Keeping Track of Your Work

No one (not you, not your manager) remembers everything you did in the last year. To help yourself and your manager during the performance review season and remind yourself of the big picture, keep a brag document.

  • List accomplishments

  • Include a theme or big picture

  • Include fuzzy work (e.g. refactor, interview, etc.)

  • Include follow up (I shipped this feature, which has this impact)

brag document template

  • Goal for this year / next year

  • Projects

    • Accomplishments

    • meta-work, e.g. can we cut scope?

    • impact, numeric (e.g. save x dollars, sell y dollars) and non-numeric (e.g. pass an audit)

  • Collaboration & Mentorship

    • help peers

    • mentor intern / new hire

    • answer questions from other teams

    • code review

    • internal talk or workshop

  • Design and Documentation

  • Company Building

  • What you learned

  • Outside of work

    • blog posts

    • talks / panels

    • open source work

    • industry recognition

Probably need to review these questions every quarter.

The Current Gig

  • What are your strengths? How do you know that?

  • What do you need to work on? How do you know that? How are you working on this area? Is your company helping?

  • How long have you been at the current company?

  • How long have you been in the current role?

  • When was your last promotion of role? How was this communicated to you? What is the one thing you believe you did to earn this promotion?

  • When was your last compensation increase? (Compensation = Base salary, bonus, and/or stock)

  • Do you feel fairly compensated? If not, why? If not, what would you consider fair compensation? What facts do you base that opinion on? Have you told this to your manager?

  • When was the last time you received feedback from your manager?

  • What compliment do you wish you could receive about your work?

  • Are you learning from your manager? What was the last significant thing you learned from them?

  • What was the last thing you built at work that you enjoyed?

  • What was your last major failure at work? What’d you learn?

  • What was the last piece of feedback you received (from anyone) that substantively changed your working style?

  • Who is your mentor? When was the last time you met with them?

  • When was the last 360? What was your biggest lesson? (A 360 is a process where a neutral party gathers feedback from all the humans in your working sphere. Your managers, your peers, and if you’re a manager, your direct reports. I try to do a 360 every three years because the synthesized feedback is always revealing.)

The Next Gig

  • When did you last change jobs? Why?

  • When did you last change companies? Why?

  • What aspect of your current job would you bring with you to a future gig?

  • What is your dream job? (Role, company, etc.)

  • What is a company you admire? What attributes do you admire?

  • Who is a leader that you admire? What are the qualities of that leader that you admire?