Humility and being humble can help you live a good life. That being said, strategically “bragging” about your accomplishments is a good way to help advance your career.
One of my first mentors taught me to keep a “Brag Sheet” which is basically an up-to-date list of accomplishments.
Your Brag Sheet can take many forms, it could even be as robust as an online portfolio.
I’m going to cover the short version, an up to date one page bullet list of all your recent accomplishments that you can share with others.
Things to include with each accomplishment:
Short title of the project/course/initiative
Who else was involved
A brief “So What?” story, one or two sentences to describe the impact of your involvement. (Read more about “So What?” stories in the linked blog below)
Or if you’d prefer you could answer the questions: who, what, where, when, how and why? for each accomplishment.
Accomplishments to Include:
Education completed (even single courses)
A note on including volunteer roles. I've had people who worked for me before saying, "I don't want to talk about my volunteer roles, it's about my private life and how I choose to spend my time." The advantage of mentioning your volunteer roles, is that it helps clearly demonstrate, that not only are you excelling in your current role, but that you have the potential to do more.
Other information to include:
Your future goals
Courses you’d like to take
Positions you aspire to be promoted to,
Lateral transfer opportunities
A move outside of the country, etc.
Sharing your Brag Sheet Strategically
While it would be nice to think that a supervisor knows everything that you’re working on, and has copious notes on your accomplishments, the truth is, they’re only human. Sharing your Brag Sheet with your supervisor before they write your assessment or evaluation can be a big help for them – and for your career progression!
Showcasing your Brag Sheet is also handy when it comes time to discuss that raise or promotion you've been working toward.
You may also choose to share your Brag Sheet with your organization’s Human Resources Department, with a mentor, or with an internal hiring board.
How much detail to include:
If your supervisor is somebody you enjoy working for and that you feel knows you, then you can keep your Brag Sheet in bullet point form so that they can use it to refresh their memory while they're writing your assessment.
If your supervisor is someone who's more challenged when it comes to writing evaluations, then you may choose to give a little bit more detail. Perhaps going so far as to include some key phrases that you would love to see on your evaluation or assessment.
Supervisors are only human, if you give them some key phrases that illustrate what you've done and they happen to show up on your evaluation or assessment, then it's win-win. You've made their life easier and you're getting the evaluation or assessment that will help you achieve your next career goal.
Having an up-to-date Brag Sheet puts you in a position to influence your career path. It can help your employer write your evaluation, win you that raise, or sway an internal competition board to choose you for a new role.
This small investment of your time will pay dividends in terms of career progression.