Why You Should Track Your Career Successes (And How To Make The Effort)
Keeping track of your professional accomplishments is up to you. Your supervisors know whether you’re hitting your goals, but they’re not keeping tabs on your day-to-day wins. And if you run your own business, there’s no one above you to monitor your progress or keep notes on your achievements. Whether you work on a team or for yourself, tracking your career success is a task that’s completely up to you.
If you think you don’t have time to reflect on past successes, Joel Garfinkle, an executive coach and author, recommends starting by investing just a few minutes a day thinking on what you have accomplished. This can make a huge difference in your lifetime career trajectory, including your confidence and daily outlook, he says.
In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Garfinkle’s thoughts on tracking your career successes.
Why You Should Track Your Wins
- You’ll forget. Life happens in between big and small victories. You won’t always remember what you accomplished last year, five years ago or 10 years ago. Garfinkle notes that our brains are actually much better at remembering mistakes. Take time to write down your wins so you won’t forget the details.
- Others forget. If you’re hoping for a pay increase or promotion, you can help your cause by laying out your career successes for your boss. He or she may have many direct reports and probably won’t remember all the details of what you accomplished.
- You’ll be ready for your next move. Whether you’re moving up in your current company or switching gears altogether, having a list of your career achievements comes in handy. This way you can refresh your memory on what you have accomplished and be ready for interviews.
How To Make Time For It
- Add it to your to-do list. Garfinkle recommends scheduling a weekly or monthly review of your work and then honoring that time commitment, just as you would any other important appointment.
- Start the day with yourself. Before jumping into emails or returning client calls, devote time for yourself. This could be jotting down ideas or concepts or making a note of client feedback. Beginning your day like this can often help you start off on a positive note, Garfinkle says.
What You Should Track
- Positive comments. When someone shares appreciation for your work, save that email or make a note of the conversation. This will give you a file of kind words from your clients, boss or colleagues that you can reference later.
- Good outcomes. Did you successfully launch a new initiative at work? Land a contract with a better vendor? Garfinkle suggests writing down the impacts that occurred due to your actions.
- Your day-to-day activities. It’s easy to forget all the little details involved in your job. Take time to write down your regular tasks and responsibilities—both in your current role and in previous ones.
Remember that no one knows your accomplishments quite like you do. Don’t wait until a performance review or you’re ready to make a career change to reflect on what you have achieved. Make time for tracking your successes and you’ll always be prepared with solid, concrete information on your wins.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Joel Garfinkle is an executive coach and author of 11 books, including Getting Ahead.