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Communicate your success to your superiors in a way that will make them sit up and take notice.

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Communicate your success to your superiors in a way that will make them sit up and take notice.


You can never be great in a vacuum. If a tree falls in a forest and no one sees it did it really happen? The answer in the workplace is usually a resounding no. If you are going to be felling mighty oaks then you better get a large audience, or more accurately the right audience. 

You need to make sure your partners know about your achievements. The best forum you have for highlighting your achievements is your annual review. Getting ready for your review is exceptionally important and should demand a great deal of your time and attention. This might be your only chance to really point out your strengths and to make an impression. Don’t waste it. 


Increase your visibility 


Have things worth bragging about over and beyond the usual expectations of your role. Highlighting the things you are expected to have accomplished is usually regarded as a minimum requirement. Try and get involved in projects that have high visibility. Does your firm have a high profile but difficult client? Research the client and see if you can get anything of value that will allow you to improve the relationship. Noticed an area of tax that is worth developing on behalf of the company? Take an active interest in this. Look for existing areas that you can improve on. It’s a lot easier than coming up with a brand new idea and easier to get approved and implemented. 


Keep track of your achievements 


It is vital that you keep track of all your achievements. Keep a journal that highlights all your achievements and what you have accomplished. I always advise the tax professionals I prep before an interview to put together a CV that highlights in detail their specific achievements and the technical projects they have undertaken. This allows them to control the story in the interview. The ones who make the greatest effort with their CV’s and rehearse their achievements always do better in interview. You can take the same approach to your annual review. 


This may sound like common sense, but you would be surprised by how many people feel that interviewers should ‘know what they do’ or they can simply ‘discuss what they do’. Winging it is what amateurs do. Would you wing it with a client? Would you wing it before a presentation? Show the same professional diligence towards your review as you would do to your career.


You can keep track of the following types of achievements throughout your career 


  • Successful examples that saved or made your firm money
  • Changes you have made to the processes that have made a dramatic improvement to the way your team operates.
  • Plans to improve.
  • Areas you have already improved.
  • Areas you would be interested in developing further
  • Areas you have identified in the firm that you feel could do with
    improvement and any ideas you may have regarding this.
  • Make it interesting 

Your line manager is bored of doing reviews and trying to look interested when you discuss your ‘achievements’ . They are bored of listening to people talk about what they have ‘achieved’ and brag about doing what they are paid to do. You need to stand out by making it more interesting. You need achievements you can present that show you going beyond what was written in your job spec. 

Look forward to your annual review. Get your list of achievements together and send them to HR/manager/partner before the meeting. You don’t want to send them the full presentation but list of highlights with interesting titles will get them to sit up and pay attention. If you do it right you may even get them looking forward to your review.


Here are some tips on making your presentation more memorable: 


  •  Avoid cliches or anything that they will have seen before.
  •  Keep it simple, but effective.
  •  Don’t be afraid to step outside the box by using music, graphics and animations to get your ideas across.
  •  Conduct and lm or record interviews with your colleagues regarding projects they have worked with you on and ask them to discuss your input.
  • Use these as snippets within your presentation.
  •  Show a timeline of your successes punctuated with pictures to highlight how much you have achieved in a short space of time.
  •  Keep it short - no more than 5 minutes.


I hope some of these ideas will help you start taking positive steps towards your goals and really allow you to have a great yeat in 2017.


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