For many of us, work performance is usually based on how much we enjoy our job, the amount of feedback we receive, our work environment, or if we attain the right results. However, there’s also another factor that needs to be considered when you or your manager assess your work performance: career management.
Career management boils down to how well you keep track of what you do, as well as letting you see what you can improve on. The overarching benefit is then obvious: taking control of what you do and how you do it makes you a better worker. Plus, if you’re aware and monitor everything you’ve done (because it is hard to remember down the road), you’ll be in a better position if you have to report your work in the future.
For many people, career management is based off of things like performance reviews (did we mention we aren’t fans?), but there is room for you to do a little management yourself. Here’s how:
Keep track of everything
A huge part of managing your career is keeping of track of everything you do. This includes more than just your accomplishments. It includes every focus, goal, collaboration, as well as what everything amounted to. Using numbers or metrics with the latter can add substantial evidence to your professional brand and lets everyone see what you do well.
It’s also part of being a great employee. What makes the best employees is that they communicate their efforts, where they fall short, and their success and impact is broadcasted. This keeps them focused and always aligned with their team, supporting their immediate and long-term needs. This allows them to juggle priorities.
Think of it this way: you want to give anyone—be it a current manager, future boss, co-worker, etc.—everything necessary to ensure you’re looked at as a remarkable employee. Keeping track of your collective WorkStory is therefore an essential part of the process.
Get the thumbs up from your network
Another important part of career management is getting people to do the talking for you. This is not to say that you should use your network for your own benefit. On the contrary, you should look to your network to endorse when they’re already aware of.
Getting essential recommendations can help you manage your career in a variety of ways. First, it lets you backup your accomplishments should you need an opinion of another. Next, network endorsements are also good for your career ego—and can give you the confidence you need when your work is evaluated or questioned.
Build a visual portfolio
Work portfolios are a great way to physically manage your career. While they let you take control of everything you’ve done, it also puts it all in one place. For example, if you take things like those endorsements and goals you’ve accomplishments and present them in a visually appealing way, it allows you to show not only yourself, but also a present or future manager everything they’d need, which can also include weekly reports, what you’re currently working on, and praise and feedback.
Plus, let’s not forget that a visual dashboard is a lot more attractive than verbally saying you did something. It paints a picture and tells a story, giving your career that added boost it needs.
What do you think? Is career management the key to strong work performance? Why or why not?