Do you know the performance evaluation criteria for your current role? Most professional services firms publish the performance evaluation criteria by level. If not, you can get the performance evaluation criteria by asking human resources. These criteria are not the same as the job description; they are the scorecard that management and human resources use to grade employees. Knowing the performance evaluation criteria is like having an open-book final exam: You have all the questions in front of you. You can use the questions as a checklist to help you develop examples of how you have achieved what is asked of you at your level.

If it is a promotion year for you, you want to know the performance evaluation criteria for your current level, the level to which you hope to be promoted, and your expected behavior from your manager. Your best case for promotion is to be already functioning at the level above your current level. I have participated in thousands of promotion decisions over my career. When the conversation starts with broad agreement that Jane has been functioning at the next level for a while, then Jane is highly likely to get that promotion.


Why am I so confident that my advice will help you? In the promotion decisions I have been involved with, rarely was someone turned down for a promotion because he or she was not smart enough.

Professional services firms already filter for IQ in the recruiting process. ...

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