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Summary: Here are some key points to keep your work accomplishments noted/organized throughout the year.
It’s so easy for time to fly by at work. Suddenly, your annual review is up and you’re having trouble remembering everything you accomplished that year. When we do so many things and with so much time having passed, it’s easy to forget important wins that could help us in negotiating for a raise or explaining why you deserve a promotion.
If you’ve thought about keeping track of accomplishments, or even began but forgot to keep up a month later, you can still start now. In fact, start today. The sooner you begin and create a real habit of keeping track of your accomplishments at work, the more you’ll be able to share. Don’t leave this for “tomorrow” but take ten minutes today to start now.
Here are several simple but important and helpful ways to track your work accomplishments over the years.
Take notes in real time.
Choose something like Google Docs, Notes on your phone, Evernote or Microsoft OneNote. Programs on the Cloud are a better choice just in case you think of something while away from your work computer or suddenly don’t have access due to leaving the company. Update the document every time you do something well at work or when you do something above and beyond what your job normally requires.
Use your calendar.
If you’re working backwards and going over what you’ve done during the past year, take a look at your calendar or old emails to help jog your memory. You’ve likely kept deadlines, important dates and meetings in your calendar, so use this information to remind you of things you’ve accomplished. Emails are great too because you can search for certain keywords or people that you’ve corresponded with and see any attachments you have sent or important conversations. Be sure to keep track of things more clearly in your calendar from now on to help you in the future.
It can be hard to keep emails if you lose access to your account or computer. In addition, it can be hard to keep track of emails to find again or you may have a tendency to delete things when you no longer need them. You can take screenshots of important email conversations and keep them as photos in a folder labled “accomplishments” or something similar.
Think about future interviews.
There are several questions that are typical of interviews or even annual reviews at your current job. When you’re taking notes, think about those types of questions and make notes of things that would be relevant. Some examples would include:
How you managed multiple projects at once and stayed on schedule.
How you worked through difficult situations with coworkers.
What obstacles have you overcome and how did you resolve them?
In what ways have you gone above and beyond?
Look for metrics.
Your job may not lend itself to metrics, but wherever you can find them, try to include them in your notes. For a sales role or social media role, this could be simple. For something less numbers-focused, think about looking for increases in earning, decreases in expenses, more engagement and traffic, more satisfied customers, etc.