Building a case study

One of the most effective ways to getting noticed internally, sharing your teams successes or finding your ideal next role is to share kickass case studies of your proven successes / campaigns.

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The best case studies are easy to understand, communicate outcomes quickly and consist of work you’re proud of. The goal is to make it as simple as possible, so then, depending on the level of understanding the person you are speaking to has, you can go into further details to impress.

BEFORE AND AFTER

A good case study has a before and after - just like a makeover. Think about "before me" and "after me" as your talking points.

Your case study needs to showcase what the ‘before’ status was, what you did, and what the ‘after’ status was as a result of your work.

Here is an example:

  • Before: When I joined X, we had access to thousands of data points. We hadn't yet utilised that data into insights for the marketing team.
  • What I did: I reviewed the data and identified X opportunities to create marketing insights from this. I presented this to the Marketing team, and as a result, we created X which helped our customers do Y. 
  • After: We now provide real time reporting to the marketing team so they can see what customers are saying and respond more quickly. We estimate this internal communication has contributed to X of revenue and customer satisfaction. 

For those of you finding this part challenging, an excellent first step is completing an Achievement Audit, which asks you to outline what you have achieved - from this you can start to map out case studies that appear in your recent wins.

CONNECT YOUR INITATIVE TO RESULTS

Great case studies can demonstrate a commercial outcome and what impact it has had on the business. For example, if you can demonstrate how your initiative helped the department / business / end customer, the person listening to you has a greater chance of associating yourself with success.

To help you outline just how your brilliance has contributed to business outcomes, have a think about:

  • What outcomes have I been responsible for, or contributed to, during my career?
  • What were some of the big deal projects or contracts I was a member of? How did my role impact that outcome?
  • What changes have I contributed to since I started what I’m doing now?
  • What growth, or cost saving could be attributed to my role / business?
  • How have I impacted the organisation / stakeholders in a positive way?

If you're a people manager, or great with people, think about how your presence and mentorship has contributed to retention and employee engagement. If you're a technical rockstar, think about how your efficiencies have saved the company time and resources. If you're unsure, why not ask people who you respect at work: what do you think I do really well?

DOING MY JOB VERSUS THINKING ABOUT BETTER WAYS

Doing your job is the minimum ask, and, if your case study demonstrates you can continue to do your job, you'll continue to have the same job you do now.

To get noticed internally or externally, outline your recent achievements which have been in addition to, or improved the way the company does things. If you find your case studies are business as usual, it's an awesome time to start thinking about what you can do more of (and if you're unsure of, ask the person with the job you want "what do I need to do to be considered for your role? What did you do?") and make it happen.

It can help to think about your career progression in these terms:

  • What am I paid to do? (Example: run budgets, manage my clients)
  • What does the person above me do that I don't currently do? (Starts new projects, manages a team)
  • What could I do to show I am capable of that? (Mentor people in my organisation and sponsor them)

And if you are already doing what the person above you is doing: you've got a compelling case to argue for more responsibility given your initiative and... kickass case study.

Good luck!

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