Keeping Track of Your Accomplishments

by Diana La Femina, Head Editor, INALJ South Carolina

Keeping Track of Your Accomplishments

diana la feminaI’m learning a lot in my current administrative position, and not necessarily what I thought I’d be learning. It’s exhausting (I’m either traveling to or at work 14 hours out of the day) and I find the position really uncomfortable, but the latter is a good thing. I’m out of my comfort zone and I feel like I’m learning skills I’ve never had to learn before, at least not to this extent. (On a side note, Naomi is a saint for putting up with my perpetually-late blog posts due to said exhaustion.)

One of the things I’ve learned that’s stuck out in stark relief is just how much I concentrate on the negative in my job performance. I’ll do one hundred things in a day (no joke), and I may do 97 of those things either competently or impressively well. I don’t think about those 97 things, though; I always fixate on the 3 that I either didn’t do well or didn’t do well enough. It’s a big obstacle both in my confidence on the job and in my ability to sell myself and my skills. I know I’m not alone in this.

One thing I’ve learned is to keep a running account of what I do. Not a daily tally, no, but a record of my daily tasks and any projects I’m in charge of. It took a while to get it together (and I was given a template), but it’s amazing how much I do but didn’t realize I was doing (if that make sense).

So, to help you out, I’m including below the basic sections that I have in my record. I’m also going to include a filled-out list so you can see just what goes into it. Set it up in whatever format you like: Excel, PowerPoint, Word, written on paper with pretty pictures drawn into the margins. It’s amazingly useful for seeing what you’ve accomplished and it can also act as a base for a portfolio. Once I have some time I’m going to use this format to expand upon what projects I completed in the past, including my internships, dissertation, class projects, and anything I’ve done in past jobs that I feel is relevant. Go forth, and let me know if you make any additions!

 

Name of project/task

Reasons this task is necessary/needed

Key Milestones

1.       [List the main steps in this projects, including a target date or date completed if you like]

2.       [Next step]

3.       [Next step]

 

Open Issues and Risks

1.       [This section is to list any obstacles you overcame, complications that arose, and issues you see/saw from the start]

2.       [Next issue]

3.       [Next issue]

 

Next Steps

1.       [This section is great to keep track of where you are in the process and to help you figure out what you need to do next; not necessary for a portfolio]

2.       [Next step]

3.       [Next step]

 

EXAMPLE – This example is actually a past project I did, but I’m writing it below as if it’s still in process to show how I use the Next Steps area.

Development of the library at the Westchester Italian Cultural Center

The center wants to set up a scholarship program with NYU to facilitate research into Italian-American culture. The current library consists of donated books and supports neither current patrons nor projected scholars.

 

Key Milestones

1.       Compiled a list of current library holdings from multiple records and notations of donations.

2.       In conjunction with advising professor from NYU, compiled a weeding list to free up space in the library and remove irrelevant titles.

3.       Created an acquisitions list from many sources to support both current patrons of the center and the proposed scholarship program.

4.       Advised on possible cataloguing programs to keep track of holdings and provide searchable access to the catalogue.

 

Open Issues and Risks

1.       There was no comprehensive recording of donations and holdings of the library prior to my research

2.       Needed to marry needs of current patrons and needs of projected scholars.

3.       Center was a distance from where I lived, so I had to do most work remotely while working full-time elsewhere.

 

Next Steps

1.       Find SOURCES for acquisitions list.

2.       Compile spreadsheet using SOURCES to track most listed/suggested titles.

3.       Using this spreadsheet, create acquisitions list for library.

4.       Research cataloging options for library.

 

  1 comment for “Keeping Track of Your Accomplishments

  1. Q
    July 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    What a great idea! I am also one of those people who always tends to see the negative in my performance rather than what I’ve accomplished, so this will be very helpful for me. I am also looking for a new job now, and I can see using something like this to help organize my relevant accomplishments and describe them in a concise way when crafting cover letters and resumes.

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