Have You Told Your Boss How Great You Are
I always dreaded completing my annual self-review because I had to condense everything I had done in 1 year into a paragraph. Then when I became a manager, I had to remember all of the other things my team and direct reports did. It became a chore. I was lucky though because as program manager, I was organized. I tracked milestones and I communicated successes and failures. Still compiling those at the end of the year was time consuming. The one thing I learned during my years as a program manager was to make sure my boss knew the good things I was doing. I had no choice. I needed to communicate what was happening with all of my programs and project, but the reality though is that we all get busy at work, fighting the next fire, working through the next problem that all of the good things go to the wayside. So this post, is all about reminding you to tell your boss how great you are.
By tell I mean list and email out all of your personal accomplishments and your team’s accomplishments. Do this on a frequency that makes sense. Perhaps, it’s monthly or quarterly. Do this before the holidays take over. It’s easy to go into the recency bias where you only favor the things you’ve accomplished in the past few months, but what about all of that work you did in January, what business problem did you solve, those are important too and they are worth mentioning. Time flies. We know this so it’s important to keep track of our work goals and how we track against them over time. It’s also easier to refer to these summaries at the end of the year.
Tip: Create a folder in your email where you save or send yourself project milestones. It’s easy to do and won’t require you to keep track of a lot of data. Just a quick note stating what you did and how it helped move a project or how a project was completed.
Statistically women do not talk about their work in the way men do. Women do the work because it’s expected of them, but they don’t shout successes from the rooftops that most men do. If Sally mentions that she just closed a large deal, she will be seen as boastful. If Jim does the same thing, he gets a pat on the back and a high five. This of course is a problem because we have to normalize women speaking up and being able to take credit where credit is due. It’s unfortunately the reality that some women’s voices get trumped by men’s in busy meetings. It’s time to normalize and be OK with self-promotion. You deserve a pat on the back. Say Thank You.
Tip: Save emails where others praise you for a job well done. This can be as simple as a colleague thanking you for doing something outside of your job responsibility or as large as saving the day for a client. These are important to note so that you can refer to these positive reviews. It won’t feel like you are doing a lot of self-promotion because someone is essentially doing it for you.
There’s a common mistake that people make when negotiating for a raise and it’s asking for more money because they’ve been with the company for x amount of years. Truth be told, no one cares if you’ve been with the company for some many years, the only thing that matters if is you’ve been performing. The only way your boss will remember that you are performing and that you are worth keeping is to make sure he/she knows all of the work that you are doing and how great you are. Sometimes, the day-to-day politics can make you lose sight of all of the good work that’s happened. Sometimes, managers can get inundated with other problems that they forget all about the successful projects. It’s not fair, but it happens.
In the end, it’s your boss that goes behind closed doors to vouch for your work. Arm him or her with the necessary tools and data to champion for you.
Tip: Draft up a quick email each month to list out what you’ve accomplished just as a reminder. Keep them handy so that they are easily accessible come review time.
So, yes remind your boss how great you are. Because being a performer means knowing your worth and getting paid your worth and the only way people will know you are a performer is if you tell them. And if you are a manager, ask your direct reports to do the same thing. This makes you look good and provides you proof that your team is doing good work.
Have you done this recently? Have you told your boss how great you are?
Need more help? Take a look at this CreativeLive Class: “How to Be Great at Your Job? Get the Credit. Get Ahead.”