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posting small wins Polywork

Why (and how) you should post your small wins online

When you think about the professional achievements people share online, it’s always the headlines: a project finished, a promotion granted, a new company or side hustle launched. While these are obviously worth shouting from the digital rooftops so you can celebrate with your networks, they also don’t happen all that frequently. If you only post about the big wins, you might not be posting all that often.

FTW: Sharing your small wins online

Luckily, there are plenty of small wins along the way that you’re probably overlooking: finally solving a difficult bug, a great piece of user or employee feedback, a nomination for an exciting recognition, or anything else that gives you a little jolt of pride. Sharing incremental milestones like these can be a powerful way to bolster your personal brand and push your career forward.

Source: Polywork

Here are three great reasons to start sharing your small wins just as enthusiastically as your big ones.

1. You’ll stay active online (even while projects are in progress)

When you’re in development mode for a new project or heads down on a career goal, it can be easy to let self-promotion fall to the wayside. After all, you can dive into marketing mode once you have something exciting to announce, right?

Unfortunately, out of sight can truly mean out of mind when it comes to most social networks. For one, many algorithms prioritize content from people who are regularly sharing. (For instance, LinkedIn says that posting weekly leads to a 2x lift in engagement.) If you post an exciting update after months away, it might not get the eyeballs it deserves. Even if it does make it to peoples’ feeds, they could feel less invested (or even have forgotten who you are!) if they haven’t heard from you in a while.

Source: Polywork

Regularly updating with small wins is a great way to avoid this issue. If you know you won’t have something major to share for a while, challenge yourself to come up with something to celebrate online once every week or two. You’ll keep the algorithms happy, and remind your network that you’re still here and working hard.

2. You’ll build thought leadership by showing off the process

One of the best ways to build thought leadership in your industry is to not only share what you’ve accomplished but how you did it. And what better way to do that than by letting people come along as you’re working towards something, rather than the curated (and probably rose-colored) version that comes after you’ve already achieved it.

This is one of the central ideas behind the “Building in Public” movement: By sharing the specific steps you’re taking towards a professional goal as you’re doing it, you can build your status as an expert in your field, grow trust among peers and customers, and develop a community that is excited to continue following your journey.

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For instance, you might explain how you thought about solving a tough problem you finally cracked, share the small tasks you checked off your to-do list this week, or post screenshots of works in progress. All of these things give your followers unique insight into how you show up as a professional every day—which is often much more telling than the ultimate outcome of that work.

3. You’ll stay more motivated towards your bigger goals

Personal branding aside, perhaps one of the best reasons to share your small wins online is to give you a better chance of actually achieving your biggest career visions. There’s so much research supporting the idea that measuring and recognizing incremental progress is a powerful way to stay motivated when the ultimate outcome is a ways away.

Researchers Teresa M. Amabile and Steven J. Kramer explained their findings around what they call “the progress principle” in Harvard Business Review: “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. And the more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run.”

Source: Polywork

Sure, you could just celebrate these small wins on your own. But by posting them online, you get the extra boost of external accountability. Studies have shown that people are more likely to achieve their goals if they publicly share those goals and report on the progress towards them, particularly if they’re sharing that information with folks they look up to professionally.

So, go ahead: Share the little update, the minor win, the tiny step forward. It’ll make it that much more likely that you’ll have something big to tell your network about in no time.