The new year is a great time to think about starting a new work habit. Keeping track of your accomplishments now can help you with future performance reviews, CVs, promotions and much more. Read Julie Perrine's advice about why you should track your accomplishments...
As an admin, you perform many tasks on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. From simple, routine things like prioritising your executive’s email each morning to big, complicated undertakings like planning the annual board meeting, you move from one accomplishment to the next seamlessly.
But are you keeping track of those accomplishments? If a promotion becomes available or you decide to ask for a salary increase, can you easily make a case for why you deserve it?
Tracking your accomplishments on a daily or weekly basis is the single best habit to adopt for those looking to make a great impression in annual reviews, score promotions, or get the raise you deserve.
The Importance of Keeping Your Accomplishments Visible
For the busy admin, documenting everything you do can seem like just another task crammed onto your already full plate. But once you get in the habit of tracking your accomplishments, you’ll see that the few minutes it takes each day will pay off.
Imagine going into your next performance review armed with a detailed list of all the ways you’ve gone above and beyond for the company. There’s no need to stress or scramble to remember everything you’ve done over the past year because you’ve been documenting it all along.
You can’t rely on your executive to remember that you streamlined the expense report system or created a procedure that makes ordering office supplies more efficient. Even the most invested boss can barely keep track of what they need to do today, let alone what their direct reports are up to. Proactively presenting them with a list of accomplishments shows initiative and saves them time.
A current list of job duties and achievements can also be a lifesaver if an unexpected promotion or job opportunity becomes available. You’ll be able to act quickly, getting in ahead of other applicants who haven’t taken notes all along and need to start from scratch.
Considering asking for a well-deserved raise? A list of documented accomplishments can only help your cause!
Quick Start Guide for Tracking Your Accomplishments
Like any habit, tracking your accomplishments will take some getting used to. In the beginning, it may be difficult to stick with, but before long, it will be second nature. Here’s how to get started.
- Create a Word document called “20XX – Professional Accomplishments.” This will be the “home” for all your tasks, achievements, and accolades for the current year. Create a shortcut to the file on your desktop, so it’s easily visible.
- Set a reminder in your calendar to update the list daily. (Weekly is also OK; however, updating on a daily basis helps the habit to set in quicker.)
- Add every accomplishment, no matter how big or small. Things that don’t seem important now may be crucial later, so don’t leave anything out. Remember, you’ll be culling this list before anyone else sees it. Right now, it’s for your eyes only.
- Jog your memory by scanning your sent emails, calendar, project files, and professional diary. You never know where an accomplishment could be hiding!
- Highlight the best of the best four to six weeks before your annual review or when applying for a promotion, interviewing for a new position, or asking for a raise. Ideally, you’ll have one page that highlights your major accomplishments. I’ve seen managers copy and paste this list straight onto a person’s review! It also provides justification for a promotion or salary increase.
- Use it as a cheat sheet for your performance and contributions to the organisation. Having the list in front of you will trigger your memory and keep the conversation flowing.
The Proof is On the Paper!
Tracking your accomplishments in real-time ensures that nothing gets forgotten, left out, or otherwise overlooked during important conversations with your executive. Whether you’re using your list to earn a stellar rating on your next performance review, obtain your dream job, or increase the size of your paychecks, it’s one of the best habits for your career!
Looking for a template to help you keep track of all the awesome things you do each day? Join our Online Training Centre and download the 20XX – Professional Accomplishments Template (DOC) for free! Already a member? Log in to your account and click the Free Resources button on the Member Home page to download it.
Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity, and Become a Procedures Pro: The Admin’s Guide to Developing Effective Office Systems and Procedures.