The Fountain Institute

Get your work recognized with this Notion template

Published over 1 year ago • 1 min read

Dear Reader,

Today, I want to start with this beautiful quote from Maya Angelou.

I want to help make this brilliant advice into something actionable.

Last week in our monthly meetup, Maureen Herben mentioned something that made this quote jump back to my mind.

She mentioned a document she used to get to senior and beyond in her career.

It's a document that can help you build confidence, especially if you find yourself undervaluing your work, as I often do.

So today's advice column is dedicated to a little thing known as the "brag document."

What is a brag document?

A brag document helps you track the tiny wins in your career, so you have a record of your accomplishments.

Nobody likes a bragger, but secretly keeping track of your accomplishments? Now that’s a great idea.

Here's an example from Janahan Sivaraman:

Here’s a brag doc example from my Apple Notes, frozen in time to when I was a mid-career designer:

As you can see it doesn't have to be complicated.

Why you need a brag doc

I’m pretty ambitious, but I wasn’t always that way. In my first product design job, I didn’t have a clear direction for my career. After watching several designers get promoted to senior over me, I decided it was time to take my career seriously.

I heard about the brag doc at work and decided to try it. It’s probably one of the top five things I’ve ever done for my career.

I kept a brag doc for around four years until I was promoted to Head of Design.

It was my secret mental weapon to build confidence as a junior.

Designers tend to undervalue their skills, and I’ve struggled with that. I have difficulty asking for raises because I don’t value my work or myself enough.

Knowing I had this secret career data helped me develop the confidence to ask for more money and a senior title.

Start your own brag doc

Want to start tracking your career accomplishments?

I wrote a very detailed guide with lots of examples and even a Notion template that you can download for free.

Good lucking tracking your accomplishments! Until next week...

Jeff Humble
Designer & Co-Founder
The Fountain Institute

P.S. We only have 1 essential seat left for Continuous UX Research from Feb. 6-27. Grab it before it sells out!

The Fountain Institute

The Fountain Institute is an independent online school that teaches advanced UX & product skills.

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