I have a suspicion that many of us out there have a bit of a modesty problem. Modesty can be a good trait, but not when it’s overdone. Because we’re humble, or maybe because we lack confidence, or are just uncomfortable saying how great we are, we don’t share our accomplishments enough, and this can be a problem.
Sharing our accomplishments and our big wins is what…
- gets us promoted to that next level
- gets us a 10k bump in salary
- builds that impressive resume
- gets us that dream job we’ve been interviewing for
There are so many times when we need to sell ourselves. I’ll write a lot more about this in future posts – the right way and time to share how great we are get that raise or job… but first we have to get to step one which is simply remembering why we’re great.
Which is why I’m suggesting you start tracking your accomplishments – right away!
Think back to your first month at you first job. Do you remember the really impressive thing you did? Probably not… but I bet there was one, and probably many.
With busy jobs and lives, the big and small things we’ve done to make an impact can get lost in the shuffle. That’s why when you go to update your resume once every 3 years; you come up empty (more on creating a “resume master list” here).
An accomplishment tracker is the best way to combat that. It doesn’t need to be a daunting task. It’s really as simple as doing 2 key things…
1. Picking a way to track
Grabbing a nice notebook that you keep at your desk, starting a note in your iPhone or on Evernote, or even writing yourself emails with a certain subject that you can search for are all good ways to keep track of key accomplishments.
It really doesn’t matter how you track as long as it’s easy and always accessible as you think of things in the moment.
2. Committing to make entries
Would it be great if you made an entry each week? Sure. But at the same time there is no need to over-engineer this and have one more thing to worry about in your day. If you’ve picked a convenient way to track, just commit to yourself that you’ll enter things as they happen.
Just closed out a project and your boss told you that you did a great job? Write it down. Saved the company $1000 in expenses? Write it down. Co-worker quit and you helped cover his or her areas of responsibility? Write it down.
This can be something you do every Friday morning, think about on the subway ride home, in the shower, or just while you’re sitting at your desk.
There are so many benefits to knowing your big & small (tangible) accomplishments. I bet when you bring some of these things up in a conversation about a raise or a promotion, the person on the other end either didn’t realize you took some of these things on, or forgot. It’s your job to own and share your big accomplishments in your career (and your life) and no one else is going to do that on your behalf.
So make sure you know your worth, collect data points, and aren’t afraid to toot your own horn. The great things you’ve accomplished in the past will get you to where you want to go in the future.