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Take your brag sheet to the next level: a guide to success

For many of us, it’s difficult to remember all our recent accomplishments when review time comes. And many find telling the story of the impact of our accomplishments difficult — so imagine how hard it must be for those speaking on your behalf.

You’ve started amplifying your narrative in key career moments with a simple brag sheet, but are you maximizing its impact? 🤔 Many of you have year end reviews coming up, so now is a great time to build a better brag sheet and to look for ways to connect your boss, sponsors, and advocates to it.

A business case for you

Let’s quickly recap the important purpose of a brag sheet, before we dive into how you can make yours better.

Your brag sheet is the business case for your career. It summarizes your argument & evidence for promotion & rewards — and for the additional responsibilities & opportunities that will get you there.

It does so by providing a concise overview of your work with supporting evidence that makes it easy for your manager to see your impact and how that aligns to your company’s priorities. It also makes explicit your goals and aspirations at the company. Your champions want to help you and you need to tell them where you want to go! 🎯

How to supercharge your brag sheet

Start with the initial one-page brag sheet you’ve already built.* From there, use some of the following tips to build out your brag sheet, so it becomes an even more persuasive narrative of your value and impact.

*If you haven’t built a brag sheet, start here!

How to maximize your brag sheet’s leverage

Now that your brag sheet is built out, how do you use it? Keep in mind that practice makes perfect and consider the following best practice advice to make your brag sheet go the extra mile.

  1. Make sure your advocate is on board. Ensure they’re in your corner and supportive of your career goals. A brag sheet is only an asset if that’s the case, so bring them along. Once you share your brag sheet, ensure the content is clear, make sure they understand your ask, and how to use the document. 🤝
  2. Take your manager, sponsor or advocate along on your journey. When you’re discussing your career, use it. Use the brag sheet monthly, quarterly, and in review discussions with them to inform, advocate, and build a muscle around its use.📍
  3. Remind your manager, sponsor or advocate of the brag sheet when they are going into high-stakes meetings. Make it easily accessible to them, and make sure they know where to find it quickly. This allows them to advocate for you when you’re not in the room, which is especially important when plum projects are being discussed. 🥊
  4. Treat your brag sheet as a living document that influences an ongoing conversation. Instead of providing it solely in your review, treat it as if it were a drip campaign for your accomplishments, so that your manager is constantly reminded what you’re doing, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re capable of. 📚
The next level

Remember how hard it is to effectively talk about your own accomplishments, skills & goals, and then consider how difficult it may be for your boss, sponsors, and advocates to do so when you’re not in the room. How would you like them to champion you? How can you equip them to tell your story?

Make their job easy in a way that serves your personal development. Invest the time to build out your brag sheet as a business case for your career and to learn how to make it work for your boss, mentors, and champions who are instrumental to your career development.

Source image: Library of Congress

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