When it comes to the workplace, most people think performance reviews are – at best - a necessary evil. But experts say they can be a great tool for getting ahead. So, let’s bust open a few performance review myths:

Myth #1: They’re a waste of time. The truth is, they can be very helpful. Larry Myler is the author of Indispensible by Monday. And he says that YOU’re responsible for getting the most out of a negative review. So, ask for specific ways you can improve that’ll help the company. Ideally, you want goals that’re easy to measure, like, “Bring in 10 new customers a month……”

The 2nd myth about performance reviews: They determine your raise. False. Executive coach Janet Britcher says that if you wait for your review to ask for a raise, you may be too late. That’s because many companies set their budgets before they schedule performance reviews. Also, reviews typically bring up all the stuff you’re doing WRONG. So, if you want a pay bump, talk to your manager at least two months before your review is scheduled.

And the last myth about performance reviews: You should dispute all negative feedback. No. Jo Owen is the author of Power at Work: The Art of Making Things Happen. And he says you should only dispute inaccurate information because there’s nothing you can say to excuse the truth. But for legitimate criticisms, ask for concrete ways to improve your work, so your next performance review will be stellar.