It’s All About Accomplishments

“What have you done for me lately?”

One of my managers used to ask this on a weekly basis.  At the time, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was that he said it out loud.  Spoken or not, this is one of the standards by which we are all measured in the work world.  It’s true for business owners and employees, for those at the top and bottom of the org chart.  What we have accomplished matters to others.  And if it matters to others, it needs to matter to us.  Note: I’m not saying this is the ONLY thing that matters, just that it is important to be aware of what we have achieved. 

Therefore, I recommend we all maintain our own master list of accomplishments. This list serves as a source for resume content,  a reference for job interviews, for performance appraisals, or to review as  pick-me-up when feeling down.  The master  list of accomplishments is a living document that you maintain as the years go by, and one you will continue to reference as your career progresses. 

So what information do you include on your master list of accomplishments?

  1. Accomplishments/Achievements
  2. Date
  3. Organization

Accomplishments and Achievements

Let’s talk about each of these.  First, what counts as an Accomplishment or Achievement?  Sources to consider for accomplishments include:

–        Goals you achieved
–        Projects you completed
–        Awards you received
–        Articles you published
–        Documents you drafted
–        Teams you facilitated or led
–        Problems you solved
–        Challenges you overcame
–        Obstacles you worked around
–        Results you accomplished

List a short description, not just a name.  Make notes about the result you achieved and the steps you took. “Created marketing materials for Criminal Hearts theater production, including flyers, posters, postcards, website, and press releases” is better than “Project 2A marketing”.  Be specific.  Use metrics and measures where applicable. “Decreased defect count by 12% in 3 months” is better than “improved quality”.  

Some questions to ask yourself to remember accomplishments are:
 – What did you improve?
 – What did you increase the measure or value of? 
 – What did you decrease the measure of? 
 – What changed because you were there, at a particular organization, because of things you did while there? 
 – Did you help save the company or group time or money?


Write down the date you completed the accomplishment or achievement.  Write down what you can remember – year, month/year, month/day/year. 


As for the organization you worked for, with what company was the achievement accomplished?  Make a note whether this was paid work, volunteer, or an independent project for family/friends.  Include all of these in this list, e.g. perhaps you kept the books for your spouse’s business, or designed and decorated cakes for family and friend.

Don’t get hung up on how to phrase things for now.  Just capture your accomplishments and achievements.  The record is what’s important.  

Review your old resumes, status reports, reviews, certificates, and awards to help you.  Go back through your adult life and list all the relevant accomplishments that you can remember in some detail.

Now that you have a master list of your accomplishments, remember to update it every time you achieve something new. 

Next time you are writing a cover letter or updating your resume, or are preparing for an interview or performance review – take out your master list of accomplishments.  Identify the ones that are relevant, those that make the points you wish to make.  Then incorporate those into your document or conversation. 

And when someone asks you, “What have you done lately?” you’ll be prepared to respond.

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?

I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?

Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?

Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.


Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA