Performance reviews and goal settings are a big part of many roles- in all types of industry. This is also true for academia. While each institution has different procedures, different forms to fill out, different SWOT goal techniques, there are many commonalities. I have recently had to complete my ‘professional development management’ form, and identified a few tips for managing this process.
- Think big picture at the start- Coming up with goals for the next year can be tricky, but I find that thinking bigger picture about your future career goals helps. Do you want to be a teaching academic? An expert in a field? A science communicator? Manager? Dean? The Vice Chancellor? Have a rough idea about where your career is going and what you need to achieve to get there. Then think about what ‘small’ goals to achieve in the next year that are aligned with this bigger goal.
- Read Job Adverts- Sometimes it is hard to know what you are supposed to be doing or what you need to achieve to get to the next step. Look at job advertisements for roles at a similar level to yourself and also roles above your current level. Look at the criteria and see if there is anything you’re missing. Align your goals with these.
- Keep an ‘I did that’ file- Throughout the year, keep a file of all your achievements. Your publications, teaching evaluations scores, and conference talks. Also keep notes of less objective things- quotes from students about your teaching, times that you provided leadership or mentorship to colleagues etc. You can use these as evidence in your performance reviews. This also comes in handy if you apply for a new job as you can incorporate this into your cover letter.