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Keeping Track of Achievements

I did so many great things in college that I can't keep track of it all.

(I feel obnoxious for writing that, so I can only imagine how hard you're rolling your eyes at me.)

I was ridiculously active as an undergrad student. I remember the campus jobs I had and the student organizations I was on, but sometimes I forget the details. It took a Facebook "On This Day" memory to remind me about a significant public speaking event that I had forgotten about.

I provide that statement and flashback to 2010 to say this: keep track of your accomplishments. This serves a number of purposes:

1. You'll have examples to incorporate during job interviews.

Interviews. You gotta love 'em. Behavioral-based interview questions are increasingly popular. You know the "tell me about a time you did x, y, and/or z keeping 3, 2, and 1 in mind" questions.

Using the STAR method, tie your achievements to specific points of a job position's qualifications list. When questions about that qualification arise, you'll have examples to use without floundering for a decent response.

2. You can look back at what you achieved

Sometimes, you need a reminder of what you've done so that you can do it again. When I'm faced with a new assignment or opportunity, my natural reaction is to panic. The unfamiliar makes my stomach hurt. But there have been other unfamiliar, new things I've done in the past, and I've made it out alive. Usually, I've made it out even better! I have to ground my panic by remembering these instances, and it gives me the motivation to power through.

3. You'll know when it's time to "level up" and set new goals

It feels good to accomplish goals! If you notice that you haven't done anything notable (notable on your own personal scale, small wins are just as important as big ones) lately, set a new goal and get it done.

But on the flip side, sometimes it's nice to take advantage of the lull. After being so actively involved during undergrad, I was a little stunned when I didn't have as many things to do in the real world. For a period, I felt unfulfilled and thought I wasn't as successful as I had been in the past.

It's important to remember that achievements don't have to define you. Some of the greatest accomplishments (acts of charity, kindheartedness, compassion for others, etc.) just come from doing and not necessarily keeping in a list.

Do you keep track of your accomplishments? Have you done something awesome lately that you want to share? Let me know!

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