5 Ways to End 2022 Strong

Most companies are expecting cutbacks in early 2023, but experts say strong, year-end performers can avoid being part of that.

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Sondra Levitt

Career Coach, Korn Ferry Advance

With many companies eyeing layoffs in early 2023, experts say the last few weeks of 2022 will be a critical time for employees to demonstrate their value. Indeed, executives at several large companies recently instructed managers to use year-end performance reviews to weed out underperformers.

While a strong performance review isn’t full protection from any cutbacks, it certainly can’t hurt. “Given what’s happening with the economy and some pending changes in how companies are doing business, it’s more important than ever to find ways to set yourself apart, to be successful and shine,” says Sondra Levitt, a Korn Ferry Advance career coach.

But making an impact in so little time is no easy feat, especially with many colleagues winding the year down. Here are some tips:

Tackle priority projects.

Make sure your goals have kept pace with changes in your company’s business objectives and your manager’s priorities. Ask your manager which projects and tasks on your to-do list will have the most impact on your company’s end-of-year success and complete those first, Levitt says.

Focus on emerging business objectives.

Pay attention to where your company is investing money and which departments are hiring new employees, and ask your manager how you can get involved in that critical part of the business, says Nathan Blain, Korn Ferry’s global lead for its Optimizing People Costs practice. During the last few weeks of 2022, focus on what will drive company growth in the next 1 to 3 years, he says.

Invest in your relationship with your manager.

It’s not uncommon for an employee’s relationship with his or her manager to get weaker as more employees work on teams and spend less time with their direct manager completing day-to-day tasks, Blain says. “Make sure your manager knows how you’re contributing to the team and find ways to spend more time with your manager to understand his or her priorities,” he says.

If you work remotely, make yourself visible.

Don’t let remote work limit your success. “If there are opportunities to gather and meet with your team and manager in person, now is the time to do that,” Levitt says. If you work remotely make sure your manager knows what you're contributing and that you can be counted on to get tasks done well, she says.

Show why you’re hard to replace.

Customer relationships are important to the business’s bottom line. If you have a strong relationship with a client that would likely leave if you were laid off, communicate that to your manager, Blain says. If you have special skill that few people at your organization have, remind your manager of your value. “Make sure leadership know you’re carrying an exceptional load and without you there is no plan B.”