This may sound unbelievable, but it’s true: My client asked for—and received!—two promotions and three raises in the span of 18 months. Clearly, she’s a superstar.
However, it takes more than being awesome at your job to pull this off and she partly attributed her success to a habit she developed: tracking her own performance on a weekly basis. She used this document as tangible evidence when speaking to her boss about promotions and raises.
And the good news is that keeping track is something we can all do! Knowing exactly what you’ve achieved can strengthen your negotiation conversations, bolster your answers to interview questions, and help you better understand where you thrive, so you’re able to continue seeking out those opportunities.
Above all, this running list can boost your confidence, which’ll make you better at your job—seriously! A study conducted by psychology researchers Zachary Estes and Sydney Felker found that if you believe you performed well in the past, you’ll do better in the future, too. And something as simple as reminding yourself of what you’ve achieved previously can help you do better on a difficult task.
Here’s How to Do It
To begin keeping track, you need to get in the habit of spending 10 to 15 minutes every Friday taking stock of your week. You won’t always have a week where you’re logging accomplishments that’ll specifically help you get promoted, but you’ll likely have at least one thing that you can be proud of.
When taking notes, use the sections below to guide you in what to write—using this framework not only helps you to remember the full picture of what you’ve done, but it also gets you prepped to re-tell the stories easily.
To illustrate this, let’s walk through an example. You’re a marketing manager for a chain of stores and you’ve just been alerted that sales for one store are struggling.
Here’s what your log could look like:
Situation: What’s Going On
“The Broadway store’s struggling with low sales.”
Task: What Needed to Be Done in Order to Improve the Situation?
“The team and I needed to come up with a promotion that would both drive foot traffic into the store and be quick to execute.”
Action: What You Actually Did
Make sure you’re taking note of both things that you personally did and activities you helped facilitate.
“I met with them and assigned everyone a job. One person researched past promotions to figure out what performed the best. I visited the store and interviewed sales people to find out what people were asking for. After, I brought everyone together to brainstorm solutions.”
Result: What Is the Outcome of Your Actions?
Try to make these as quantifiable as possible. While you likely won’t have the results that you’re looking for by the end of the week you can update this in future weeks.
“At the end of the 90-minute meeting, we’d developed a concept for a styling event to get customers ready for holiday parties. Boss gave it the green light and it’ll happen next week.”
Feedback: What Was the Response?
It’s so easy to forget feedback from others—especially when it’s positive!
“Store’s head of sales is excited about it and was impressed by how quickly I’d been able to create something that would make an immediate difference.”
Satisfaction: What’s Next?
Use this part to remind yourself what you enjoy and what you’re good at (so you can continue to chase opportunities that bring you the most satisfaction).
“This was one of the most fun things I’ve done recently. Having a challenge with a short deadline that took research, creativity, and team brainstorming was exciting. I’d love to continue working on these just-in-time solutions and create things that make an immediate impact.”
While this definitely will take you time to think through each week, it’s a habit that can lead to a big boost in your confidence and your salary. And both of those are hard to say no to.
Photo of person working courtesy of Hero Images/Getty Images.