"Ask Marsha"

“Ask Marsha”: How To Jumpstart Your 2013 Goals

There are so many “success” strategies I read about to help my career, and they sometimes become overwhelming. What is the one thing that I can begin to do today in my plight to advance my career?


In my book, The Little Black Book of Success, my co-authors and I suggest starting a Personal Leadership Notebook (PLN) to document your personal and professional accomplishments, and refer back to it as needed. Your PLN should include sections that are relevant to your personal and professional growth.

Many times we take our accomplishments for granted including the roles we hold in our communities, schools and churches with the assumption that our skills are not transferable to the workplace. Too often, we do not remember them or let others know about them, especially when we don’t believe they are work related. And it’s sometimes difficult to share our accomplishments without feeling like we are bragging.

In her book, Brag!, author Peggy Klaus suggests coming up with your own “brag bites,” which are snippets of impressive information about your best self, expressed in a brief, quotable manner. Start by writing down some of those things you are most proud of and keep track of the things you do well and enjoy, your goals and those areas you want to learn more about.

In addition to your “Accomplishments” section, I also suggest having a section in your PLN to track your networking — who you know, who you need to know and who needs to know you.

Now is a perfect time to refer to this “Networking” section and send a note or make a call to those you haven’t touched base with in a while. Remember those people who have helped you along the way, and be generous with expressing your thanks to them.

Another section that I personally have in my PLN is an “Ideas” section. I don’t know about you, but I come up with great ideas in unusual places but they can be lost if I don’t jot them down. Leave space to expand upon them later.

Without becoming too overwhelmed, tracking your successes in your PLN can act as a starting point for moving forward with purpose.

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