Guest Author: Peg O’Donnell
We have all been asked at one point in our lives “what is your dream job?” As we continue to grow and develop what we know about the world we start to take the question more seriously. But have you ever thought that the focus needs to be on the “dream you” as much as it is on the dream job? Taking the time to focus on ‘you’ will guide in discovering your potential and possibilities.
A powerful tool that will add direction to your discovery and provide a clear path to your dream job is a career journal. When you hear the word ‘journal’ what is your initial reaction? I know that journaling can have a negative connotation; it can sound like something you have to do instead of want to do.
In the article Using a Career Journal to Further your Career Development and Empower Your Job-Search Hansen provides ‘why’ journaling is so impactful. He discusses how a person can use it for discovering aspects about yourself around your strengths or gaps. He also speaks about the potential to brainstorm and analyze career options. Journaling is a safe, controlled tool that allows you time for reflection.
Journaling can be used by anyone ranging from students; to people looking for that next step in their career to someone looking to change their entire career path. The method can also vary to be either formalized or simplistic. For some of the “anti” journalers out there, Quint Careers offers a formalized journal sample that can be found by following this link to the journal example. If this is the method, you would like to take you can use their free Quintessential Career Journaling Tutorial to get started.
A less structured but still simple method is discussed in the article 6 Ways Keeping a Journal Can Help Your Career (2012).
- Log good ideas- when the idea comes to you have your journal available to document.
Learn you lessons- why not learn from your experiences.
- Write anything that you learned whether it was a good or bad experience.
- List Good Advice From Mentors- feedback is a gift you can either take it and internalize it or throw it out. Write down the advice you choose to keep.
- Vent (in a Safe Space) – the journal is for your eyes only so record your feelings of concern and frustration.
- Collect Compliments- keeping a record of your compliments can provide examples for your career search or increase your confidence.
- Envision the Future- what does your future hold.
Think of the potential you can identify by taking the time to reflect and think about ‘you.’ Journaling is worth the few minutes you can spend each day analyzing the avenues to take with your career. Aren’t you ready to discover what power you have in making your dreams come true?
Question for Discussion
Have you seen or heard of anyone using a Career Journal? If so what was the outcome?
Couldn’t a Career Journal be beneficial for you? Why or why not?
6 Ways Keeping a Journal Can Help Your Career. (2012, July 18). Retrieved May 01, 2016, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2012/07/18/6-ways-keeping-a-journal-can- help-your-career/#31fdfc0c396f
Career Development Journal: A Sample Career Journal | QuintCareers. (n.d.). Retrieved May 07, 2016, from https://www.quintcareers.com/sample-career-journal/
Hansen, Ph.D., R. S. (n.d.). Using a Career Journal to Further Your Career Development | QuintCareers. Retrieved May 01, 2016, from https://www.quintcareers.com/career- development-journal/