Expert advice: Get ready for your next personal development review

Even though you're busy with your work and deadlines, it's a good idea to prepare thoroughly for your personal development review. Because your career is at stake.

By Career Counsellor Jeanette Svendsen

Many people dread their annual personal development review (In Danish: medarbejderudviklingssamtale or MUS), but you should use it to feel the pulse of your working life and your career. Instead of starting to prepare on the day before the interview, you should prepare for your next personal development review 365 days a year.

Keeping a log or in some other way regularly keeping track of your results at work will ensure that you have constant focus on your development.

In the past, it was important to feel secure in your employment, but now you have to feel secure about your market value. And you can only secure your market value if you are constantly developing yourself and you make sure that you are relevant to employers.

Go for tasks that give you energy

As important preparation for the review, the first thing to do is build your own strength-based career plan. Look at your current tasks.

The tasks that boost your performance and give you energy should fill at least 70-80% of your workday. Tasks that drain your energy should not cover more than 20-30%.

Consider the current distribution of your tasks, and what it would take to achieve the right balance to boost your performance and ensure your well-being at work.

If you're not sure about what tasks you're passionate about, look at your to-do list. The tasks that give you energy will typically be at the top of the list, and the less attractive tasks will typically be at the bottom.

Be constructive at the interview

If you have too many tasks that drain your energy, talk about these in a constructive manner at the interview.

Suggest improvements, so that you get more of the tasks that you are passionate about. This will also benefit the company, because you'll perform best doing these tasks.

Perhaps all you need is a few hours of help from a student assistant. Perhaps some of the tasks you're not passionate about can be transferred to a colleague who would love to do them.

Note, however, that you and your manager may have different interests: Where your manager wants to enhance your qualifications in your current job, you may want to develop yourself out of the job. And he or she may think that you're difficult to replace.

In this situation, you'll need a plan so that both you and your manager feel confident that you can smoothly leave your old role and take on a new role. Make sure that, with outset in the company's strategy, you argue that there is a need for your new competences, and point out any vulnerability in the department if you're the only one who can perform a specific task.

Is your job a bomb under your career?

A current trend in Danish STEM jobs is an increasing focus on workplace learning.

This means that there aren't as many external courses and certifications as there used to be, and this is perfectly alright if you're doing the right thing.

However, if you are working on something you're not passionate about, you'll be trained in something that you're not very interested in. This means that your job can be the biggest bomb under your career. Therefore, it's important that you're well-prepared for the personal development review and that you use it to steer your career in the right direction.

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