We encourage our clients to create and periodically update an accomplishments document. An accomplishments document is an easy way for you to track any measurable results from projects, kudos from clients and managers, positive feedback from customers, or anything else that speaks towards your ability as a professional. It is especially useful if you want to show your superiors that you deserve a promotion or a raise. But how can get started, especially if you already have quite some time in your profession?
First, we recommend using an Excel or Google Sheets document. Set up different sheets for different categories, such as “Projects”, “General Positive Feedback”, “Training Received”, “Measurable Results”, etc. Then, for each sheet, consider using the following columns: Date, Project, Objective/Goal, Results, My Specific Contributions, Kudos/Feedback Received. Keep in mind that the column titles will change depending on what exactly you want to track.
(For an example of how you could set up an Excel file for your professional use, check out our Job Sheet Worksheet!)
Once you have your spreadsheet set up, take 10-15 minutes to think about the most recent projects or positive feedback that comes to your mind. Record the information in as much detail as possible in the appropriate sheet. Then, schedule 10-15 minutes at the end of each month to update your spreadsheet.
If you are new to the workforce, that may be enough to record your accomplishments, but if you are a more seasoned professional, does this mean you have to record all of your accomplishments since you started working? Not necessarily. In most cases, if you want to prove to your employer that you deserve a raise or a promotion, they will be most interested in your recent performance at work.
However, you may find it helpful to try and piece together any outstanding projects or feedback you received over the past year. You may find it helpful to go through your resume to determine if any of the information there jogs your memory. You may also find it helpful to discuss past projects with your co-workers and see if anything outstanding comes up. Ask your family if they remember anything you may have mentioned to them about your excellent job performance. If you are working with a career coach, ask them for pointers on specific things you should include in your accomplishments document.
Once your accomplishments document is created and has some data, you can use what you have with your superiors to leverage during your negotiations. Consider giving them a copy of your accomplishments documents or including your specifics in a presentation.