Product managers are always looking ahead, and rarely in the rear view mirror. It’s important to not just tackle what’s coming next, but also to take a moment to consider how your past successes can help guide you moving forward.
We’re often so busy worrying about what’s coming next that we don’t take time to stop and reflect on our past successes. In today’s blog post, I will share with you three important reasons why you should record your wins.
Reason #1: It improves your self-esteem and makes you happier.
Every product manager I know could use a boost to their self-esteem, especially when it comes to their careers. We are often our harshest critics, so taking time to identify the things we’re doing well gives us a much-needed boost. This practice can also help keep imposter syndrome at bay.
We don’t always get affirmation from our managers and peers that our actions have a positive impact.
I’ve been fortunate to have worked at companies with regular performance review cycles. Not everyone is so fortunate. Many of my product management coaching clients talk about working for companies that fail to have performance reviews and don’t set goals.
Not setting success goals blows my mind, but this is not the topic for this article. If you want to read more about setting goals as a product manager, here are a couple of links:
Reason #2: It helps you understand what’s working.
If you treat your career like a product (and I highly recommend you do), take a lesson from the agile playbook by identifying what’s working. The reason we do this after a sprint is so that we can repeat the things that we’re doing that are most effective. You should do this with your career, too!
I find conducting a quick weekly review is the best way to pause and reflect on what you’ve done the past week. It’s far easier to identify the things that are working when you’re reviewing the past five days rather than doing it at the end of the year, and you can’t remember what you did last month!
Reason #3: It reduces complaining, which can prevent burnout and stress
I’m sure you’ve read articles about the benefits of a gratitude practice. Focusing on what you are grateful for can reduce stress, prevent burnout, and increase resilience.
When you focus on the negative by complaining, it can affect your co-workers as well. Complaining is contagious and leads to a toxic work environment. If you feel you’ve been overlooked for a promotion, this could be why.
Focusing on your wins can minimize this toxic behavior, which could help you get ahead in your career.