In my last article, So this is Christmas and what have you done?, I encouraged you not to write off and forget 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced significant volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity to our working lives.

In another sense, it has presented a unique backdrop against which to succeed. 

From a career management perspective, it is really important to harvest your professional achievements from a train wreck of a year, while they are still fresh in your mind!

By clearly articulating your achievements to others in text, verbal or visual formats, you:

  • provide evidence of success
  • indicate your capacity to contribute to business strategies, and
  • meet external and internal organisational challenges.

Key Steps 

To document your 2020 achievements…

1. Think back to the “steady state” that existed in your business just before COVID-19 impacted in your part of the world 

2. Consider the current state of your business, division and team leading into the end of 2020

3. Think about the 5Cs (i.e. challenge, change, chaos, crisis, and complexity) to trigger memory of your experiences across the year

4. Isolate specific initiatives that you led (or collaborated with others on) that moved your business, division, and team in a positive direction

5. Develop rich achievement narratives that capture the detail your contributions to each of those initiatives (e.g. using a STAR framework

6. Create brief bullet-pointed achievement statements for potential incorporation into your career self-marketing materials (e.g. professional biography, CV, and LinkedIn profile)


The time and effort you expend on this career management activity will pay dividends for three reasons.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic will live long in the memories of those whom you seek to influence.

Second, the business challenges associated with the pandemic are relatable.

Third, accomplishment in the context of adversity is inherently more impressive than when the background situation is relatively stable.