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Inspirational Nugget of the Week
Record Your Achievements
What have you achieved in your role at work lately? Did you drive a project to success? Did you spearhead an initiative that was well-received among colleagues? Did you fix a nasty bug that was passed between developers like a hot potato?
Don't remember? Start recording your achievements so you do.
Not sure if it counts as an achievement? Don't worry, just record it.
Haven't achieved anything? I don't believe that. Take 30 minutes to re-create a timeline of events and you will find some achievements to record.
But why should you record our achievements at all?
First and foremost, it's an exercise to make you feel good. Who doesn't like to look at a list of things they've achieved lately? This may sound a bit narcissistic, but such a list of achievements is a healthy source of much-needed motivation and satisfaction in your daily routine (as long you don't make it the center of every conversation you have, which, you know, might come across a bit weird...).
Second, and - to be honest - that's the reason why I'm currently recording my achievements, is to have arguments for a promotion within the company. I feel the company doesn't know my strengths, yet, so I make it very easy for them by listing them out.
So, what does such a list of achievements look like?
Start with listing events on a timeline in bullet points: In January, I designed a new microservice. In February, I fixed that nasty bug that no one else wanted to fix. In March, I finished the certification I was working towards. And so on.
This may already be enough to derive some satisfaction and motivation from looking at your past achievements.
If your goal is to sell yourself into a more senior position, though, you should not stop here but also write a summary of your most valuable achievements. Create a table with the columns "Situation", "Behavior", and "Impact", and write about one of your achievements in each row. Ideally, you ask your manager or HR for the skill profile of the position you're aiming for and fill the table in a way that connects it to the skill profile.
If you're unsure if your list of achievements is enough for a promotion, find someone who has gone through this already and talk it through with them. They will let you know if you're doing the right things.
In any case, you will have a nice list of achievements that you can either sell to yourself to derive satisfaction and motivation from, or sell to your company to get a promotion.