Candid career commentary #5: Why you need a "smile" file.

A 3-minute audio special

TL;DR - You can listen to this 3-minute long post on my racket profile if you don’t have the time to read (or prefer not to). Or you can listen and follow along with the transcript below.

In three (3) minutes, I talk about:
✅ What is a "smile" file and how it can help you tell your story.
✅ Why we struggle with confidently sharing our accomplishments.
✅ How you should be thinking about the term "impact."

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2020 prompted a surge in self-care. This year, I hope to see a surge in SELF-ADVOCACY.

Something that has helped me advocate for myself in my professional and personal life is keeping a "smile" file.

🎧 Have a listen here and let me know what you think.


In three (3) minutes, I talk about:
✅ What is a "smile" file and how it can help you tell your story.
✅ Why we struggle with confidently sharing our accomplishments.
✅ How you should be thinking about the term "impact."

Want to read along? Check out the transcript below.

I’m Katrina - bringing you your weekly dose of candid career confidence.

Today, I want to continue the conversation about storytelling to land any job and why you should have a smile file, which will help you build and tell your story.

Most of us, some more than others, have a tendency to 1). not take our own advice and 2).  struggle with talking about our accomplishments oftentimes, downplaying the very things we are most proud of.

And when it comes to networking or interviewing, when we’re asked, “What do you do? What are you most proud of? Or tell me about a time when dot, dot, dot, people oftentimes come up empty. Why? Because I feel the majority of us don’t self-reflect on a daily or consistent basis and I am here to suggest we start doing that.

Take applying for a new job or getting ready to have the big promotion talk. A common behavior I’ve noticed (me included), is that we don’t think about our accomplishments, our skillset, or how much we’ve grown until something makes us which then leads to anxiety and pressure to try and remember those accomplishments, or skills you’ve acquired from a few months ago or even a year ago.

To help with this, I implore you to keep a smile file, AKA also known as the “cover your ass file.” However, I use “smile file” intentionally. The idea is you keep a work journal where you track your big and small wins, those things that make you smile, on a weekly basis. Here’s the breakdown of what you’ll track (or at least how I track):

  • The Big Hurdles  (Issues or hiccups that came up)

  • My Magic Moment (Solutions you brought to the table)

  • Spells Cast (How you saved the day)

  • Compliments received (Because proof is in the pudding)

  • And lastly your impact (What was the outcome).

Your impact is extremely important because people often make the mistake that impact translates to numbers or stats.

Your impact is extremely important because people often make the mistake that impact translates to numbers or stats.

While numbers are important and helpful, when you think about impact, you should also consider did you improve a process? Did you collaborate with someone? Did you help make something easier to manage or acquire? All things I’ve mentioned are accomplishments and provide value to someone or something.

Now that you have a baseline of what to track, I suggest doing this weekly because you’ll have these accomplishments fresh in your memory. As I mentioned previously, we often don’t think about these things until we’re forced to.

And when it comes time for a new job or promotion, I am willing to bet you’ll be surprised how much you’ve accomplished and grown.

On top of that, you now have the proof and ammunition you need to confidently have those conversations.

On top of that, you now have the proof and ammunition you need to confidently have those conversations.

Or even remind yourself that you’re more capable of doing whatever it is you’re telling yourself that you can’t do.

Your smile file can also reveal what you’re really good at and where you may need to fine-tune certain skills.

And when it comes to building your story, you have the outline right in front of you.

Grab a free copy of my smile file here.

Ciao for now,

Katrina