I struggle with sharing accomplishments at work. Maybe you can relate? I never want to come across as boastful, arrogant, or in need of praise. My default setting is to be humble, modest; to just hope that my colleagues will notice what I’ve accomplished. When I had my annual review recently, one of the pieces of feedback that I got was that I need to share my accomplishments with my manager and colleagues. The reality is that people are busy and they may not notice when something I worked on performed well. It’s my responsibility to share my successes, not their responsibility to notice. Once I realized that, I decided to make a game plan for how I would go about sharing accomplishments at work in a way that felt genuine and authentic.
I took out a piece of paper and decided that there was a bigger issue at hand. I wasn’t comfortable sharing how and where I did well and I needed to learn to give myself a little self-love at the office. I needed to learn how to save, share, and savor my accomplishments with those who needed to hear them; who wanted to hear them.
I came up with a way to keep track of my successes, share them with my manager and colleagues, while also taking the time to savor my success, instead of just moving right along to the next goal.
This is how I did it:
- Keep a Success Folder: I made a Gmail folder where I store positive emails from clients and colleagues. It’s helpful to have everything in one centralized location where I can pull from it at random, without having to search through all of my emails.
- Set Goals and Key Performance Indicators: I write down goals and KPIs once a quarter. I think about client-related goals, company-focused goals, and professional development goals. Having set goals helps me stay focused—plus, it’s exciting to meet one!
- Keep a Work Journal: Take time out of your day to reflect and answer a few questions. It will help you track your progress and take time to appreciate the little milestones, as well as the bigger ones.
- Make It a Team Effort: One way to make it easier to tell your manager and colleagues is to phrase it as “we”, not “me.” If it was a team effort, explain how the team was able to accomplish the goal. Just make sure that you don’t minimize the work that you personally accomplished. Phrasing it this way will make you and your teammates feel good—everyone likes recognition for hard work! Of course, there will be certain things that you are solely responsible for—in this case, get comfortable giving yourself credit for a job well done by sharing with your friends and loved ones first. Then, don’t be afraid to share the news with your higher-ups!
- Use Social Media and LinkedIn: If you have big successes like winning a case, getting press, or winning an award, mention it on social media and LinkedIn. It’s a great way to keep your network updated and informed of your accomplishments—and it’s something these channels were specifically built for. I write for various publications and will often post new articles on my social media channels. I also update the portfolio and press page on my blog. Similarly, one of my very savvy PR friends will post a LinkedIn update whenever she gets a big press mention for her company. Just make sure that anything you post is public knowledge and approved by your company or client.
- Create a “Big-Mouth” Email List: In I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, Kate White recommends having what she calls a “big-mouth” email list. The list should include former bosses, former coworkers you hope to stay in touch with, mentors, and people you’ve met who seem interested in your career path. Share big important job news—like a promotion or job change—with the people on this list.
- Set Small Goals: Take a big project or goal and break it down into a series of smaller goals and milestones. This method will help set a strategy for accomplishing the larger goals and it will give you opportunities to recognize what you’ve accomplished every step of the way.
- Focus on the Positive: I often fall into the trap of focusing too much on the negative and not enough on the positive. I can be hard on myself and will focus more on mistakes or things that I could have done better instead of all of the things that went well. (I was always the person who would get a 98% on a test and be more focused on the 2% I got wrong as opposed to the 98% I got right.) It’s great to learn from mistakes and feedback,but you should also recognize what went well. It will keep you sane and make it easier to replicate your success. Additionally, some psychologists have found that positivity boosts performance.
- Celebrate: Take time to celebrate your accomplishments. You can celebrate with a quick dance party, an office tradition, or even one of my personal favorites—a celebratory latte. We have fun office celebrations where we win company prizes and personal awards for accomplishments and living out our company values. These celebrations increase company morale, make people feel recognized for hard work, and contribute to our company culture.
Show yourself some self-love this year by sharing accomplishments at work. I guarantee that you’ll see the benefits both in and out of the office.
Image: Lauren Conrad
This post is by me and was originally published on Career Contessa.