Why You Should Keep a Success Journal

Self-help author Robert Collier wrote, “Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”  Taking charge of your career means making a persuasive case for your promotability. Tracking your successes gives you information you can pull for performance reviews, to update accomplishments on our resume, and to prepare for interviews or discussions about raises and promotions.

Writing for Smart Brief on Your Career, executive coach Joel Garfinkle says there are several reasons you should keep a journal of your accomplishments, your awards, and honors, and praise you receive from coworkers, managers, or customers.

  • You will forget. We are almost always fooling ourselves when it comes to how good our memories are. Our brains are, unfortunately, much better at remembering mistakes, so be sure to write down all your wins, big and small.
  • Everyone else forgets. Even if you remember all your successes over the past year (or five!), your superiors are extremely unlikely to be able to recount them without notes. Make it easy on you and them by keeping track of your accomplishments.
  • Be interview-ready. Perhaps you will never use the information in your current position, but you will be grateful when you are ready to speak to your suitability for any opportunity that comes your way, at a moment’s notice. Interviewing and self-promotion are skills that need regular practice. Even if you go years between interviews or performance appraisals, frequently reviewing your own list will keep it top of mind.

Once a project is finished, you’re usually moving on to the next project quickly, and it’s easy to lose the details of what worked and the challenges you faced. Taking a few minutes to jot down dates, the names of key team members, and budget numbers will help you when it comes time to discuss performance or make a case for a raise or more resources for future projects.

You can also jot down stories that highlighted skills you used or lessons learned. These stories will help your boss or a hiring manager in the future understand how you think and how you solve problems. Stories are the best way to answer behavioral interview questions that begin with “tell me about a time when you…” You can even categorize stories by listing them under headings such as customer service, critical thinking, leadership, and team dynamics.

Another benefit of noting your weekly successes is a boost in confidence. If you’re having a down day or stuck in a project that’s not going well, you can always look back at your journal to remind yourself of your competence and reconnect to your optimism.

Garfinkle suggests you create time on your weekly calendar to keep up with your success journal. “Yes, it will take time, especially as you catch up in remembering and writing down the past few years of activity. You won’t regret the time investment, however, when you’re able to demonstrate in concrete terms that you are the best person for that promotion or next opportunity.”

Click here to read the full article and see what he recommends tracking. https://www.smartbrief.com/original/2021/11/tracking-your-accomplishments-why-do-it-what-document-and-how-follow?utm_source=brief


Work hard. Play Hard. 

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