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April 26, 2024

Performance reviews may not go your way in 2024: here’s how to prepare

This year's performance reviews may disappoint, but gathering feedback and self-assessment can help provide some clarity for your career.

By Amanda Kavanagh

Layoffs feel like they’ve slowed down from a brutal 2023, but new Press Gazette analysis shows how the year really got off on a bad foot.

As reported in our news media job cuts tracker, an estimated 980 media employees were affected by closures and rounds of redundancies in January alone, compared to 8,000 journalism job cuts across the UK, US and Canada last year.

In the UK, Pink News, i-D Magazine, Design Week, GB News, Mail Sport, Vice and AltFi have all seen cuts, and in the latter two cases ceased publishing completely.

Cautious media

While tech and consultancy firms hired rapidly through the pandemic, and have since started to shed bloated teams, this isn’t reflected in media where teams have always been squeezed and hiring remains cautious.

However, losses continue and for those remaining in media companies, there’s still plenty of talk about improving efficiencies and cutting costs, which doesn’t bode well for review time.

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Despite fewer staff and heavier workloads, this year’s performance reviews aren’t predicted to leave most employees feeling elated. But with a little leg work, you can at least head in with a clear-eyed view of your performance by making a list of your contributions to the company, and collating honest feedback from colleagues.

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According to BambooHR, a HR software system, 38% of employees who got the lowest grade in their reviews previously thought highly of themselves and their performance. This is often because managers are not adept at delivering candid, constructive feedback in the day-to-day of the job.

Feedback follow-up

In a high-stress workplace like a newsroom, sometimes feedback can be very blunt, and yet is forgotten by the time a new workday begins. It can feel too busy to take time out to focus on performance failings, but if feedback really jars, ask for a follow-up meeting to ensure the issue is dealt with fully.

It’s painful and awkward, but ultimately, it’s up to you to position yourself as someone who really takes feedback on board – no matter how brutal, and uses the criticism to develop the right skills.

And yet, a single staffer can only do this much. If your manager is disengaged or the company isn’t flush, and a salary increase is a big priority for you, it could be time to look elsewhere.

Multiple studies show that moving companies is one of the best ways to increase your salary by 10% or more.

Ready to find something new? Head to Press Gazette Jobs, where you can browse hundreds of interesting jobs now, like these three.

US Sports Editor, News UK, London

talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station, is seeking a US Sports Editor, a new and pivotal role in its team. The successful candidate will manage a team of writers and be responsible for curating and producing high-quality sports content targeted to an American audience. Think American football, basketball, boxing, mixed martial arts and soccer.

Based in its London Bridge office, the role also offers a 5% employer pension contribution, 25 days holidays per year, up to four volunteering days, maternity leave of 18 weeks full basic salary, two weeks paternity leave, private medical insurance, and discounted gym memberships. Find out more here.

Technical Editor – Community Content, DigitalOcean, Remote

If you’re very salary-focused, a pivot into tech could serve you well. The salary range listed for this remote Technical Editor – Community Content role with DigitalOcean is between $75,000 – $90,000, which is stated is for candidates in the U.S. and will vary for candidates outside the territory.

The role involves acting as a partner and coach to writers crafting technical articles covering software development, frontend development, and setting up and configuring software, while building relationships with external authors through its Write for DOnations program and other initiatives.

You’ll need excellent written and verbal English communication skills, formal or informal experience with mentoring or teaching, previous developmental editing experience, and comfort building and maintaining author relationships. As well as basic salary, bonuses and an employee stock purchase program is available. Read more here.

Editor, Fanatics Inc., London

The job spec for this Editor role at Fanatics is refreshingly straightforward. The successful candidate will be responsible for the end-to-end editorial process, working closely with brand, design and opts to create compelling and innovative trading card and sticker products. Central to the role is selecting, assigning and cropping high-quality photographic images for retouching and production, developing text and statistic-based content, and reviewing proofs for accuracy. You’ll need excellent, in-depth knowledge of current and historical professional sports, particularly Bundesliga, UEFA domestic and international competitions, including Champions League, Europa League, EUROS and Nations League, and a basic knowledge of graphic design, photographic principles, and print production. See more here.

For many more roles hiring in media, visit Press Gazette Jobs today

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

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