A career action plan is a roadmap for advancing your career. The most important part of your plan should be to keep track of your professional accomplishments. This record of your work success is essential for many reasons including your performance reviews, asking for a raise, updating your resume, speaking about the work you do, and for personal validation. Consider it stockpiling ammunition that you can use when you encounter an unfavorable review when you ask for a raise, or when you are looking for a new job. It is easy to let your accomplishments get lost in the day-to-day grind. Most people check things off their to-do list and then move on to the next item. Months can go by like this making it feel like nothing important has been accomplished. If instead, you actively keep track of your successes, you will see that you have achieved more than you thought.
Record All Accomplishments:
- Awards you have received
- Recognition you have gotten
- Goals you have reached
- Difficult situations you have successfully navigated
- Projects completed, including if the project was completed on time or ahead of schedule
- Pressure situations
- Any successes that can be quantified
Use the Tool that Works Best for You:
- In a handwritten journal
- Using a notes app on your phone. Here are some examples of free note-taking apps: apple notes, google keep, InkPad
- Voice recording on your phone
- On your calendar
- On your resume
Choose your tool and start with last year. Try to remember and document as many of your accomplishments as possible. Once you record last year’s achievements, you are ready to record each work success as it happens. Stick with the tool you choose so everything is in the same place. Don’t rely on your manager or human resources to keep track of your work. The job of recording your accomplishments is your responsibility. Now that you have a system in place, you can keep your manager updated on all you have achieved. You will get credit for your hard work and put the pieces in place for moving your career forward.
Kathy Lin, Marketing Communications Manager
Kathy writes content for Tal Healthcare, a healthcare career website. She has a background in recruiting, sales, and teaching. She holds a BA in Biology from the University of Vermont. When she isn’t writing you can find her outside running, skiing or biking.