Reasons to do your own “Best of” list for 2017

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Almost every media outlet has released their “best of 2017” list, or will release their list before the calendar flips to 2018. Have you ever considered doing your own “best of” list about your career accomplishments for the preceding year? Why should you look back and come up with a list of your personal wins and contributions? Let us give you four compelling reasons to take a trip down memory lane and develop your own “highlight reel.”

1.Year end reviews
Even if you don’t have a year end review scheduled with your boss, it’s inevitable that there will be conversations discussing what went well in 2017, what could improve for next year, and how your team plans to meet its goals in the coming year. While this might not be a formal discussion about your accomplishments and areas to improve, this would be the time to casually highlight the ways you were an asset to your team and company in the previous year. If you have concrete examples of your contributions that your boss can cite in a conversation with leadership, not only does your boss look better, but you might get kudos from someone in leadership resulting in your stock growing with people who could help you get your next promotion.

2.Resume fodder
Are you on the hunt for a new role either within your current company or in a new organization? Update your resume to lead with your most recent accomplishments in your current role. It’s also a good time to reflect on how your achievements have changed the organization during your tenure. What have you contributed over the course of your time at the company? How have your actions improved processes, sales, revenue and company direction? Make sure you cite tangible numbers, percentages and meaningful statistics that an HR manager or your new boss can reference when they’re talking about your background to colleagues and leadership.

3.Promotion?
Is someone in your team going to get a promotion in 2018? Why shouldn’t it be you? It can be if you tell your manager why you’re eligible. This doesn’t have to take the form of an in-your-face campaign directed at your boss, it can take the form of subtle mentions of your successes when a new project comes to your team, or there’s a problem that arises that could benefit from one of your previous solutions that generated the desired outcome. However, there may come a time when you have to say the words, “I want this promotion because,” and you can finish that sentence with a recap of your accomplishments from the last year.

4.Goals for 2018
Even if your manager doesn’t sit down with you and request a formal declaration of what you plan to do in 2018, you should put together a plan for yourself. Identify areas within your role that can help your team reach its targets for the upcoming year, and map out how your influence will raise the bar or make those goals more attainable. A good manager will recognize your desire to take a leadership role, appreciate that you’ve thought about it, and not feel like you’re stepping on toes. You don’t need to approach this task with a “it’s my way or the highway” attitude, rather, explain your approach based on last year’s outcomes, and why you think 2018 can be even better. Even if your manager doesn’t get behind you on each component of your plan, chances are you have given a new idea or two that can help the team in the next twelve months.

You can only know where you’re going if you know where you’ve been.

James Burke  

If you can figure out what you’ve done well in the previous year, you’re setting yourself up to repeat your best results, give yourself the advantage of knowing what you could have done better, and build upon your accomplishments during the next year. By putting together your personal “best of” list, you’ll arm yourself with examples of why you’re an asset to your current employer, and have easily accessible examples of what you could do if you’re looking for a new role.

Here’s to a fantastic 2018! Happy New Year from everyone at Ambrion!