It is that time of year again! I’m afraid mid-year review season is back in town or otherwise know as the time when you have to dust off your objectives from the start of the year and have a look at how you have been getting on for the last 6 months. Talking to your manager about your progress and job performance can be quite nerve racking (although I do know some people that love reviews, but they are also the type that love job interviews…) so it is well worth being prepared. You may think that a half-year review isn’t a big deal but for assistants the chance to discuss job performance, objectives and reward should be taken seriously. We don’t often get to spend that much time with our manager taking about ourselves and we have to grab every opportunity to discuss our role. So here are my 6 top tips for your mid-year review.

Make sure you have a mid year review

My first tip is fairly easy, right? Well no, for some assistants it can be quite difficult to even have a mid year review. An annual review is normally linked to pay rises and bonuses so most managers will conduct a review at the end of the year for their assistant because HR need the paperwork. Mid-year reviews are often seen as a ‘nice to have’ or simply unimportant, so it is put off or forgotten altogether. The good thing for assistants is that we have control of our manager’s diary so we can schedule a mid-year review ourselves. I can’t stress how important it is to have, at the very minimum, two reviews per year. Our role is really hard. It is even harder if we have no idea what our manager thinks of our performance.

Don’t rush the review

Assistants should have the same amount of time dedicated to their review as any other member of staff. It is easy to think we can squeeze our review into a 20 minute catch because we don’t think it is that important or because we see first hand how busy our managers are. Do remind yourself that your role only functions if your manager is happy with your performance. If there are issues that need to be addressed or even processes that could work better the mid-year review is the perfect time to discuss them and move forward.

What objectives have you met?

I’ve been seriously guilty of shoving my yearly objectives into a drawer and forgetting about them until the mid-year review and then stressing that I haven’t met any of them. When you work in a role as demanding as ours sometimes time doesn’t allow you to evaluate your performance. That is unless fire fighting is an objective, and usually it isn’t. Forgetting about your objectives as soon as the paperwork is signed isn’t productive or helpful for career progression. If you are in a similar situation leading up to your mid-year review, dust off your objectives and spend some time looking at what you have accomplished over the last 6 months. You might actually be surprised at how much you have done. Are there any objectives that can be achieved fairly quickly if you dedicate a little time to them? For example, if you have a training objective can you book yourself onto a course prior to your mid-year review so that you have something to tell your manager during the discussion. There are other factors you should consider when reviewing your objective. Are the objectives still relevant? Has your role changed in the last six months? Do you need new objectives for the rest of the year? Are the objectives too challenging or not challenging enough? These questions can and should be raised during your mid-year review.

Print off supporting documents

If you have received any nice emails or feedback from colleagues or clients make sure you bring the evidence along to your mid-year review. You are not gloating or showing off you are simply giving evidence which will support your performance. Managers are often accused of not understanding the role, and I often hear assistants say that their managers do not know what they do. Well, here is an opportunity to tell them what you do and also show then how well you do it.

Look forward to the rest of the year

Split your review into two sections that cover the last six months and the rest of the year. Review how you have been performing but also look at what is coming up over the next six months. This is a good time to look at your managers objectives for the rest of the year and how you can help support them. This is also a good opportunity to ask for more work if you are not being challenged or support if you have too much work.


The mid-year review is a great time to reflect on your own performance and overall feelings towards your role. It is really important that you are honest with yourself and with your manager. it is also important that they are honest with you too. I don’t suggest you tell your manager you hate your role, and you hate them – as much as you would love to brutal honesty is not going to get you a pay rise! Instead, if you are having issues or you are unhappy discuss the problems with your manager in a constructive manner. Prior to the review spend some time noting down what has worked over the last six months, what you have enjoyed and also what hasn’t been working and what can be improved. Come prepared for the meeting, take a deep breath and speak. Perhaps they were unaware of the problems and just needed to be told. If you are really happy and love your manager and the role, tell them that too! Who doesn’t like to be told they are a good boss!