Picture this: you’re in the dreaded performance review. Your manager measures your recent work history over some standard company metrics, as well as through your own acknowledgements. Afterwards, they give you a pretty generic spiel about how your work is okay, but things can be improved. Then, it’s over.
As you walk out, you suddenly remember you never mentioned that you helped design the company website. And you collaborated with a team member to write advertising copy. Oh wait, you also never brought up that you’re currently working with a co-worker to manage some interns. Now what? You can’t just go back and do the performance review again, right? How can you learn from this?
Managing all career activity is absolutely necessary when it comes to taking control of your professional image. Without it, you may be stuck in the situation we illustrated above, which can also decrease your chances of a promotion and career advancement. The easiest way to manage yourself is to keep an up-to-date work portfolio so you’re not surprised in a meeting with your manager. So, here are some questions you should ask yourself, which will ultimately help you manage not only your portfolio, but your career in the process:
As we noted in the example above, your manager obviously had no idea that you were working on these other goals. Though at the time they may not have been relevant or directly correlated to your job, the fact is they may have made an impact. So, it’s important to note what’s really important in your work portfolio, particularly the things that created revenue or an image boost for your organization.
What are you working on right now?
Some goals are in progress, and that’s okay. Think of your work portfolio as an opportunity to tell a story—a story that’s currently not completely formed, but on its way. Your work portfolio can be an avenue for tracking goals, as opposed to just saying what you’re working on. This shows your manager how a goal grows, as well as your role in its evolution.
Who likes it?
Work portfolios can also serve as a feedback or endorsement hub. For example, if you noted that you were working on that advertising copy, you can use an online portfolio to ask for real-time feedback and endorsements of your work. By doing so, you allow your supervisor to see you not only worked on a particular project, but you also got the thumbs up or feedback from your network, which you took into consideration as you moved forward.
Are you keeping everyone informed?
Work portfolios aren’t only for you. They’re also for everyone else as well, so keep this in mind when you’re managing the content. For instance, your goals can be measured and then relayed to your manager and co-workers through weekly reports. So, if there’s a question on what you’re working on this month, the reports—which are based on goal progress—can be the crystal clear evidence a person would need to ensure work is being done, as well as a way to give you feedback in real-time.
What do you think? What are some other ways to manage your work portfolio?