‘You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.’
~ A. A. Milne in ‘Winnie The Pooh’
You know how it is when someone asks you to talk about recent successes and you stare back at them blankly? Or when you’re coming up to your crucial personal review time and you’re scrambling to remember what’s happened over the year? Or what about when – yikes – you finally decide it’s time to update or actually create your CV or resume? Do you stare at your screen wondering what you’ve been involved in or made happen in your current role and previous roles?
A game-changing switch you can make is to track proof of your experience, skills, successes and lessons when you’re looking at your career in the long-term and not just for the job you have now. Proof gives you an invisible cloak of confidence. That means keeping a log of what you’re doing and how you are making things happen. It is immediately reassuring and inspiring to be able to tap into the evidence quickly.
Too often we are being Betty Boo and busy ‘doing-the-do’. We forget to track our progress, the developments and the feedback we receive. As a business owner myself, one of the most reassuring things I can do when I’m feeling either stuck or questioning what I’m planning is to go to my Success Swipe File. This is a place where I put feedback I’ve received, notes from clients, Facebook posts and other success stories. It contains hundreds of stories, things I’ve created, tried, taught, shared, started, stopped and learned from.
My new book ‘It’s Always Your Move’ has been written based on just some of what’s in my own Success Swipe File. How else could I share with your how these ideas and inspirations work if I hadn’t tested them and had the feedback of women just like you to reassure us both that it all works?
So, my suggestion is to create your version of a Success Swipe File and track dates you started things, developments, who said what, email blurbs when someone thanks you or gives you feedback about what’s happened; and where you’ve got evidence of income generated or saved, percentages of growth, savings, market share and the like.
It doesn’t have to be a perfect science, but it does need to be continually updated. What this does is frees you to know that when the day comes, you can draw upon evidence – hard proof if you will – that will enable you to discuss developments, rewards and opportunities from a place of confidence and certainty. Who knows when your next interview or appraisal may be right in front of you?
You won’t need loads of notice because you will be able to quote what people said and clients’ successes as a result of your work and industry developments that your work feeds into. All these and more will be immediately accessible. More than anything, your confidence and certainty will be far deeper as you approach appraisals and interviews, reviews and opportunities because you understand the extent of what you do and – crucially – what it’s done.
(Extracted from Principle 1 – Embrace Your Expansion from my forthcoming book ‘It’s Always Your Move’ Purposeful Progress for Corporate Career Women, featuring The 8 Principles of Your Career Success CycleTM)