How to Use A Brag Sheet to Advance Your Career
Its already the second quarter of 2018 and your annual review is right around the corner. You personally know that you are the Beyoncé of your office but when it’s time to articulate that to your supervisor you’ll need the receipts to prove it. That’s when you whip out your Brag Sheet!
A brag sheet is a personal document you use to archive your accomplishments at work or in life on a quarterly basis.
The catalyst for the brag sheet surfaced a few years ago when I was preparing to ask my supervisor for a pay increase in the middle of the fiscal year.
At the time, I was struggling to remember everything I had completed at work. I had taken on stretch assignments, completed portions of the CEO’s work, gave stellar presentations, finished projects under budget, generated revenue and even volunteered for the organization on the weekend.
However, I was drawing a blank.
After I had completed an assignment I was so relieved that the project had ended that I erased it from my memory. In the end, I played myself! I couldn’t properly articulate why I deserved an increase and I squandered an opportunity with the CEO. Moving forward, I personally vowed that I’d never make this mistake again.
So, here’s how to use a brag sheet in four easy steps:
Jot down every meaningful task or assignment that you’ve completed in your current role.
After we’ve been in a role for a while our duties don’t actually mirror our job description. That’s because we are inadvertently promoted to the next level; without the new title and coin. When you write down projects and a few details about each aspect of it you’ll be prepared to coherently communicate why you’re ready for the next level.
For every task or assignment, you complete, identify the impact it had on the company.
During the process, you may learn that your work impacted another department or something totally unrelated to your role. Did you save the company money by streamlining a process? Did you bring in new resources to support the company’s mission? Use the impact section to show that you are a multifaceted asset to the organization.
Illustrate the outcome of your work and include unforeseen obstacle and strategies used to get the project back on course.
Sometimes leaders only want the end results. It’s your job to make them aware of the process. For example, when I walk into a bakery I just see delicious cupcakes. I don’t realize that someone was up at 5 am sifting flour and measuring out the perfect amount of sugar to create pastry perfection. Don’t be a cupcake; cupcakes get eaten. Be able to show the process and the change.
Indicate stretch assignments you’ve taken on.
Stretch assignments are projects that are beyond your current knowledge or skillset. They’re used to develop your skills and get you out of your comfort zone. Take on a few of those types of assignments throughout the year. Also, spend time reflecting on newly acquired skills and personal growth.
The brag sheet can be your springboard to getting what you want out of your career or your life. You can also use it as a guide to get you to the next level or to launch your next big idea. Maybe you’re ready to introduce your side hustle…use it to create case studies or showcase your skills. Make it work for you and your transformation!