Top 10 Career Transition Questions: #6 What are your career accomplishments?
Blog post by Career Transition Coach, Mary Schaefer
This blog is part of a series addressing some of the most compelling questions for those that are beginning a career search. During the last 6 years, we have been asked hundreds of questions related to career transition and best practices. Here we are distilling those queries down to the 10 most critical need to know responses. Here is #6 of 10, discussing your career accomplishments.
Do I have access to records regarding my professional history and accomplishments like performance appraisals and other reports?
I see it all the time. Far too often I am sitting with a professional when he or she discovers that they really needed to be more focused over the years in keeping track of their professional history. We are not just talking about simple career chronology here. Accomplishments are the backbone of your professional story and so many of us do not take the time to reflect on our contributions. The people we speak to in our coaching practice always share how busy they had become simply doing their respective jobs. The key is, you can make career transition much easier by having some helpful documents at your fingertips.
After I went through my first downsizing experience, I realized how hard it can be to update my resume without good records of my career accomplishments. Frankly, the experience of going back through a 16-year career to analyze my accomplishments was extremely painful. The benefit however, was great reflection time on the value that I bring to the marketplace. When I started my next role, I adopted the habit of keeping a running log of my work assignments, accomplishments and training. I found this practice highly beneficial. It helped in the preparation for my performance appraisals with my manager, made developing a LinkedIn profile a little easier, and worked wonders in keeping my resume up-to-date.
Depending on the situation you’re in, whether it is career transition or career management, be sure you acquire or copy critical documentation like your training records, project presentations, records of certifications, and any other professional history that your employer keeps on file. And be sure to keep your own running log as a backup plan. It will serve you in so many ways down the line, making difficult situations just a little bit easier.