Looking to get noticed by leadership, land a promotion, or obtain a new job? Then you’re going to want to track and document your work wins! If you’re wondering what work wins are, below are some examples:
- “Kudos” emails or messages
- Project work, especially where you’ve made a considerable impact (especially financially)
- Awards or recognition received
- Verbal gratitude and positive mentions shared with you
- Goal and milestone completions
- Challenges you resolved or improvements you made
Keeping a record of these types of accomplishments at work is a key piece to cultivating and advancing your career. Continue reading for the reasons why documenting these work wins will be to your benefit.
#1 – It Gives You More Visibility
Unless you have a micromanager, it’s unlikely that your manager is aware of everything you’re doing in your day to day at work. That’s why consistently tracking your progress and work wins guarantees that you don’t miss out on any highlights. Then, it’s up to you to confidently ‘manage up’ and share all of the great work and impact you are making with your manager! Remember: “it’s not bragging if it’s based on facts” (from the #IamRemarkable workshop). By sharing your work wins, your manager will have a better sense of how much you contribute as a result, which will give you the visibility you want, especially when it comes time for performance evaluations and quarterly/annual reviews. (If you’re looking for a way to prepare for your career development discussions with your manager, here’s a free download to help guide you!)
#2 – It Comes in Handy in Negotiations
Having your work wins documented will help you to prepare and set a dialogue with your manager when you have more formal career conversations. Those wins will also be a powerful reference point particularly when you are negotiating for a promotion or a raise. It will allow you to concretely showcase your strengths and how you have been applying them in your role. It also demonstrates how your work directly benefits the team and company. All of this sets you up for greater success in those career advancement discussions.
#3 – It Helps to Differentiate Yourself in Your Job Search
When you’re ready to explore new job opportunities, having your work wins documented makes updating your resume a whole lot easier. It also helps you to effectively answer the question, why you? As I mentioned in How to Get Hired at a Top Company, emphasizing quantifiable metrics and the impact that you’ve made in your previous roles will go a long way. In addition, your work wins can give you examples of powerful stories you can share in the interview process. You can do this by focusing on story-telling using the CAR (Challenge – Action – Result) method, where you explain a challenge you encountered, the action that was taken, and the ultimate result of your work. This is essentially your proof that you can manage the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for.
#4 – It Boosts Your Confidence
Let’s be real, sometimes it’s just nice to see all of your accomplishments documented in one place. In all seriousness though, it’s a key piece of your development to look back on and celebrate your work wins. So often we forget our growth and how far we’ve come in a role or our overall career! On days especially when you’re feeling uncertain or down about your circumstances, take a look back at your work wins and acknowledge how far you’ve come.
Pro Tip: It’s recommended to update your work wins weekly and make tracking a habit. This way, you don’t have to worry about thinking back months in the past as to what you’ve accomplished. If you’re looking for the best ways to keep track of your work wins, here are a few ideas:
- Create a “work wins” document (such as this free template that I created and use myself!)
- Keep a handwritten notebook
- Document them in your calendar or planner
- Input into your Notes app on your phone or tablet
- Consistently add to your resume
Get tracking, friend!
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.