I was a ninja turtle for Halloween. I mean, I dressed up as a turtle. (You knew what I meant.) My son insisted I be the Donatello to his Raphael. But the fact is, I would have dressed up anyway. For me, Halloween is that last bit of the year that’s still entirely of that year. With November comes the holiday season, inclusive of New Year’s, and so everything happening now is already with an eye toward 2015.
So let me be the first to wish you and yours a Happy 2015! And to offer you some advice for making it the best work-year you’ve ever had. How? It’s simple, and takes just 15 minutes per week. Here’s what I suggest you do:
Every Friday, take 15 minutes to jot down what you accomplished during the week. Use the following list of guiding questions to help you along:
What ideas did you come up with?
What meetings did you attend?
Who did you work with?
Who did you help?
What new technical process or software did you use?
What deliverables did you produce or oversee the production of?
What deadlines did you meet/beat?
What positive change did you help to bring about?
Alongside your week’s accomplishments, file away all relevant presentations, reports, articles, blog posts, images, videos, etc…save even written (positive) feedback from supervisors, clients and customers. In other words, hang on to any and all “hard evidence” that supports your achievements.
Actualizing this simple pursuit on a weekly basis will produce tremendous benefits, such as:
- You won’t have to rack your brain to come up with content for your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile when you suddenly need those documents—you’ll already have a library of content from which to choose.
- You’ll know exactly what to write on your mid-year and year-end performance evaluations.
- And you’ll have plenty of ammunition when it comes time to stake your claim to a raise and/or promotion.
And—like keeping a journal—setting up a routine where you write about and reflect on your accomplishments will help you crystallize not only what you’ve gotten done, but also what you like and don’t like to do while earning a paycheck, and what you’re good at (and not so good at) doing. All of this information goes toward figuring out what you want to be when you grow up (a Ninja Turtle?).