Success Journals are a secret weapon that can escalate a talented executive women and advance her career. While coaching talented executive women, I’m amazed that so many talented women have not tracked their accomplishments during their career, but wait until they are looking for a new role and then they frantically try to remember all their projects and accomplishment since they last updated their resumes.
In my first session with my clients and during my free career strategy sessions, I recommend that clients start with, what I call, a Success Journal and develop a habit of updating the journal weekly or bi-weekly.
My Success Journals goes back over twenty years, and it is one of my personal prized possessions. My journals are so important that when I move, I personally take my Success Journal Binders in my car along with other prized and valuable possessions.
What is a Success Journal?
Let’s dive deeper and learn more about a Success Journal.
A Success Journal is also referred to as a “brag book”, a non-creative portfolio, or more officially “Career Management Documents”, a comprehensive collection of your accomplishments, the results and third-party evidence or social proof to support your accomplishments and results.
Why Start a Success Journal
1. Boosts Your Confidence
When you track all your projects and accomplishments, you track your career progression, growth of your skills sets and acknowledge the experience that you are gaining.
While collecting all the third-party evidence or social proof from other people, I’ve seen how stunned women get when they see all the support, respect, acknowledgement, and recognition they have received during their careers.
Looking at your Success Journal, you can see how far you’ve progressed in your career and know that you are talented!
2. Identifies Your Competitive Advantage
Your Success Journal is also your clear competitive advantage over other candidates. Your journal shows and acknowledges your unique strengths, experience, knowledge, education, expertise, your professional network, relevant achievements or other accomplishments that make you stand out from others in your profession.
A documented list of your accomplishments in a journal is a good start and helps to amplify your results as well as quantify your accomplishments. Some examples to track are:
- Amount of increased revenue for the company
- Time you saved the company by identifying and solving problems
- Ideas or innovations you introduced
- Amount of money saved by procedures or systems you developed, implemented, or optimized.
3. Comes in Handy When Asking for A Raise or Promotion
When your manager asks you what you bring to the table and why you deserve the raise or promotion, you’ll have the answer. You’ll have a clear record of your work and accomplishments to prove that you’re hitting your Key Performance Indicators or even exceeding them.
4. Brightens up a Bad Day
On days, especially on bad days, and when you’re feeling uncertain, experiencing imposter syndrome or down about your situation, open your Success Journal and take a look at all your “Wins” and acknowledge how talented you are.
You are a talented professional and leader!
5. Helpful for Your Career Overall
Lastly, a Success Journal can help with your career overall, and in situations during your career, such as:
- Asking for a raise or a promotion
- Preparing for an annual performance review
- Tracking the progress of your projects and the results
- Updating your resume, personal website, or cover letters.
- Creating your LinkedIn profile description and the achievements under each role
- Preparing for an interview so you’re ready to talk about your accomplishments during the interview
- Applying for recognition, awards or scholarships
- Setting your personal and professional goals for the next year
Ideas To Collect In Your Success Journal
To get you started, grab a binder and some binder pockets, and take a look at some ideas that you can collect in your Success Journal:
- Annual Performance reviews
- Compliments you received from colleagues and managers about your work
- Personalized thank-you notes from clients or colleagues
- A quick note or appreciation email from your boss or colleagues
- Praise from company executives or the higher management team
- Recommendations from colleagues, team members or clients
- Social Media posts recognizing your accomplishments
- Certifications and awards
- Photos at and from work such as screen shots of zoom meetings, photos of whiteboard work, networking events, volunteer project events and more)
If there’s any other items relevant in your career journal, add them into your Success Journal.
Success Journals are collection of your career journey showcasing your successes and wins. Keeping track of it all can help you in many ways – in your career, in your personal growth and in your overall personal confidence in life.
The more you track and review your Success Journal, the more you will internalize how talented you really are, and how you make good things happen. You start to develop what I call the “Talent Mindset”, an absolute belief in your unique abilities, job performance, the value you bring to any organization. You “come into your own’ and know you are a great team member, professional and leader.
For more ideas and support on Success Journals, book a Free Career Strategy Session with myself, Maureen.