In her recent BNET post 3 Small Career Interventions With Big Payoffs, Jessica Stillman lists some ideas from Get Rich Slowly author April Dykman. One of them is to create a ‘brag folder' where you keep copies of all the positive notes, thank yous and acknowledgements you've received from others for your work.
Dykman says it's a great way to keep a record of your performance. You can then use these accolades when you're completing your self-appraisal, and/or share them with your boss at appraisal time. You can also use them when you're asking for a raise. It's an easy way to keep your boss up-to-date with your accomplishments and successes - without seeming like your bragging.
Frankly, most managers would welcome this kind of input and help when conducting performance appraisals.
As I read Stillman's article I thought of how Halogen Performance™ let's you do the same thing either using your performance journal or the documents storage feature. Most people tend to record the facts of their performance and accomplishments, and don't think to include the emails, notes, voicemail messages, etc. from others that praise their work. I think, as Dykman writes, that we don't want to seem like we're bragging.
But if you think about it, the information in these accolades is useful information for you and your manager, and as Stillman points out in her article, collecting this information for discussion with your manager is a small but effective way to invest in your career. These kudos from others are really a form of 360 feedback and can provide you and your manager with broad, objective feedback from a variety of sources.
These acknowledgements of your work and contributions can also help with career advancement since you can use them to extend your network of contacts (it's always good to keep in touch with people who value your skills and contributions). You can also use this positive feedback to identify strengths and capabilities - maybe even see yourself in a different light - and that kind of insight can help with career planning.
I'd suggest that you might also want to keep a ‘complaints folder' to help you identify areas for development, growth or change. Now you might not want to share this feedback with your manager - take into consideration the nature of your relationship and your organization's corporate culture.
Either way, consider using criticism of your work as another great source of feedback and as a motivator for personal change.
What do you think? Have you ever thought of keeping a ‘brag folder'?
If you'd like to check out Halogen Performance's performance journal and document storage capabilities, sign up for a free trial.