What are Brag Documents?
How to make sure you make the best of Performance Reviews
Hey there! 👋🏼
For the past few weeks, I've been focusing on Performance Reviews. I've shared what I feel is necessary for you to have a Promotion and how Performance Review Calibrations works.
This week I want to dive into brag documents - one of the essential tools you can have when going into the Performance Review.
Initially described in a blog post by Julia Evans and later in Will Larson's book "Staff Engineer", the concept became a best practice to follow on performance reviews.
Imagine the following situations:
You need to recall all of your achievements for 6/12 months
Your manager needs to fight for your promotion and needs arguments to support it
You just got a new manager mid-year and want to share your achievements so far.
I'm sure you've been through one or all of the situations above. And, like so many of us, you were probably caught off-guard.
By off-guard, I mean that you had no preparation for the situations above.
The result is that you'll probably fall victim of:
Forgetting how important small events can be
Manager transfer not passing all the necessary information
So how can you go around this situation? By keeping a brag document.
A brag document is a list of your achievements for a certain period.
The cool thing about brag documents is that you don't need any special software. All you need is a note. Keep it tidy and up to date.
If you dive a bit into examples on Google, you'll see people who update daily, weekly, and monthly. You'll have people that keep a brag document for 12 months, others for six months and even others for three months.
What this means is that rules do not apply here. You need to create exactly what makes sense to you.
What you should add to the Brag Document
Contributions to projects
Details on the projects you've worked
Internal talks or workshops
What you've learnt
Contributions outside work (blog posts, talks, etc.)
Contributions to the company (referrals, recruiting, improving processes)
Who should you share your Brag Document with?
For me, sharing your brag document with your peers has two goals.
First, you help peers you ask for feedback from remember all the things you've done that will help them write the feedback.
Second, by showing this, especially to younger members, you inspire them to follow the same practice.
Contrary to popular belief, your manager will only remember some of the things you've done throughout the year.
And for your manager to support a request for your promotion, they'll need as much information as possible.
In this case, your brag document will be your manager's best friend.
These couple of weeks have been extremely intense for the Tech industry. We've had massive layoffs at Twitter, Meta, Salesforce, Zendesk, Stripe, Lyft, Dapper, Booking etc.
Overall, in just two weeks, over 17500 people got laid off by these companies. And I'm not talking about a particular job type.
I usually follow layoffs.fyi to see the state of layoffs. Sometimes, you have the list of employees, and you see that it goes from directors to principals, senior engineers, product managers, junior developers, designers, etc.
On top of that, we are in a bearish market, meaning that big tech companies are going into or already in a hiring freeze for 2023.
Let's be smart here. Be aware of uncertain movement and keep in mind the saturation that these layoffs will put the job market through.
Well, that's it from me. I hope you have a fantastic weekend, and this issue will motivate you to start a Brag Document in 2023.
If you want to make your life easier in
Keep a brag document with a list of all your achievements.
If you're not finding value in this newsletter, please consider unsubscribing. There are no hard feelings, and I appreciate your part in my journey. Perhaps in the future, we'll meet again!
If you are enjoying the newsletter, the best compliment you can make is to share it with one person.
Thank you for being part of my journey!
Have an incredible week! 💪🏼
Parada 👊🏼 A Leader's Mindset