February 5, 2020
Ideally, you dig your professional well before you get thirsty.
Real-life isnít always like that, of course. Work and family responsibilities get prioritized ahead of this upkeep and, before you know it, information thatís been provided on resumes and online profiles has become outdated.
Information today ages rapidly. In the busyness of the 21st-century, memories get lost, including those of important achievements. Ideally, each of us will regularly set aside time to record our professional accomplishments, because this allows us to keep track of the impact weíve made and are currently making in our industries of choice.
So, weíve decided to share a series of three posts to help empower you to become someone who fully leverages his or her own talents, skills, and accomplishments.
When you make recording a conscious practice, if and when you decide to look for a new career opportunity, you wonít need to scramble to update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and so forth. In fact, even if youíre highly satisfied with your current position, this is still an important practice to maintain. Why? If, for example, itís time for your annual performance review, and youíve been challenged to quantify your progress in your KPIs, you can remain calm, collected, and well prepared. How you respond may very well pave the way to a raise or promotion.
Step 1: Review
Look at your resume, LinkedIn profile, and other professional documents and profiles. Re-read work-related reviews, browse through your business planner/calendar, and otherwise check relevant sources to see what accomplishments youíve already forgotten.
It can also help to do a Google search on your own name to see what shows up! What memories about your own professional achievements does that query trigger? If it causes you to discover or remember that someone had praised your accomplishments, double-check to see if youíre connected on LinkedIn. If you are, have you written reciprocal recommendations?
What are your accomplishments? To help guide you through this process, weíve come up with a list of questions for you to consider. Itís possible that not every question applies to your professional career. If so, thatís okay. Focus on the relevant ones that resonate.
Bonus tip for resumes: A successful resume is brimming with quantifiable accomplishments, not just job descriptions. Sure, itís easy to describe your day to day tasks, but itís important to think about what you did that went above and beyond your role and responsibilities.
Now, on to the questions:
Step 2: Update
Set aside enough time to update and refresh your resume and online profiles, even if you arenít planning to search for a new career opportunity.
This is important because an updated, highly professional LinkedIn profile, as just one example, also reflects well upon your place of employment.
Itís hard to write about yourself. If you need help, turn to professionals to work with you to tell your professional story and develop your brand.
Step 3: Record
After youíve brought your professional documentation up to the minute, then youíre in the ideal position to begin recording your accomplishments going forward. Some people like to use a physical notebook thatís specifically designated for that purpose. Others like to talk into a recorder, whether one on their smartphone or a digital handheld one, capturing thoughts as they speak.
Still, other people prefer digital options. If youíre in this group, here are a few of our favorites. Note that there are free versions and, in some cases, fee-based upgrades that you might choose to use.
Step 4: Repeat!
This is an ongoing process, one thatís applicable until you retire. Try spending five to fifteen minutes jotting down your accomplishments, successes, and achievements each day. Is daily too much for you? Try weekly or monthly. The idea is that as things happen, you record them. As you go about your career, you donít just concentrate on getting the ball to the other end of the court but you also benchmark success for yourself!
By recording your accomplishments, it becomes easy to keep your career branding on point and fresh. You also know exactly what you are bringing to the table and donít be surprised if you find yourself feeling empowered.
Stay tuned for parts two and three!
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