This past month I celebrated two huge milestones. It’s been ten years since I started back in tech with only 90 days to prove myself while having zero networks and zero tech skills, and four years since I founded DevelopHer with no outside investments, all while working full-time on the frontlines of tech myself. As I celebrate these life-changing moments, I’ve been reflecting a lot on how far I’ve come.
For the past ten years, I’ve documented all of my progress and successes. I keep a running list of projects I’m working on, deliverables I’ve met, feedback large and small, and my own reflections on the progress I’ve made. As I watch my list grow, I have a better understanding of how hard I’m working and how much I am achieving. It shows me my career trajectory. Writing things down reminds me of how far I’ve come and what I’ve overcome, therefore continuing to show me a path forward.
I use a journal to document when I update my resume, apply for new positions or opportunities, and even when I revise my Linkedin profile!
Tracking Your Progress Will Help You:
Hold Yourself Accountable
Keeping track of what you’re doing on a daily basis forces you to hold yourself accountable. There’s no room for slacking off, and the proof is in your journal!
Now I get it, sometimes getting started with journaling can be difficult, especially staying committed to continuously tracking your progress. When you’re having trouble sticking to a routine, you might need an extra push from outside sources. That’s where the DevleopHer Membership comes in. It’s one of the reasons I created this community. The DevelopHer Membership community has helped thousands of women in tech learn to communicate better, negotiate their worth, build their value, and hold one another accountable to reach their goals.
The membership provides 5 daily challenges a week and 2 monthly group coaching calls. Those check-in calls are where we ensure we’ve been sticking to our goals and where we share our progress. It’s a great way to stay motivated and inspired monthly to put your best foot forward. The other hard-working women in the DevelopHer Membership never fail to motivate and inspire me, and they’ll do the same for you!
We help one another meet tasks and goals, and it’s incredibly motivating to check things off your list as you progress and share it with the community!
Gain Perspective & Know Your Value
Having a journal and a community of supportive peers helps me when I talk to people about myself. When I write down what I’ve accomplished, I find it easier to fill out my performance reviews and self-evaluations. It allows me to speak comprehensively about what I’ve accomplished. It helps me go out and talk to others about my work.
Keeping track of what you’ve accomplished can not only help build confidence but help you combat that pesky imposter syndrome. Seeing how much you’ve done and how far you’ve come will give you perspective on those days when you really need it and help you build your value. Knowing what you bring to the table and relaying that information to others is essential to getting ahead.
Celebrate Small Wins
The workdays get super busy, and we often forget all the details of what we’ve done. Writing about what you’ve been working on will also help you recognize those small wins. No matter how small these wins are, it’s important to celebrate them. In our monthly DevelopHer check-ins, I always love when members share their small wins along with big wins.
We often are always looking ahead, ready to tackle the next project and don’t take time to acknowledge how far we’ve already come. It’s important to celebrate and recognize even the smallest of tasks that you’ve tackled. This is a great way to keep yourself motivated and help avoid feeling burnt out and overstressed.
Reach Your Goals
Permit yourself to focus on progress, not perfection. If you do this, you’ll actually find yourself feeling even more productive. Your career will advance when you can articulate what you’ve achieved and the value you bring to your company.
Tracking your progress and knowing what you’ve done will help you in interviews, performance reviews, and when you’re up for promotions! Even if you just take five minutes a day to write down what you’ve done, you will start to notice a difference in the way you think about yourself and your career.
When I started documenting my progress, my journal was a simple text file that sat in a folder on my work computer’s desktop. It was easy to access, simple to update, and backed up so I wouldn’t ever lose the data. This method worked well for me, and you may decide to do something similar.
Anytime I’m feeling stuck in my career, I pull out my journal, and it always reminds me how far I’ve come and how much I’ve accomplished. No matter what method you choose to track your growth, the biggest gift I can give you is to tell you right now that you absolutely need to do this for yourself. Your future will thank you.