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Why You Should Keep A Running List of Your Career Accomplishments

Why You Should Keep A Running List of Your Career Accomplishments

Some experiences are those that we remember with butterflies in our tummy and a giddy smile upon our faces, while others not so much. Our experiences often contribute to defining who we are and what perspectives we have on life but as time passes by these memories begin to fade and our experience, whatever little our minds have savaged, begin to rust one day at a time. So to avoid that our career  accomplishments are often up on the fridge or framed in the living room, and wherever they are, they serve as a reminder of our competence, ability and proficiency.

So imagine what would happened if we remembered them in their full glory? Each accomplishment, not just the one’s you remembered to put on your fridge.  Yup, the possibility is exhilarating! So here are the top reasons why you must keep an updated running list of your career accomplishments!

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To See Where You Are

A checklist exists in most of our minds. Every successful individual has a to- do list which is ticked off one bit at a time, one accomplishment at a time. This to- do list virtual or real is a gentle reminder of where you are and where you are headed. This keeps you on task and motivated. On task because you know where you are and motivated because of everything you’ve achieved!

To See Where You’re Going

So the road ahead is long, tiring and difficult. Isn’t it always? For, if it’s not, surely you’re on the wrong road. But how do you know where are going. Life has no map and though you have an idea of where you are headed you may not always know how to get there.  Your accomplishments then become your landmarks. They help you gauge your way around and make sense of how to get where you are going and see how far you’ve gotten!

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To See What Worked And What Didn’t

Nine thousand nine hundred and ninety nine ways to not make a bulb but 1 way to ultimately make the bulb. Not everything works out the way we want it to — or the way it should. Now you have kind of an idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. Keeping a list, a constantly updated list of your accomplishments, helps you see where you excel and where you don’t. Many times you’ll see that there is a pattern to your successes. These patterns help you figure out where your strengths lie and how to improve upon your weaknesses.

To Give Yourself Choices

This brings us to another very important aspect of writing down your experiences. Your accomplishment may not all be of the same type. They all needed effort but some needed more and some needed lesser effort. Why were some of your tasks so demanding? What was it about the other tasks that made it easier? Well now you have a whole of horde of choices to look for and to search from! You can revisit memory lane and see the choices you had in the past and the ones you have currently and the ones you would possibly want in the future!

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To Relive Your Experiences

That feeling when you achieve, those emotions that burst free for finally getting that nod, from yourself, when you know you’ve done it. It lasts a moment. In the grand scheme of life that feeling lasts merely a moment and maybe a moment too short. If it just lasted longer. The whole experience of an achievement is an adrenaline rush like no other; the effort that went into it, the planning, the tasking, the execution and the final result. All of it falls into place better in retrospect than it did at the time of the event.   So what better way to feel that rush once again, but only, better. Write down your accomplishments to relive them.

To Redo Your To-Do List

Does it end at feeling good? Nope! You got to redo your to do list. Now that you know what worked and what didn’t, how much work you needed to put in, what mistakes you made, what you could have done better, it’s time to update your list and see where you are off to after this. Chart out your future plans, plot your ways to success and get ready to take over the world!

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To Get An Occasional Ego Boost

Last but not the least, an accomplishment is a good much deserved ego boost. And why not? You’ve worked hard and you deserve it! So every once in awhile, give yourself a time out and revel in your accomplishments because well let’s be honest who doesn’t like an ego boost?

Featured photo credit: OVO127 via ovo127.com

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Published on March 25, 2019

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up. You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out.

But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

3. Go to All Office Networking Events

Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

4. Show Initiative

Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

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Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

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Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

7. Find a Mentor

With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

9. Set Your Professional Bar High

Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

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Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

The Bottom Line

Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

“Half of life is showing up.”

The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

Remember, your career is your business!

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Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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