Connecting what you have achieved to where you want to go

By Julie Dal Santo from My Career Capital

Achievements are often personal. Each of us will have different versions of what success looks like. In the classroom, achievement can often be talked about in terms of getting high marks. Whilst this is important, if we broaden our view to look at all the information that surrounds the achievement, it can give us insights for future career goals.

Let’s take a look at some ways you can unpack your achievements and make sure they are working with and for your career goals.


Build a portfolio of your achievements


Making a portfolio that lists and captures all of your achievements will give you such a rich resource to draw on. However you design your portfolio, ensure that when you add an achievement you’re including any certificates, a description of the achievement and any important information that may come with it. For example, feedback, what you learned, or what skills you used.

Over time, your portfolio will grow and grow. You can use this to help you foster confidence and a positive mindset when you find something difficult or challenging in a future career goal. For example, when you are on a steep learning journey in your first job, or do not achieve the score you were hoping for.

We all like to believe that our career ahead will be smooth sailing, but realistically, everyone has times when we need a little confidence boost to keep us going. Taking a moment to recognise that you’ve achieved a lot already, remind yourself of the skills you’ve developed and what you’ve accomplished so far will give you that edge to keep going and focus.

Your portfolio will be an asset when you need to create or update your resume, and showcase what you’ve done in an interview. It will also save lots of time, avoiding the strain of trying to remember and recall what you’ve done.


Getting to know yourself from your achievements


Self-reflecting on goals you’ve achieved and the process of setting goals, and the journey you went on to achieve them can help you learn about yourself, and build clarity on your pathway ahead.

This means setting some time for you to think, reflect, learn and write. By doing this, you can give yourself a better chance at achieving your future career goals. Here are some ways it will help you:

  • Learn from what didn’t go well to help make better decisions in the future. We can often learn more about ourselves and what we need to work on when things don’t go to plan. For example, if you found a subject particularly difficult, and fell behind with a task that was taking you a little longer than you thought it would. As a result, you stopped contributing as much in class. Learning from this, in the future you can allocate an extra 30 minutes a week for notes, reading or preparation for future subjects or tasks that may be more difficult.
  • What were you good at? Was there something that you did that you aced and came naturally? Take note where your strengths and challenges were.
  • Who are the people you do your best work with? What is it about them and how do you work around them? What are the environments that you most enjoy and do your best work in?


Highlighting your achievements


What we do know is that often the opportunities or jobs we are hired for in the future are directly related to what we have done or achieved in the past. How we represent ourselves and what we’ve achieved can make a significant difference.

When we think of this, often our minds can jump to ‘that sounds like bragging’. Learning to share what you’ve achieved in a confident humble way (whilst controlling that self-talk) is something that everyone needs to work on.

It takes practice to build confidence to share. A great place to start is with the people around you that want you to succeed, your allies or your people. When they ask how did you go, or what have you been working on, it’s absolutely OK for you to share with pride.


Identifying interests and creating meaning in what you do


Exploring your achievements is fundamental to you understanding what you found interesting, and what the meaning was in that project that drove the strong connection for you to persist and accomplish it.

Exploring our purpose and figuring out what bring us happiness will continue throughout your career. It will continue to evolve as you grow and experience different things. Monitoring clues on what you find interesting, what you feel strongly about and what you want more of as you learn through experiences will help you make choices about subjects, courses, jobs or industries to shape your future goals.

When you’re setting future goals, you need to really understand why you want this, what is important about it to you, and connect that meaning to any tasks. This will often be your fuel to keep going until you’ve achieved it.


Work backwards


This is your one shot to live an amazing adventure. Be ambitious in your dreams, and get excited. Consider what you want to be able to say about this life when you are older reflecting on the experiences you had. Successful people aren’t necessarily the ones who are the smartest or best educated; they are the ones who are brave enough to own what they want. Think about want you want and dream big. What are the some of the goals to you can set now to work towards your dream?

Achievement is important, however coupling achievement with a growth mindset will certainly set your future self up for greater success. The strategies covered in this article can support and prepare you for achieving your career goals. Start now, to pick one that stood out to you, and start working on it today.


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.

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