Your business results drive your ability to get better performance reviews, job opportunities and the resulting income that comes from both. Yet, too many of us fail to track our business results and when we get to crunch time -- filling out that self-review for performance or updating our resume -- our business results are nowhere to be found.
Just think about the last time you had to write your performance review. You sit down, stare at the goals you and your manager agreed to long ago and then wonder what you'll write that has any semblance of numbers to report, accomplishments and their importance displayed or the ability to show examples of where your work made a difference.
Generalizations don't cut it -- the manager can't defend your work without numbers and the manager, frankly, won't be tracking your goals and accomplishments.
And don't get me started on tracking business results for resumes...
You need to decide how to track these accomplishments. Here are three ways to do just that.
1. Report your results weekly through your status report
Yeah, I know, status reports are the red-headed stepchildren of sophisticated business reporting. Here's the deal: they work. Why? Because once a week, you need to distill your weeks work into accomplishments that can be measured and agreed upon by others.
Maybe it's one thing that was accomplished -- but it was done. Weekly, it shows your manager you are accomplishing great work. And, oh-by-the-way, gives you a clear record of your accomplishments to take into your performance review writing.
2. Schedule a quarterly review update
Here you put on your calendar a date and time when you formally review your business goals and accomplishments and record them for your performance review and resume file.
Maybe weekly is too much and too granular for you. But more than a quarter apart makes it more difficult to remember those accomplishments and grab the numbers that prove it.
3. Record the accomplishments during your task management review
It is imperative that you have a way of tracking your tasks so that you always have a way of determining your inventory of work. You can flip that around as well. Since you have an inventory of completed tasks, you can review them and determine your business results as you go.
The key to this method is to ensure you can report your completed tasks (most task management programs allow for this) and then get the numbers to support the accomplishment. The completed task doesn't give the business result; the business result is the benefit to the group your work was done for to help them in their work.
When you manage your career -- and income -- it is up to you to market yourself. The way to market yourself is to provide good results from your work. And the ability to prove it.
No more staring at a blank page of a performance review -- or resume -- to write about your results. Follow one of these three methods and you'll be editing the excess out instead.