We’re working harder than ever. So hard, in fact, that we are losing sight of our achievements and accomplishments. Performing our tasks on a daily basis can be all we can manage in a given week. Our workloads fill the days and in many instances spill over into the next day and the next week and the next month. The pressure to complete these tasks is higher than ever. We are driven to produce work and results for our employer, our teammates, and ourselves.
All of the work we are doing gives us little time to reflect on what we are accomplishing in our careers. In a world where we are changing jobs every 2-4 years, and where we may have upwards of seven careers in our working lifetime, chronicling your accomplishments should be a more important activity than it currently is. But, in light of all of the work we are doing, organizing our accomplishments is not something that we are actively doing and we need to begin to change habits.
Create a new habit
Change is never easy. But in our day and age, we need to change. We need to be more active in managing our careers. We need to be sure that when we are doing rock star work that we take the time to store this work so we can reflect on it later in our annual review or use it when we want to find a new role.
Because change is NOT easy, I recommend that whenever you finish a project that you truly loved working on, you ear mark that work for saving. And I also recommend that you do it in real time. You can always delete it later if it becomes less important to you, but it is hard to find it later.
Worst case scenario, take an hour out of each quarter and reflect on what you accomplished for your company, your team or yourself. If there is not a file or a deliverable that you produced, that’s okay – just make a note about what you did and why it was awesome. Focus on results and your contribution. These are tangible accomplishments. At bare minimum, you need to be documenting your accomplishments once per quarter.
Pick a house for your work
There are a myriad of solutions for storing your work. First there’s the cloud. You should check out DropBox, Box, CredHive, or Google Drive. If the cloud makes you squeamish, use your own hard drive. If that also isn’t a good solution, you can always do what most of us do and keep a drawer full of flash drives. The point is: have somewhere where you are going to keep your work. Make it consistent and stick with it.
When you’ve picked a house for your work. Try to keep it organized in some way. Some suggestions: organize the work by company, or skills, consider by project, or client or by year. With a good house and some organization, you can quickly access those accomplishments when it’s annual review time or time to start looking for something else.
Keep it clean and focused
When you’re taking that time to reflect quarterly on your accomplishments, take the time to tidy up the house. Look at your old files to make sure they are still relevant for you and where you are going in your career. Delete files that are no longer representative of your best work, or archive those files to review later to see your personal and professional growth. At any given time, you should be able to point to 5-10 examples of your awesome-ness.
When you are taking the time to organize, track and manage your accomplishments, you will find it easier to identify the work that really satisfies you and helps you hone in on your Zone of Genius. It is also way easier to make a case for yourself at review time when you can tell a tangible story of what you’ve delivered to the company and the team based on your accomplishments. And when it comes time to find a new role, you will be constructing your resume from a place of accomplishments and results vs. responsibilities. And we all know that results and accomplishments stand out to recruiters and hiring managers alike.
Changing habits is a very difficult thing. But as we continue to live in a world where “Every Career Is Temporary” having a Top 10 List of Why I Rock is a must do, not a nice to have. It’s ok to start small. But, the key is to start.
This post was originally published on an earlier date.
About the author
With passion and an innate curiosity, Tracey strives to push the envelope to create great experiences for talent. Tracey has been developing digital, mobile and social solutions for nearly 20 years in the talent acquisition space. Currently CredHive’s CEO, she is dedicated to changing the way hiring is done to create a more level playing field for talent. Visit CredHive to learn more.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here.
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