Editor’s note: This is the eighth article in a new nine-part series on how lawyers can resolve to work smarter this year, which is featured on lawjobs.com News & Views. Links to the previous articles in this series, as well as to articles in other series co-authored by Valerie Fontaine and Roberta Kass, follow this article.

When it comes to advancing your career, it helps to be self-centered. To thrive in good economic times — or survive in slow ones — you must demonstrate your value to your organization’s bottom line. It’s your responsibility to document your work; you can’t expect others to remember and recognize all that you do. An essential career development tool, therefore, is the personal portfolio, or “Me File,” a computer and/or paper file into which you continuously drop material documenting your accomplishments, contributions and capabilities.