Is your career humming along as you thought it would? Are you getting recognition, being offered great interim positions that will certainly help when a next-step position becomes open? Have you been noticed by HR for succession planning or by the CAO for a special assignment?
If not, it could be that no one really notices your stellar work. And like it or not, it's up to you to make sure people notice. Don't count on your boss - you might be a threat! Don't count on HR - you're one of many! Count only on yourself by tracking your work in a file usually referred to as the "me file," or "accomplishment file."
An excellent way to do this is to track your work, ready to share at an annual performance review, to throw into a casual impromptu conversation with the CAO, or to slide into a discussion at a committee meeting. (Something akin to "You know, I did a project like this last year and I'd love to lead this one" builds your credibility and doesn't sound boastful.) Again, like it or not, if you don't promote yourself, it isn't likely to happen.
Things to Track
• How you've contributed. If you have specific annual goals, make sure you track your progress in achieving these. And, if you've come up with ideas to improve a process, save time, cut out steps, incorporate technology to automate a time-consuming regularly recurring procedure - keep track not only of what you did, but how much money your idea saved, how you wrote about it for the corporate newsletter, and how that led to another department expressing interest in your idea.
• How you've helped out. Ad-hoc teams, committee assignments, special projects - keep a list of where you've participated, how often, and the role or research you contributed.
• What your goals are. Jot down a few of your own career goals as they relate to the company, what training you've identified that you need to get there, and how this would positively impact the company.
• What makes sense for your next year's goals. Pull in training that might help in a long-term project or committee, in succession planning, in tackling industry problems that loom on the horizon.
Actively tracking means these things are top of mind, ready to pull out of your memory banks at an appropriate time. And having these ready means you won't be losing any sleep at all as your annual review comes up.
For you go-getters out there, here's how to kick it up a notch: create a PowerPoint presentation to share in your annual performance review. With that much demonstrated dedication to your career and to the corporate bottom-line, your performance can hardly be ignored.