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 network 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 doing a lot of reflecting on how far I’ve come.
For the past ten years, I’ve documented all of my progress and successes in my At-A-Girl Journal. In this journal, 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. My At-A-Girl journal reminds me of how far I’ve come and what I’ve overcome, therefore continuing to show me a path forward.
Having a journal where you track your progress regularly will help you and your career in so many ways. I use my journal when I update my resume, apply for new positions or opportunities, and even when I revise my Linkedin profile! My journal never fails to motivate and inspire me, and it can do the same for you!
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 the journal! Share your goals in your journal, and then refer back to them as you continue forward to help keep yourself focused on the tasks that need to be completed. As you meet tasks and goals, it’s going to be an incredibly motivating feeling to be able to check them off your list.
Gain Perspective & Know Your Value
Having a journal helps me when I talk to people about myself. It helps me fill out my performance reviews and self-evaluations because 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 we so often overlook. No matter how small these wins are, it’s important to celebrate them.
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.
Use DevelopHer’s At-A-Girl Journal to Stay Organized
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.
However, the list became so important that I designed something I now call the DevelopHer At-A-Girl Journal, specifically to capture all of the crucial details in my career. I talk all about the importance of taking time to pause and reflect in my best-selling book, The DevelopHer Playbook. In it, there is an entire chapter dedicated to helping you track your progress using the DevelopHer At-A-Girl Journal (which is included as a free download when you purchase the book!).
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 to you is to tell you right now that you absolutely need to do this for yourself. Your future will thank you