Last summer, we talked about the concept of a praise jar: a place for storing positive feedback about your work and/or skills, which you can revisit when lacking confidence or feeling discouraged about your career path.
Praise jars are great for motivation, but less useful when you want to quantify your growth or the impact you’re having on a business (including your own). A praise jar is the qualitative side of your career progression coin, and works best when combined with a quantitative tool: your ‘weekly wins’ list.
A ‘weekly wins’ list, and why you need it
A ‘weekly wins’ list is a list of work accomplishments you compile at the end of each week. To fill it in, you first review your calendar, project management tools, notes, post-its, etc. to remind yourself of what you’ve been up to throughout the week; then, you spend 3-5 minutes jotting down your main wins, which might include:
- Doing something you set out to do
- Shipping something
- Improving something
- Reaching a goal or milestone of any kind
- Any breakthrough you might have had, no matter how small
- Anything that made you feel happy and in control
As you make your list, try to quantify as many of these wins as possible and highlight how you drove, influenced, directed, or impacted the business. For example:
- Doing something you set out to do with 2/3 of the initial budget
- Shipping something 2 days ahead of schedule
- Improving something that will impact X people on the team
- Reaching a milestone like getting Y amount of monthly traffic for the first time
Not everything will have a number attached to it, and that’s perfectly okay; the point here is to get used to reflecting on your accomplishments, understanding what progress looks like for you, and quantifying success so you can leverage it when it matters—for example on your resume, during a performance review, or while interviewing for a new role.
💡 A practical example 💡
I started my current list in my first week at Wildbit, last July. It’s a simple Gdoc with a trophy emoji for a title; it sits in my bookmarks bar, and I have a weekly Asana reminder to fill it in.
This list is already 10 pages long; looking at it today, I can confirm I had completely forgotten about a lot of really good stuff that happened last year 😅 It was also fascinating to compare the initial wins to more recent ones and see how my impact has grown over the past 9 months.
Here are my wins from the last two weeks:
I haven’t quantified everything, but I did add a bit of context to each bullet point to remind future fio of where present fio was at. If I’m ever preparing for a performance review or thinking about switching roles, I’ll comb through this document and distil some of my highest-impact wins, like I did here:
Content folks like us are used to working with words—but it’s often the ability to quantify our success and communicate it through numbers that makes a huge difference to our career trajectory.
’Weekly wins’ lists are an easy way to get started.
Will you give them a try?