Accounting for Your Accomplishments

Christine Johnson on

When I work with job search clients, I ask them to talk about their career or personal accomplishments.  Many start telling me about what they did wrong instead of what they did right. Some quickly respond “I can’t think of any.”  Or they just stare.  At this point, I ask them to spend time working on a list of their accomplishments – – – accounting for your accomplishments.

But should this be the only time that we think about how good we were at a particular time or in a particular moment?  It’s not.  Accounting for your accomplishments is not always easy. Yet is a great way to:

  • Remember successes and relive the emotions associated with the experiences. Our world is filled with such negative news.  Allowing yourself to remember and feel these positive emotions will make your current place better. We are often reminded of our weaknesses and opportunities by ourselves and others.  Research backs the power of positive recall.
  • Regenerate our foundations for decision-making, career advancement, and personal happiness and growth that we have already established, but often forget.
  • Be ready for that job interview or some similar challenging situation. Since our mind has a tendency to go negative, we often think about what went wrong instead of right.  Add the pressure of a job interview to that and you are setting yourself up for an experience you may regret as soon as it’s over.
  • Overcome a mental rut or suffer short-term more-than-normal negative self-talk. (If you are filled with continuous negative self-talk, please seek out a mental health professional.)

Your List

Your accounting for your accomplishments list should not look like your grocery and to-do lists.  The list should look more like the one described in Simon Sinek’s book Find Your WHY.  Key words to help you remember the situation, what happened, and how did it make you feel.  The last part is key.  Not only will it help you tell your story better, but it will help keep you focused on your purpose.

I practice what I preach on this topic.  The idea for this blog came out of an opportunity to spend time out of my comfort zone (which was a positive experience) which spurred into negative self-talk about lack of confidence and awkwardness.  Recalling my accomplishments help me re-center and feel more present in my conversations.  How much accomplishment accounting have you done recently?

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