There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who like to journal and those who don’t. I fell in the latter category until I discovered career journaling. I learned that I’m one of those people that had to have a specific topic to write about and only then could I keep up with a journal routine. If you aren’t into keeping a journal about general life musings, a career journal might be up your alley. A career journal is a notebook solely dedicated to your career or entrepreneurial pursuits.
Throughout the workweek we are confronted with so many life lessons, faux paus, wins, challenges, connections, and brilliant ideas. It’s important to document and mull over career events, learn from them, and celebrate. Career journaling can be both meditative and informative. After a few weeks of journaling, you’ll begin to see patterns in your thinking, unburden yourself from negative thoughts and let go of mistakes you’ve made. Here are a few other merits:
While we’re on our career journey, we take for granted how far we’ve come. Making a few notes on where you are on your journey, wins you’ve had so far, and challenges you’re facing allows you to document your present state and serves a esteem booster in the future.
Keep tabs on your ideas
Whether you’re jogging or riding the train to work, good ideas come to you when you least expect it. Log those ideas in your career journal. Even if it’s not an idea you’re going to pursue in the near future, having a career journal allows you to track your ideas.
Create your future roadmap
Map out your future steps in your career journal. Write about what you’re doing today to get there. Reflect on your current experiences and how those experiences will help you in the future. Write about that office screw-up. What did you learn from the mistake and how would you do things differently in the future? If you don’t analyze and reflect on your mistakes, you are bound to repeat them again and again. Use your career journal to sharpen your future.
What special project did you knock out of the park? Did you finally stand up to someone at work? How did you do it? What strengths did your manager share with you during that year-end performance review meeting? Those are all brag nuggets. Write it down word for word. These will come in handy when you are writing your resume or interviewing. Additionally, brag nuggets are good reminders of your awesome-sauce.
I hope you will give career journaling a shot⎯ lovers and non-lovers of journaling. It’s truly a safe, private place to ruminate on small and big wins at work and those days you stumbled a bit.