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Keeping a Log to Track Your Career You can’t improve what can’t be measured By George Muenz Athletes keep a training log, whether online or in a good old fashioned binder. Some can be as simple as recording the activity, for example, “Ran 10 Miles”. Others might add more information about the weather, how they felt, perhaps their effort level. Some, like me, get into significant detail. I record my cycling events, and include distance, speed, cadence, heart rate, power, calories and elevation. There are sites online today like Strava where you can compare your own efforts to previous rides or runs on the same course, or compare to others you know in multiple categories. I have a friend, a former Olympic runner who still has her training logs from when she was a teenager. In the age of pre-Facebook, it was a great way to track and document her passion, her progression and where things went right or wrong. Today you even have tracking applications for food intake, if weight management is important to you. We do these things because we want to improve on our pursuits and passions. However, probably very few of us do any kind of career tracking even though it’s such a critical part of our lives, we spend most of our time doing these tasks, and it has a major impact on our daily lives. The only “tracking “that seems to happen is the dreaded performance review, and from what I have seen of these things, it’s more about the process and the forms than the outcome and benefits. Why should you track your job daily, or at least weekly? Ideally, you would want to do a job that you enjoy and are good at. How would you know how you are doing if you don’t track it, much like you would track any activity in your professional capacity? Are you making an impact or a difference in your job? Are you growing, learning, and developing new skills? Is there conflict among staff in your organization and are you part of the problem or part of the solution? If you are not tracking these activities and ensuring that you are in fact achieving the above, someone else will remind you that these are not happening, sometimes when it’s too late. How in fact would you track your work in these terms? It can be as simple as an emoticon: A smiley for a great day, a frownie for not such a good one. Look back at your week, month, what do you see? You might add, some scales of 1-10 for various categories such as: Interpersonal, stress, learning, growth etc. You can make it as simple or as complex as you like. Don’t get too ambitious however, as you might get excited about having a lot of tracking categories but in a few months will tired of completing all of them. Keep it simple. The old axiom that says, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it” is very true as well in terms of your career. PE George Muenz Certified Career Development Practitioner (CCDP) is Branch Manager at CareerJoy He has over 30 years of business experience both as an entrepreneur and leader in the high technology sector. He has led sales teams in the fast-paced Internet start-ups sector to management positions in Operations, HR and Business Development Email george.muenz@careerjoy.com Call 1|877|256-2569 20 Submit your Articles Personal Excellence essentials presented by HR.com | 11.2014


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