Use Accomplishment Lists

By Scot Herrick | Job Search

Apr 23

One of the things that I like to have from my employees — and want to do for myself — is a weekly status report. Administrivia? Yes. But, a record of your accomplishments for the week. And week after week adds up to a lot of accomplishments.

Over at J Wynia’s, he suggests Managing Your Career with Daily Accomplishment Lists. Looks like a simple implementation as well:

Keeping an accomplishment list on a daily basis can be great career management. I write down the things I get done at work in a specific notebook, under a heading for the day. I don’t use any special formatting, just a quick note for each thing I finish, with a dash to the left to mark the separations. If I can easily quantify how long I worked on it, I also make a note of how many hours went into it on the left.

He also offers five great reasons for doing this on a daily basis. The most intriguing one for me was for use in updating your resume. I’ve not used my status reports for updating my resume, but the idea of using an “accomplishment” list — whether done daily or weekly — is a great idea.

After suggesting that everyone should be doing interviews on a regular basis as a result of your updated resume, he hit me with the best line I’ve seen in a long time about companies and their loyalty:

And, until companies are willing to share the details of your layoff 8 months before it happens, managing it on a daily basis is the best way to ensure that you’re ready on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis is to keep track of the stuff you accomplish *as it happens*.

Ain’t that the truth!

Having a goal or two for the day and then writing an accomplishment list for the day will go a long way to consistently building your career through making the right things happen.

  • […] are living things that need consistent and constant updating. After all, you are consistently accomplishing stuff on the job, right? The bigger and better the accomplishments, the bigger the need to update your […]

  • Scot Herrick says:

    Hi Mick,

    It is a different perspective, isn’t it? We can use the same task list as accomplishments.

    The interesting thing to me about this approach was to use it across all these different career management tools, including available for your resume. I had used these types of things for status reporting, but not for the rest.

    It’s the same information — but reused in different formats. A good thing.

    By the way, focusing on one task at a time as you are and not getting lost in multi-tasking is a great way of staying productive. Nice going.

  • Mick says:

    At this point in my working life, I function much more efficiently when I create a detailed list of tasks for each day/week and cross them off as I complete each one. Doing so ensures that I am finishing each task before I begin the next, which keeps me from having too many balls in the air at one time – something I tend to do when I’m not careful.

    I never thought of it as recording accomplishments, but that somehow makes it seem a little more rewarding.

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