The Importance of Momentous Moments
The majority of us are familiar with performance reviews. Typically, it’s an anxiety-inducing annual sit down with your boss about what you have (or have not) achieved in the past year. A meeting that few look forward to, most fear and the majority feel some level of anxiety about. Not the highlight of most employees year!
Companies and managers see performance reviews from a different perspective. They place a high value on these meetings and spend a significant portion of time preparing for them. We, as employees, tend to be a lot less familiar with our career story and the momentous moments that form it.
Know Your Own Story
Knowing your career story is vital in a dynamic and bustling workplace. It is not just important for companies to engage with branding, storytelling and marketing you need to do so also. Knowing your career story is a vital part of this. Plan and be ready for your next career step what ever that might be.
In a world driven by bottom line figures, analytics, data, and metrics, not alone do employers need to know about your performance but you need to understand your career story.
Not alone do they want to know how you are doing, they need to know what you are doing and how it is benefitting them. So if companies and employers take your performance seriously, you have to ask yourself how much time do you spend productively, evaluating your performance? Ask yourself these simple searching questions-
1. How do you record your professional accomplishments?
2. Do you spend time self-evaluating?
3. Do you record your professional achievements and specific contributions to projects on an ongoing basis?
If you do, you are the exception to the rule. If you don't, why not? Remember, in a world driven by analytics everything you say at a performance review or interview must be backed up with facts and figures. The only way to remember everything you do is to record it, write it down or open a file!
Your key Career Moments sit at the intersection of your long term momentous moments, your daily micro moments and your future DIY moments.
Your momentous moments are the big events that stand out for you. The key events in your career that you may have filed off under the ‘past’, seldom thought about but nonetheless form a very important part of your career journey to date.
Not always positive, in fact sometimes arising from a very difficult situation, your momentous moments are events, projects, changes, crisis, interviews, successes, failures and other moments that you learned from.
Some examples include events, projects, or big moves that you are proud of. Perhaps you were head hunted, you delivered a difficult project on time and within budget, built a new team or progressed quickly in your role. On the other hand you may have had your period of probation extended, been made redundant, made a major mistake or got laid off.
While you are likely to have a mixture of both it is important that you figure out what you learned from both experiences and the role these events have played in your career progression to date.
There is nothing elusive or magical about your momentous moments. Rather, the devil is in the detail.
Your micromoments are the mundane tasks that you carry out day-in-day-out that you take for granted, but others could not do as well. Something you did that you felt went well.
An accomplishment, a target met, a deadline nailed, an awkward meeting successfully concluded, a productive week, billable hours reached or something similar.
It does not have to be a big moment like the smooth handover of a project or hitting well beyond your KPI.
- It may be that you set yourself a specific goal to be more organised. As such you decided to and successfully cleared your desk of all files.
- You may have a project that you don't want to do and you keep putting it off. But this week you sat down and started on one small aspect of it.
- You identified a skills lacuna the previous week. Since then you made a conscious effort to research courses to help fill these skills gap. You are now enrolled on a course to bridge this skills gap.
You will have at least seven momentous moments every week. If you don't record them, you will forget them. It is vital that you take the time to do so.
Future DIY Moments
Your future DIY moments are the events, meetings, courses or things that you keep putting on the long finger yet are always at the back of your mind. The smallest of things that you want to do yet you never seem to get around to them.
Start now. Stop thinking and start doing.
Put a plan in place to network once per month, meet a friend for coffee every second week, invite an old colleague to lunch, start that online course, update your CV. Whatever it is commit to it and do it then record it as a micromoment.
Record Your Career Moments
Schedule 1 minute every day to record your career moments. For example, every day at 8.30pm set a reminder on your phone that tells you it is momentous moments time. Sit down and write, use your voice memo, or take some photographs that represent at least one professional contribution you made today that you are proud of. Outline tasks you completed, what you learned from it and what your particular contribution was. This is an important part of the process.
Your 60 Seconds of Career Moments
This simple 60-second exercise arms you with concrete evidence of your work to date, what you learned from it and what it meant in practical terms for you professionally. As each week passes your momentous moments chart expands. This growing list of your achievements, accomplishments or things you did that you are proud of bolsters confidence. It also forms a vital part of your performance review preparation, CV development and interview management.
For more on this check out Why Your Career Moments Are So Important