Keep a Victory File!
Is it time to do your annual performance review? Planning on going to your manager to ask for a promotion? Just got laid off and need to start sending resumes out?
If you keep a victory file at work, all of these things will be much easier for you.
Keep a file at work where you keep track of everything you do in your job that counts as an accomplishment, result, win, compliment or success. I keep stuff in two places: a file folder in my desk and a folder in my email account for all the electronic stuff.
Keep everything from an email saying, “You’re awesome!” to work you have designed or developed. Keep reports showing your numbers/stats, copies of presentations you make and emails you send out that showcase your talents (i.e., presenting a business case, or handling a difficult situation). I once kept a binder of every single job aide and tool I created for managers and employees. It was like a portfolio of my work, expertise and knowledge. Basically, keep a copy or record of anything that shows that you have 1) done your job, or 2) done your job extremely well.
When it comes time for your review, take out these files and literally just pull the information you want to include. If you want to ask for a promotion or a raise, you have a file full of evidence that supports your case. If you get laid off or fired unexpectedly, you have all your job history right there and can easily build your resume by taking items in your file and crafting them into bullet points.
And if you happen to having a rough day, flip through your victory file to help put things in perspective. It’ll probably cheer you up a little, remind you of some great things that you had forgotten that you had done, and will pump up your confidence. At the very least, it will remind you that someone out there thinks you are awesome.