Why Should You Be Keeping A Career Journal?
Discussion Topic of Career Journal
I've been keeping the practice of journaling since I was young. And for that reason, I have been keeping journals to help me every time I job hunt. A career journal is a way to keep my productivity up. Over time, I realized that it allows me to get rid of the clutter and have a simple plan.
Now, what should you write about? In my career journal, I track everything I do. I use it to capture both my work-related accomplishments or concerns. It also holds my discoveries, connections, or job applications along the way.
As you can see, it's essential to keep a work journal when it comes to job hunting!
If you are still unsure whether investing your time in a career journal is worth it, here are my top two reasons why I started keeping one.
1. Acts as a standard reference
2. Stay organized
If you've been through a job-hunting process, you should know that setting precise tasks should always be on top of your mind. Keeping a work journal was what I needed to keep track of all the essential information I use for reference later.
Job search also involves having to take in tons of information. That leads me to my second reason for keeping a job journal: staying organized and keeping my priorities right. With this handy tool, I wouldn't have to worry about missing deadlines either!
I had a career journal last year when I was switching jobs. It was an important thing to have in the long haul as it promotes continuity in job hunting.
In my job search journal, I separated it into two main sections. They are "To be Completed" and "Succeed" for better performance tracking. At the end of the day, I will break down my goals into either section.
I work better by segregating the tasks every morning and seeing how much I have accomplished after a long day at work. If there were tasks on the "To Be completed" pages, I will make sure to get them done the first thing the next morning. Say I planned to create another version of my resume and have yet to do so, I will place it as the first task to be completed on the following day.
And if the tasks are in the "Succeed" section, I would write out a brief explanation of how it went or what I learned from it. I call this a daily work journal reflection method. So yes, writing in a career journal was one of the ways that prepared me for my next job.
As I've worked for 15 years and counting, I completed three career journals thus far. Writing helped build my communication skills. Putting my thoughts into the paper also improves my thinking process. I believe the more you write, the better your skills will become.
For example, whenever I go for an interview, it’s normal to brief my interviewers on why I would make the perfect candidate. But if I fail to convince, then the chances of getting hired are slim, right?
So, I would write down how I would introduce myself in my working journal and practice it repeatedly. Trust me, you'll get so used to speaking after several tries. That is why getting prepared with a career journal beforehand will help massively.
I've always believed that my career journal acts as a blueprint during job hunts. It confirms my progress by saying where I am now and where I want to be next.
Putting things on paper allowed me to sit back and think more logically rather than emotionally. By writing out the obstacles that I faced, I am acknowledging it. I will then quickly find out ways to solve the issue.
With a working journal, I also get to reflect on my job hunt each passing day. Most of the time, I try to reflect on what I did well on that day or what caused me to not achieve a specific benchmark. Through constant progress, you will get closer to your goal.
Before keeping a career journal, I read online that journaling helps in reducing stress. I didn't believe it at first, so I thought there wasn’t any harm trying it out. At the end of the very first day, I got to experience the power of jotting down my feelings.
In a way, it's a good thing to attend to how I was feeling. On the other hand, I had my thoughts sorted out only by keeping a career journal. It is a perfect place where I can release my pent-up emotions.
You know how taxing, and frustrating things can get while you job hunt, right? Well, expressing myself in the working journal is a healthy way to remove the stress inside of me. If you're still thinking whether you should be getting one, just go ahead and do so.
I am lucky to have experienced writing on two different types of career journals. Early in my days of job hunting, I only had notebooks write on. I kept track of my job progress the old-fashioned way by using a Moleskin planner.
With the advancement of technology, I have been relying on electronic work journals for the past 5 years. If you're interested in journaling, I'd recommend platforms like Evernote, One Note, Google Keep, Microsoft Excel.
No matter which type of career journals you prefer, it's about doing what works for you so journaling becomes a habit. Speaking from experience, keeping a working journal has offered insights into me and opened areas of improvement.
It's simple. I keep a career journal to stay organized. Without one, it's easy to miss an appointment and let other details slip along the way. Here are things that I usually keep track of:
1. Name and address of the companies
2. Point of contacts
3. Job Descriptions
4. Resume and cover letters
5. My mood
6. Hours spent on job hunting
7. Job hunt and personal goals
Writing down the day-to-day details in your work journal may seem like a challenging task. But all it takes is 21 days to develop a new habit. Believe it or not, making fair use of journaling is sure to make your job hunt more effective.
Start writing one today!
I began journaling after I graduated. It took me months to find a job, and I was in despair. Putting my burden on someone wasn't the best solution until I found a way to express myself.
For me, I think keeping a work journal was particularly useful for thoughts you don't feel comfortable telling other people. I've had many times where I fail to get called for interviews. It's not something I'd like to share with my family, so I chose to write them down. Scribbling your feelings on a piece of paper was like an emotionally safe space for me.
It has been a massive help to me being comfortable with my thoughts and emotions. I have no problem jotting things I might feel embarrassed about in my career journal than speaking to someone.
If you're like me who hates putting negativity onto others, journaling will be the perfect solution for you. A work journal doesn't judge, so it's an ideal venting tool.