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I have a performance review coming up soon, and a few of the questions are about how I feel my personal work performance has been for the last year in different circumstances.

I feel my work has been adequate for my position, but out-of-work stresses with my partner such as buying a first home after years of saving, and my partner being made redundant have been pretty tough on both of us, and I have definitely felt a negative impact on my own work from these stresses.

Should I bring these issues up to my managers attention during the review regardless or should I only bring them up if my review is negative? Any advice on how to tell my manager (if I should) would be greatly appreciated.

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You say the questions are about how you feel your work performance has been in the last year, so you should focus on answering that with all honesty possible.

If you feel those personal issues have impacted your work performance in some considerable degree you should consider telling that on your review. This will help your reviewer to have a better understanding of the situation as a whole and possibly understand your possible drop in performance.

However, if those issues have not impacted your work in a considerable way I would refrain from being the first thing you mention as the reason for your performance drop; try to see if there are some technical aspects that could be the ones possibly impacting your work. Bring your issue up you are asked about other possible situations (personal) that could be affecting your work, besides the situation you mention. This also depends on how much details you want to keep to yourself.

It should not matter if your review came negative or not, if you feel the issue is affecting your performance it should be mentioned anyways, to prevent it from escalating. If it came positive your reviewer will see that even under personal issues you performed good, and if it came negative it will help him understand why you performed that way and work for a solution to this situation. Anyways, I hope you can outcome that personal situation and resume your usual productivity. Good luck.

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What do you expect to gain from this? It is not going to improve your current rating. If you didn't tell your boss at the time the stresses happened, then it just looks like an excuse and will likely annoy him or her more.

The proper time to bring up stresses that affect your work is at the time they are happening. This way your boss can make allowances and possibly shift workload. Bringing them up after the fact is not going to impress anyone and it makes you look bad.

However, while your partner losing his/her job is a stress you can probably get allowance for, buying a home is not. If you let that affect your performance, you need to work on compartmentalizing. You should be able to leave these kinds of stresses at the door when you come to work. Serious illnesses, deaths (especially of people you live with), loss of family income, arrests in the family, etc. are the types of serious issues that a good boss will try to work with you until you get past it. Note that you are far more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt if your performance is usually very good.

Note that telling your boss will not likely keep your performance rating from going down, but it will keep it from going down into the unacceptable level usually. But you aren't likely going to get an outstanding or an exceeds expectations when your performance has been diminished.

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