If you get an email expressing thanks, congratulating you, or otherwise extolling your virtues to yourself or others, I strongly recommend you save it. Save all of them.
Isn’t that bragging?
There is a practical reason for saving these types of messages: if you’re in a steady job and your leaders wants to know “what have you done for me lately?” you want to be able to share proof of happy customers. Commendations, attaboys, attagirls, call them what you will, have the value of being able to justify things like keeping you on the job or giving you a raise.
This does not mean you go out and solicit these types of messages. If you’re doing a good job, the message can come to you unsolicited and unexpectedly, which makes them even better.
As to whether this constitutes bragging or not…well, technically, you’re not bragging, the customer is complimenting you. I’m likely to let someone know I got the attaboy, but leave it at that unless the message is really extraordinary in some way.
Another reason to keep your compliment letters
You’re going to have bad days occasionally. You might have screwed up something or lost on a proposal bid. You might be questioning what value you’re bringing to the operation or why you keep doing the job you’re doing. And it’s on those days that you sneak a peek back in your Warm & Fuzzy Letters file and reread the nice things people have said to or about you. Take a deep breath, remember that you’ve done good things in the past and that you will do them again in the future.
Then get back to work. The next good thing you do might generate the next good letter, too. You just never know.