Keeping on top of your achievements is more important than you think.

Eat. Sleep. Work. Repeat ‒ we all know the cycle. While you’re in the thick of it, you might be so focused on the daily tasks that you fail to notice your accomplishments. That’s a mistake. Keeping tabs on your achievements and recording them is important not only because it helps you feel good about your work, but also because it’s vital to your career progression. Here’s what you need to know.

Why should you track your accomplishments?

Let’s deal with the burning question first. Why should you keep track of your workplace accomplishments? Well, whether you’re searching for a new role or just looking for a step up, taking the time to make a record of your achievements is crucial to your success. When will you need that list, exactly?

  • To ask for a promotion: So, you’re looking for your next step up? What proof do you have that you’re worth it? Keeping track of your accomplishments means that you’ll have the answer to that question. When your manager asks you what you bring to the table and why you deserve the promotion, you won’t even stutter.

  • To search for a new role: Similarly, when you’re searching for your next position, having a clear record of your work and accomplishments will be your secret weapon. You can easily show recruiters and hiring managers that you’re not only organised but also a valuable addition to any team environment.

  • To prepare for a performance review: Regular performance reviews are a major part of any role. Having a log of your accomplishments means you can prove that you’re hitting your KPI’s (or even surpassing them).

  • To improve your networking game: Networking events can be tricky, especially if you don’t know what to say to your fellow attendees. When you’re in the habit of tracking your accomplishments, you will always have something up your sleeve, ready to impress.

What type of accomplishments should you track?

Of course, there’s simply no way that you can keep track of every small thing you do at work ‒ that would be completely unreasonable. You have to cherry-pick the achievements that are worth recording. With that in mind, here are the types you should focus on:

  • Tasks and projects: Whether it was a team effort or a project you worked on individually, keeping a record of it is a smart move. While you may understand your role inside and out, you can’t expect others to have the same knowledge. Be specific in your tasks and how you completed them.

  • Workplace challenges: We all face challenges in the workplace – it’s how you deal with them that matters. Whether you had a tricky situation with a colleague or a tight deadline to meet, you need to keep track of it. Overcoming these obstacles will have made you a stronger, more competent worker, and people like to see that you can problem solve.

  • Financial goals: Should you have financial goals and targets to meet, it’s quite simple to quantify your accomplishments. Keeping a record of these goals and the times you met them is easier than you might imagine.

  • Awards: Have you won any special awards within your company? If you’ve been recognised for your hard work or meeting certain goals, that’s something that you don’t want to forget in a hurry. Awards received outside of your company, like for any professional organisations you’re a part of, are valuable as well. Recording these achievements and keeping physical evidence takes hardly any effort and could pay off in the future.  

How can you track your accomplishments at work?

While keeping track of your accomplishments is important, how you do it is 100 percent up to you. Everybody is different! What’s more, there’s a whole load of ways to get it right. To give you a head start, here are some ideas you might try:

  • Use an app. Need to track your accomplishments as they happen? An app could be the answer. Downloading a note app like Evernote means that you can stay on top of things while you’re on the move. Each time you achieve something new at work, simply open the app and write it down.

  • Create a brag book. ‘What is a brag book?’ you might ask. Well, it’s pretty simple. A brag book is a journal in which you detail your achievements. At the end of each day, week or month, use it to write down all the things that you’ve accomplished. Remember to date each ‘brag’ and add small details to give it colour.

  • Make an online portfolio. Should you work in a creative field, you may find that having an online portfolio helps you sell yourself. There are loads of websites, such as About.me, where you can build your own page. Be sure to continuously update this site with your latest achievements, from articles and design projects to any other creative pursuits.

  • Use a calendar (or calendar app). Whether you use a physical calendar or an app on your phone or laptop, it can quickly prove to be a great resource. At the end of each day, you can mark your achievements on the date and even note upcoming goals. Getting into this habit will help you reflect on the small, daily ‘wins’.

  • Update your CV. We cannot overstate the importance of constantly updating your CV with the latest information. You’ll want your accomplishments on this document anyway, so why not list them there to begin with? Regardless of whether you’re currently looking for a new position, it’s worth setting aside regular time slots to deal with this task.

Conclusion

The idea of continually tracking your accomplishments might sound intimidating or exhausting, but it doesn’t have to be that way. When you get into the habit of doing this on a regular basis, it won’t seem quite as difficult. Work out a system that fits into your lifestyle and get started!

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