awkward / weird / ”omg do I have to” so we put together this custom guide to support you. All you need is Google Docs to get started!

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  1. Write your career goal in big bold font at the top of the Google Doc. "I want to _______."  A promotion? A cross-lateral move? An opportunity to work with a new exciting partner or client?

    1. Cosmos Tip: An impactful review is more than a summary of what you did. It’s your chance to orient your manager around YOUR career goals, to help them become your best champion. By writing it at the top, you can anchor your review around this outcome and get your message across.

  2. Now write a 1-sentence “headline” that describes your work this year. Imagine you’re on the front page of the New York Times. What would it say? 

  3. Identify 3-5 specific situations that support that headline. Consider using the Situation / Behavior / Impact framework:

    1. Situation: What happened? What was the context? 

    2. Behavior: What did you do? 

    3. Impact: What impact did that have on your company, team, customer, user, etc.?

    4. Use “I” statements -- yes, your team helped, but this review is about YOU. Don't hesitate to let your contributions shine!

    5. Cosmos Tip: Start a fresh Google Doc at the beginning of the next year so you can proactively drop scenarios throughout the year. This way, you aren’t stuck wondering WTF happened next time around!

  4. If you’re asked to provide peer reviews, make a shortlist of 3-5 people who’ve worked closely with you. Don’t just choose your friends -- think about the people who worked most closely with you. Grab a coffee with them and let them know your goal (see step 1!). Being more hands-on in the process empowers your colleagues to advocate authentically for you - the first step to helping others help you is to ask, the second step is to show them how!