The Win Book and Why You Must Have One!
The road of your career is long and winding. These days people are averaging more career changes or moves than ever. Along with that evolution comes title changes, promotions, accomplishments, and a plethora of clients or accounts. You think you'll never forget the experiences or the people. But that's just not true, life goes on, memories fade and details become sparse.
Then the time comes to apply for a promotion, write a new resume, or update your LinkedIn profile. Suddenly all those details are important, yet they seem elusive. In my work, I ask people to outline their career: all the high points and accomplishments over the course of each role they have held. The stress, anguish, and difficulty people have coming up with that information is shocking! It's your career if you don't track it then who will?
You can't leave this information up to memory or old (often misplaced or deleted) records. You must track it yourself as you go. This is why everyone, in any field, needs to keep a Win Book.
A Win Book is for the recording of all the significant moves in your career. It includes promotions, specifics on work-related accomplishments, processes implemented, growth stats, awards, recognition, trainings you led, titles you held, accounts you managed, etc.. It is the highlight reel of your career, and it should be kept by you!
Whether you're a traditional notebook and pen list maker or of the digital mindset, you must keep a running tally of the critical what, where, and when of your career steps. Then when you must articulate your value, negotiate a raise, apply for a new gig, or just rewrite a bio, everything you need to know is at your fingertips. You won't waste valuable time racking your brain to come up with it.
Don't be selective about what you record. You can pull out what's important later on as needed. This isn’t the time to curate your story. What you include as "significant" is up to you and will vary by role. Do not size up your highlights against the performance of peers or talk yourself out of including something because you feel it is "too small" a victory. It is the tracking of important milestones, dates, and specifics about your career story that is critical. As your professional journey evolves, who knows where you will land or what direction life might take you. Having a comprehensive list of how you made an impact lets you pick out what’s relative or transferable to a new role or illustrate, with proof, your success in your current field. Quantifiable details will always set you apart!
Save yourself the aggravation and start a Win Book today (if you don't have one already). Make it part of your work rituals. Put a reminder on your calendar or whatever app helps you focus and make it part of your routine. This is your career; you are in charge.
*We also outline the importance of the Win Book in this post: Time to Toot Your Own Horn.