6 Career Journaling Techniques: Get Started Today!

6 Career Journaling Techniques: Get Started Today!

by Valarie Swayze, Senior Editor 
valarie_swayze_300x201Have you ever kept a travel diary, fitness log, or a personal journal? Each helps us reflect on activities and can serve as a source of motivation in the future. A career journal is simply a record of your professional experiences kept on a regular basis that can help you make decisions, set goals, and work more efficiently. Keeping a career journal can also build confidence, reveal patterns in your work productivity, and reduce stress. The following articles delve deeper into journaling techniques and suggest tools to make journaling an inspiring and purposeful aspect of your professional development.

Journaling for Professional Development: Developing Yourself Through Reflection (Mindtools) –  Mindtools presents a terrific resource for professional journaling which provides keen insights on how and why to keep a professional journal. Reasons cited for why to keep a journal include identifying mistakes, learning, critical thinking and problem solving, and increasing self-awareness and maturity. Tips on how to keep a journal range from choosing a media format to specific questions to be answered by your journal. Links to tools and references on related topics are presented throughout the article. Mindtools also provides a downloadable template that covers talking points which may be useful for both someone new to journaling as well as experienced writers.

6 Ways Keeping a Journal Can Help Your Career (Forbes) –  In this article, the Muse attempts to smash the myth that journaling is for teens and novelists, and proposes that career journaling is perhaps the “easiest (and cheapest) form of professional development you can find”.  Unlike some of the other resources provided here which suggest finding a time to journal each business day, the Muse encourages journaling throughout the day for items such as recording ideas as they occur wherever you may be. Suggested journaling topics include: recording advice, venting, collecting compliments, and writing about where you would like to see yourself in the future.

6 Ways Journaling Will Change Your Life (Lifehack) –  CM Smith shares that “[journaling] has been one of the greatest and most freeing experiences in my life because I can actually slow myself down to think about what’s truly happening around me as well as my part in it”. Through journaling regularly for a couple of years, Smith has identified that journaling will put you more in touch with who you are and what is important to you. This resource is geared more toward personal than professional development, and provides strong arguments for the benefits of keeping a journal.

The #1 Productivity Tool You Aren’t Using  (Forbes) –  Dorie Clark asserts journaling is likely one of the best tools for productivity and discusses points from Teresa Amabile’s book The Progress Principle: Using Small Wins to Ignite Joy, Engagement, and Creativity at Work. Manageable tasks, such as starting small, creating a ritual, focusing on the positive, and reviewing the past are suggested.

Career Resilience Tool: The Career Journal – In this resource, Michele Martin, an advocate of journaling and reflective practice, presents a video from Behance’s 99U Conference, which  also features Teresa Amabile. In the presentation, Amabile discusses findings from a recent study on career journaling, and uniquely conveys the power of journaling for both individuals and organizations.

5 Killer Online Journaling Tools You Should Try Out (Lifehack) – Hannah Braime reviews five resources that can support personal or career journaling. Each tool offers unique features and conveniences for digital formats, such as tagging, timeline, and search functions.