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Tracking your achievements
21 May 2020
If you’re feeling a little lethargic or like you’re not bringing your A game to work, turns out you’re not alone.
Researchers found isolation so detrimental to our health, increasing your risk of dying by 30 percent - on par with smoking.
Make no mistake, rolling solo at home is tough. We miss our friends, family and long for days when Zoom and hand sanitizer don’t rule our lives.
Along with the watercooler gossip and our colleagues, a lot of us working from home are also bemoaning the lack of feedback in our lives. Those subtle signals from your team you’re moving in the right direction with that project. The awkward look from your manager in the team meeting signalling - wrong way, go back! The encouraging nod from your boss that you’re doing ok.
When we’re not physically getting feedback in the workplace, it can be easy to lose focus, to spiral and forget the successes we’re having.
Now, more than ever, it’s important to track your achievements. If you have a win at work and your boss doesn’t know about it - did it even happen? Working remotely means it’s even more crucial to keep a list of your wins - big and small. Not only so you can remind your boss at the next performance review, but because tracking your wins is good for your mental health, confidence levels and your promotability.
Why should you track your accomplishments?
A two-minute investment each week in totting up the things you’ve achieved can pay serious dividends.
Here’s some of the top reasons you should bother to write down where you went right and the goals you kicked in your work and home life.
Of course, you deserve that promotion! I know that. You know that. But - does your boss? Does the boss understand why you’re more qualified than the other applicants?
If not, make it easy for them. A list of your wins at work is a great place to start.
Data and references, examples speak volumes.
If you’ve been laid off or are on the hunt for a new gig, you need to stand out from the crowd. What better way to do this than with a list of accomplishments to spruce up your cover letter and resume? A clear list of your work record and the times you excelled will put you front of mind for recruiters and hiring managers. It proves your value, your track record and that you’re organised.
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS & PAY RISES
Rather than panic preparation the night before your performance review, I recommend preparing slowly but surely all year round. Recording your achievements and any positive feedback you receive throughout the year on a regular basis, means you bring to the table a well-rounded and impactful set of data to present to your manager. A log of your success makes it easier to prove you're hitting (or exceeding) your goals.
The thought of updating my resume used to fill me with dread. But, since I started keeping track of my wins in the PepTalkHer App, it’s much easier. Jop application questions are easier to tackle when you have a list of tangible examples to draw on.
LinkedIn is an amazing place to build relationships. Having wins and data to share regularly will keep you front of mind and help you grow your personal brand and your following.
Ever bail on networking events for fear you’ll have to make small talk with random people? Be prepared to handle the chit chat. Keeping a list of your achievements means next time you’re at an event and someone asks you what you do, instead of talking about your job title or your isolation sourdough game, you can talk about what you do and your effectiveness. Having numbers, statistics and wins at your fingertips will give you the confidence to start to weave that into conversation with future employers and colleagues.
Here are some ways to make your weekly win tracking easy and simple:
You can kick it old school and write your wins in a notepad. Detail your accomplishments, the date and away you go.
A big part of why we built the PepTalkHer App was to make keeping track - and remembering to keep track - simple.
It’s free to download (Apple or Android) and the app sends you a weekly ‘reflection’ prompt and motivational quote.
PepTalkHer has pre-populated templates for you to fill in the blanks. You can screenshot emails and feedback as well as upload photos of events.
You can track your achievements in a google sheet or a google doc.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how you keep track, as long as you do so regularly. Some people do it daily others twice a week.
Whatever you do, make sure you track the date, the ‘win’ and how it impacted your team or the business. Metrics like revenue, percentage change in performance or tangible outcomes are great to include.
What type of accomplishments should you track?
Not every little, teeny tiny thing is worthy of being tracked or logged as a ‘win’. Focus on the things that stand out, achievements of note. Things that relate to:
If you made money, helped make more money or helped save money - that’s a win. Write it down with the price tag so you can put a dollar figure on the achievement.
Challenging client? Tight deadline? Recruit a new team member? Anything noteworthy along these lines is worth recording. Even if you weren’t the team leader, if you had a role to play, write it down and be specific about how you helped. Your boss may not register everything. Jog their memory with your list of contributions.
A team is nothing without its people or culture. Did you create an intern program? Organise a virtual team event while everyone was working from home during COVID19? Adding to the social fabric of your team is a great contribution and a lot of bosses will value this. PROCESS & TIME SAVING
If you came up with a way to automate or systemise processes to save time and ultimately money - record what you did.
If there was a disaster and a massive curve ball at work that you handled well - keep a note of this too. Problem solving is a core component of how work perceives your value.
Whether it’s a Logie or a Customer Service Rep of the month - awards are great things to add into your achievement journal. External and industry awards help grow company awareness and show you stand out from the pack. If you have a leadership role in a professional organization that’s related to your work - include that too.
SCIENCE BEHIND ACHIEVEMENT TRACKING
If you want to strengthen muscles, you exercise them. It's the same with success. If we want to keep our level of confidence about our ability high, it’s important to continue focusing on our achievements, the big wins and the smaller ones. What’s important is that we reflect and track them regularly.
In isolation and without our bosses and colleagues around us to help reinforce our day-to-day wins - it’s time to take matters into your own hands.
Meggie Palmer is the Founder and CEO of PepTalkHer. You can follow her on LinkedIn, Instagram & Twitter.