How To Make a Career Journal (With Examples)

There’s a Toni Morrison essay that I think about often. Morrison discusses working hard to make money, cleaning houses as a child, and the emotional highs and lows of having a job. I won’t give away the conclusion because it’s worth reading, but she eventually has some really profound epiphanies.

It’s December. The world is as chaotic as ever, so this year at SELF, we’ve urged you to be gentle with yourself. We’ve advised you to take it easy when you can, cry when you need to, go for daytime strolls, and express all of your emotions openly. Although we have discussed gratitude, resilience, brain fog, and grief, the reality is that there are still work-related stressors and obligations. Your professional stressors have probably increased if you haven’t been working during this time. And if you work, your responsibilities won’t disappear without your assistance. Even though I bet you’re not, it’s simple to feel like you’re failing.

In order to remind herself of her strengths, a friend of mine started a career journal, and I impulsively decided to do the same. I wrote for a week about what I had published, but I also considered the expert interviews that had stayed with me after they were finished. I celebrated the days when I made time to eat. I mused over the lines I enjoyed writing. I unpacked days when I somehow managed my stress. And yes—I kept it real about the things I could’ve done better For the first time this year, I saw myself as more than just my to-do list. I considered what I had accomplished in 2020 and how I wanted to experiment when things weren’t so tumultuous.

When should you make a career journal?

Anytime you believe it will help you advance in your career, you can start a career journal. Starting a career journal as early in your career as possible may be a good idea because the majority of the benefits are long-term. As an alternative, you can begin one when a significant chapter in your career, like a promotion or a new job, or monitor your progress once you’ve established a career goal.

What is a career journal?

A career journal is a thorough record of various career-related events that includes ongoing updates on the author’s experiences and observations. The content of the journal typically depends on your line of work and personal preferences, with some frequent entries being about previous work experiences, various difficulties you face at work, evaluations of where you are in your career, and future goals Main advantages of keeping a career journal include:

How to make a career journal

Consider following these steps when making a career journal:

1. Define the purpose of doing it

Clarifying your motivation for keeping a career journal usually increases your chances of consistently updating it because it gives you a clear goal to work toward. Regardless of the context in which you began it, stating your goals can inspire you to continue journaling on a regular basis. If your initial objective is accomplished, you may come up with other justifications for keeping a career journal.

2. Decide on the medium

The next step after deciding to keep a career journal is to decide how you want to record your experiences and accomplishments. Electronic files on a computer or laptop, a note on your smartphone, and a traditional notebook are some of the most popular formats. Although it largely depends on personal preference, writing by hand can boost your creativity and memory.

3. Decide on a format

When deciding on a format for your career journal, you can choose to use either free-form or prompt-based methods A free-form journal is a description of all significant events that took place over a predetermined time frame, such as a day or a week. Your journal entries make reference to particular subjects like:

4. Set rules regarding how often you write in your career journal

Having a set of guidelines for your journal’s frequency of writing can help you write consistently. You may choose to describe the happenings of the previous week in your free-form journal entries by writing them every day or only on the weekends. You can establish guidelines for what qualifies as an event worthy of inclusion in your journal when writing based on various prompts.

5. Review your progress from time to time

Regardless of the format or your motivations for starting a career journal, periodically reviewing your progress can help you achieve your objectives. Consistently assess your writing to see if it adheres to your original intentions. If you believe that your current strategy isn’t yielding the desired results, you can start considering ways to modify your original strategy.

Tips for organizing your career journal

Consider these tips for organizing your career journal:

Career journal examples

Here are two examples of career journal entries:

Example 1

Take a look at this illustration of a real estate agent’s daily journal in free form:

Today was fairly uneventful, primarily because I spent the majority of my time at work searching for new clients and organizing my database. I also met with a client who was looking to purchase a residential property outside of the city. I took her to a three-bedroom house that was about 15 miles from the city center but she didn’t like it and thought the price was a little high. My ability to match prospective clients with properties needs to improve. Tomorrow, I’ll ask my manager for advice on how to do that.

Example 2

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I received my sales results for the previous trimester today, and while I met my goals, I still believe there are some areas I can improve in. I analyzed my numbers and discovered I made 3. 4 cold calls per day and had 7. Eight meetings each week and a 23% conversion rate I need to conduct at least five cold calls daily and attend 10 meetings per week if I’m to increase my results by at least 10% in the upcoming trimester. Ill analyze my success in exactly three months.



How do I write a career journal?

How to make a career journal
  1. Define the purpose of doing it. …
  2. Decide on the medium. …
  3. Decide on a format. …
  4. Establish guidelines for how often to update your career journal.
  5. Review your progress from time to time.

What is a job journal?

A job journal is essentially a to-do list where you can keep track of what you need to do and what you’ve already completed. It can be used to plan your day at work, which will make you more productive.

What are examples of career planning?

Career Goals Examples (Short-term & Long-term)
  • Gain a New Skill. …
  • Boost Your Networking Abilities. …
  • Intern with a Large Company to Gain Experience. …
  • Start Your Own Business. …
  • Improve Your Sales or Productivity Numbers. …
  • Earn a Degree or Certification. …
  • Make a Career Switch. …
  • Become an Expert in Your Field.

What is a career notebook?

A notebook made with the express purpose of assisting aspiring and professional writers structure their lives and careers just as thoroughly as their stories

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