I cannot count the number of times that I have collaborated with executive men and women on their career marketing strategies only to find out that they have not done a good job keeping track of their career achievements.
How would you like to actually look forward to the annual review process instead of feeling like it is a tug-and-war game?
You cannot confidently walk into a meeting with senior management and negotiate a raise or a promotion without solid evidence to support your cause.
Here are five easy steps you can follow to make sure that your career accomplishments and personal contributions to the company don't get overlooked:
1) Project or Case Study Summaries
At the end of every major project, summarize the details and work involved in the project - like number of people you manage, size of budget, time constraints, and any other critical information.
-- Think of the project/case like a puzzle in terms of Challenge-Actions- Results (see previous post on this topic)
-- Make sure that the final results are quantified as much as possible, don't simply say that productivity improvement, describe the turnaround - for example, new technology solutions allowed users to complete analysis process in 48 hours instead of two weeks.
2) Kudos / High Fives
We have all received a "great-job-done" email or note from a very happy boss, customer or vendor. In addition to thanking the sender, keep the notes/emails in an online folder or print out hard copies and store in a file.
-- Write brief notes about the related project or task that prompted the testimonial, so you can use it in conversations with you boss or make references to it in your self-appraisal write ups.
3) Thought Leadership / New Knowledge
If you have been selected to participate in an executive leadership or development program, keep track of important statistics like the number of applicants, qualifications or characteristics of participants, or whether it is an accelerated program.
-- Keep a list of any new classes that have expanded your knowledge or expertise in a vital area of the company's business should be emphasized in your notes.
-- More importantly, be able to explain how your new level of expertise can directly contribute to the company's success.
4) Board / Speaker Participation
A great indication of your leadership expertise can come through your participation in external company boards, internal committees, representation on behalf of company at conferences and trade shows or simply being the spokesperson for your project team.
-- Monitor your monthly events and your participation in high-profile activities with key industry leaders and top company employees.
The next time you schedule an informal meeting with your boss (as suggested in this post) or have to discuss next steps in your career development, come prepared with a diversified list of accomplishments that can "wow" your boss and management team.