By Julie Dal Santo from My Career Capital
The term ‘Career Capital’ refers to the unique and valuable skills, knowledge, connections, and credentials that allow a person to have impact in their job. We all have career capital. What differs is how we each manage our own career capital.
Our days are filled with taking in information and moving from one thing to the next very quickly. No wonder we can often find it hard to remember what we did two weeks ago, let alone two months ago. Life gets busy and it moves very quickly. This isn’t a good enough reason to not capture and track all the good work you are doing and have done. We are constantly taking information and moving from one task to another. In an era of constant changing working and learning environments we must capture, map and track all our experiences. What you have achieved, will after all be what will help you navigate the next steps in your career.
It’s important to capture and use your career capital and not let it pass by. To give ourselves the best chance at achieving our own version of career success and feeling fulfilled in the work we do, we need to create time and space for managing it. One of the easiest and most powerful ways of doing this is tracking your achievements.
As a student, it’s likely that your work experience may be limited. This makes it even more important to track your achievements. We’ve put together some tips to support you on tracking your achievements more successfully.
Establish a routine
To give yourself the best chance at achieving, making routine conversations about what you are doing, how you are tracking and checking in with yourself is essential.
Create the time, headspace and commitment to check in with how you are tracking. Write down what you are working on, what actions are you taking, what are you finding hard, and what do you want to know more about. If you can do this once a term or even more then you’ll find the routine provides ongoing feedback to support your career development.
This will help you work through your goals, focus, and give you a better chance of achieving. You will have notes recorded of all the things you’ve done, how you’ve achieved, and what skills you’ve gained along the way. This information is invaluable when it comes to writing your resume, interviewing or knowing what you’re good at.
Use a method
There are many frameworks or groups of questions that may be helpful to follow when it comes to tracking achievements.
The STAR method is an incredibly useful four step framework as it helps you record key information from what is achieved or successfully navigated. It can very easily transfer information into highlighting relevant skills when writing your resume, as well as providing an articulate response to an interview question.
So when you’re sitting down to reflect on a school project, or situation where you’re volunteering or working, as a part of your routine, simply put a few dot points under these four headings. This universal method will be sure to help you make sure you’re highlighting your great achievements in the right way.
Set the situation scene to give some context to what is happening. Explain the focus of the situation, where it took place, and if you were part of a team. Were there any barriers?
- When I was in year 12, all the senior school students had to share a communal common area during school breaks.
- There was limited furniture in the area to enjoy a break or work, which made it really difficult to get a seat when it was busy.
- This made students often avoid the area, sometimes even leaving school grounds.
This is where you explain your role in the situation. What was the goal? What were you responsible for? What did your role involve?
- Whilst attending a monthly student representative meeting, I presented the idea that we have a whole school free dress day where students make a gold coin donation. All the proceeds would go towards purchasing some new furniture for the senior school communal area to improve the area and school concerns.
- After discussion, we agreed I would lead the process to get approval from the Principal.
It is here that you explain what you actually did. Be specific and explain what were the steps you took and how you overcame any challenges.
- Prepared the free dress fundraising proposal and briefed the student representative group to get their feedback and support before submitting it.
- Presented the idea to the school Principal and submitted the free dress fundraising proposal support with three furniture quotes for review and approval.
- Once approved, I led the implementation with the support if the student representative group. This included raising awareness across the school, coordinating planning and dates with the school as well as collaborative senior school input on furniture selection.
So what was the outcome of your actions? This is where you can be specific, and try to capture any facts, figures and positive feedback. Importantly, capturing what you learned from the situation can further you in this exercise.
- Senior school students reported that they were really satisfied with the new inclusive and engaging common area, and the other year levels expressed their excitement for using the space in the years to come.
- The school reported an increase in student attendance and overall engagement at school.
Who are your allies?
Your allies – your people, your tribe, whatever you feel most comfortable calling them – make sure you have them, know who they are, and that you nurture your relationship with them.
Embarking on your career, this is one thing that you cannot ever invest too much time in. Surrounding yourself with people who want you to succeed, will keep you accountable, who will challenge you to develop further and understand your true potential. Your people will definitely extend beyond friends and family, and are people that you can trust.
Who do you know? Write them down. Contact them, and meet them for a chat. Some may become a coach or mentor.
They will likely want to know “What are your career goals, and how can they help you achieve them?” Having these conversations will help unlock new thinking. Draw or expand your goals from your mind and into the world (yes, that makes them real). They can keep you accountable and on track for what you’re working on, and you’ve also got someone else who has your success and goals in mind – which can unlock opportunities now or in the future.
They will also want to celebrate when you do achieve!
You will no doubt accumulate lots of experience, knowledge, skills, and achievements throughout the years. Tracking them effectively and being able to use it when you need to will most definitely prepare you well for your future. Using My Career Capital, starting now will make a big difference.
This guest article was written by Julie Dal Santo from My Career Capital
Julie is an experienced coach, HR professional and facilitator. Julie’s work is focussed on ensuring people have the tools, support and know-how they need to successfully grow and manage their own ‘career capital’ across their lifetime.
Are you interested in more about this, and wanting to develop students clarity, confidence and readiness for their career? My Career Capital offers integrated workshops, programs and an innovative platform where students can design, manage and grow a personalised digital portfolio of their career capital to enhance their career and employment.
Get in touch with us today if you’re interested to find out more about how we can help.