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How a brag sheet amplifies your narrative in key career moments

At Sparklos, we believe a brag sheet is one of the best tools for owning your narrative and advancing your career. ✨

The most important decisions about your career happen when you’re not in the room.

A brag sheet allows you to construct your own narrative via a short, accessible document that makes it easy for your manager, sponsor, and advocates to champion on your behalf. Having a simple brag sheet your boss can look at in one minute will aid them in articulating your value prop on demand.

Why you should create a brag sheet now

A brag sheet highlights your accomplishments, contributions, goals, skills, and anything else that those in a position to connect you with opportunities really need to know. 🏆

Think about all the scenarios where your boss, mentor, or other advocates could quickly review your brag sheet and use it to support a conversation on your behalf.

Your brag sheet provides a concise and organized summary of your achievements, skills, and goals — making it easy for others to quickly review and champion on your behalf.

How to build your brag sheet

Use your brag sheet to reinforce your career aspirations and asks of your manager. In other words, construct your own narrative. 📚

Include goals & objectives with a timeframe & supporting evidence, superpowers & skills that map to your goals, and projects & initiatives delivered to date. When possible quantify your accomplishments and call out business impact. Include both analytical & soft skills.

This may sound intimidating, so put granularity aside for a moment. We’ll cover guidance for creating a starter brag sheet below. Over time, you can add all the narrative-boosting content mentioned above! 💪

First things first — keep it short. Your manager should have access to a simple, digestible brag sheet that acts as a memory aid. Your top-line should be readable in under a minute. Keep in mind that your manager will likely read it just before going into meetings, or even real-time during meetings.

What to include:

  1. List your top 3 goals for this year, and your top 3 longer-term goals.
  2. Write a top-line business impact narrative that weaves all your achievements & contributions together.
  3. Include the top projects or other work you’ve done to support your narrative. Summarize what the project is, your key contributions, and the impact. Bonus points for adding a key learning.
  4. Describe how you’ve helped others.
  5. Include what you’ve learned and are applying.
  6. Make sure to articulate what you want from your champion.

Keep in mind you’ll expand and refine this starter sheet in the future as you receive feedback. You’ll learn what works or doesn’t work, and how often to revisit and make updates.

How to use your brag sheet

We’ll talk more about how to leverage your brag sheet with your boss and other advocates in a future article. For now, there are a few places you could use your brag sheet for immediate impact.

If you have a regular 1:1 with your manager, start there. Use the brag sheet when career growth, reviews, and rewards are on the agenda. Attach it as a footnote to every 1:1 recap for easy reference and make sure permissions are set up so your manager can access it at any time.

Remind your manager of the brag sheet when they are going into high-stakes meetings. Make it easily accessible and readily found so they can advocate for you when you’re not in the room, which is especially important when plum projects are being discussed. 🥊

Amplify your narrative

The most important decisions about your career will happen when you’re not in the room. A brag sheet allows you to write your own narrative. Remember, if you don’t craft your narrative, someone else will. Help your advocates tell your story and equip them to do it for you. ✊

Dive further into leveraging your brag sheet with you boss & with your network:

Source image: Library of Congress

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