When I was still navigating the corporate world, preparing for my annual performance review became a moment of revelation.
Despite a year filled with accomplishments, I found myself struggling to recall and document specific successes.
The effort and stress it took to sift through a year’s worth of memories was tremendous. I realized I had been so focused on overcoming the next challenge that I never truly acknowledged my victories, big or small.
This was a turning point for me. It led to the inception of what I now call my ‘Highlight Reel’ – a reflective practice that has not only revolutionized my professional journey but also significantly altered my personal perspective.
As an executive woman, your year was full of challenges, successes, and a ton of experiences. But the crucial question remains — have you paused to fully recognize and document all that you’ve achieved?
Let’s explore why this reflection is indispensable for both your career and personal growth, and discover the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of crafting your own comprehensive annual highlight reel.
Find the full transcript and other resources for women leaders at: https://livingwhileleading.com/28.
Women Leaders Can Master Year-End Reflections for Career Advancement and Empowerment
As the year draws to a close, it’s crucial to take a moment and reflect on your professional path. This exercise goes beyond self-congratulation — it’s a strategic step in cementing your influence and impact.
Your achievements are your narrative. They define your trajectory and influence how you’re perceived.
Let’s explore why a thorough reflection on your accomplishments is crucial from a career standpoint, and how it seamlessly integrates into performance evaluations, career planning, and ensuring your efforts are recognized and visible.
- Performance Evaluations: As you prepare for your end-of-year performance reviews, having a clear record of your achievements makes the process smoother.
This exercise not only focuses on your own successes but also recognizes the contributions of your team. They’ve played a crucial part in your journey, and acknowledging this fosters a positive work environment. It’s of equal importance to outwardly demonstrate the value they’ve added to achieving organizational objectives.
- Career Planning: When you take time to reflect on your accomplishments it can guide your career path. It helps you identify what you enjoy, what you’re good at, and where you can improve. This insight is invaluable for strategizing your next steps, whether it’s seeking new challenges or investing in skill development.
- Visibility and Recognition: In the corporate world, visibility matters. Keeping track of your accomplishments ensures you’re ready to share your successes in meetings, network events, or even in casual conversations with leaders, investors and industry players. It’s about owning your story and making sure it’s heard.
How Reflecting on Achievements Benefits Women IT Executives
Reflecting on your professional achievements extends beyond your career. It influences your personal growth and well-being.
Let’s discuss how this practice positively impacts your personal life in three significant ways.
- Boosts Confidence: A regular review of your successes can significantly boost your self-confidence. It serves as a reminder of your capabilities, especially during times of self-doubt or when facing new challenges. Recognizing your accomplishments is a powerful tool for personal empowerment which allows you to celebrate your resilience and strength.
- Maintains Motivation: Seeing a list of what you’ve accomplished can be incredibly motivating. It’s a tangible record of your hard work paying off and can fuel you to keep pushing forward.
- Encourages Work-Life Balance: When you reflect on your accomplishments, it also illuminates the hard work (and hours) you’ve put in. This could provide some insight into how you’re spending your time and whether there is a need to re-balance it.
Create a Comprehensive Highlight Reel: Essential Tips for Women Executives
When creating you own highlight reel, it’s most effective when you include all of your achievements, not just the major projects or initiatives. Recognizing these helps, a deeper appreciation of your journey and amplifies the diverse skill set that you bring to the table
Here are 3 tips to guide you to create your own highlight reel and maintain it a consistent practice:
- Monthly Check-Ins: Instead of waiting for the year’s end, have monthly or quarterly reflection sessions. Jot down key achievements, challenges you’ve overcome, and small wins. This practice will make it less overwhelming and provide a more comprehensive view of your year.
- Leverage Technology: Use digital tools to your advantage. Whether it’s a note-taking app, a digital journal, or even a dedicated document on your laptop, find a platform that works for you and stick to it. The key is consistency.
- Involve Your Team: Make this a collaborative effort. Encourage them to maintain their own highlight reels. This not only helps with their professional development but also gives you a clearer picture of their overall performance.
Reflection on your achievements is not a practice in record keeping, rather it’s a recognition and celebration of your journey — both the highs and the lows.
Here’s to a reflective and rewarding end to your year, and an even more accomplished 2024!
Remember, you’re the solution to claiming what’s important to you!