I would bet that you’re great at your job.
Actually, I would bet you’re AMAZING at it.
But, I would also bet that you’re really, really bad at doing this one, simple thing.
You see, it’s the one easy thing that you’re forgetting to do at work, and it’s costing you.
And I’m not talking about documenting how you dealt with that one nightmare client in case it comes back to bite you.
I’m talking about documenting your wins, triumphs, accomplishments and achievements.
You don’t do it, do you?
Well that needs to change. Right now.
Why is documenting so important? Because it gives you ammunition. Ammunition to ask for a promotion, ask for a raise, or get a new job.
When I write resumes for my clients, hearing about their achievements and work they are really proud of are critical in allowing me to craft them the right career story.
So where do you even start?
You’ll want to start with keeping a running document of all the fantastic things that you’ve done. Ideally, you’ll store it somewhere that is easily accessible at all times. You never know when you’ll remember that great feedback you got from a client two months ago [but hopefully you’ll soon be in the habit of documenting these things as soon as they happen]. I use Evernote for blogging drafts and keeping documents that I need at my fingertips.
Then totally steal the template below. Keep adding every time you do something awesome and voila! Promotion request and resume fodder for days!
For each accomplishment, make sure to ask yourself quantifying questions so you can record the hard, ever-important, data.
Accomplishment Description: Increased sales.
How many?: Secured 20 new clients.
How often?: An average of 2, month over month
How long?: During the 2016 fiscal year
How much?: Added revenue amounted to $200K/20% increase from 2015.
Milestones are a bit more difficult to measure, but important nonetheless. Think about things you’ve done that are major steps in your career. But then also, balance it with identifying the benefit to the company.
Milestone Description: Trained on CRM Software
Benefit to the company?: More streamlined account management = Happier clients
What have you done on the job where you really killed it? Think about the times you’ve been the hero and saved the day, or even year. Similar to Milestones, note the benefit of your win, to the company.
Win Description: Repaired a damaged client relationship
How’d you do it?: Proactive client contact and faster turnaround time on deliverables.
Benefit to the company?: Retained revenue (bonus points if you can measure this in $) and saved cost of prospecting to replace client.
You might not be a project manager, but I can guarantee you’ve been involved in some sort of project. Companies are all about the projects, so it’s really important to record these details.
What high-profile projects have you been involved in?
Project Description: Overhaul of CRM processes.
What value did you bring to the table for those projects?
Project Value: Served as Account Management consultant and advised project team on benefits of new proposed software.
Don’t forget to write down ALL of the great things that people, especially clients and managers, have said about you. In fact, I have an email folder that I call “Positive Feedback” where I store all the praise and testimonials that come my way. It’s fun to refer to it when I need a little boost.
Here’s how you can consider recording the positive feedback you receive.
Client Name | Title | Company: Joe Schmoe, VP Something Something, Big Corporation
What did they say? (quote them verbatim): “I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help with pointing out the accounting discrepancy on our account. You saved us time AND money. Thank you!”
So here you are. Get started on that running document and keep track of all the amazing things that you’ve done, and continue to do at work. You may not need this info today, but it’ll be there when you do need it, supporting your career growth.