If my apartment caught on fire and I could only save a box of things on my way out the door, my career journal would be in there. It’s been with me since I graduated from college seven years ago, gets me through hard times, and keeps me honest about the direction to steer my career path. Here are the top three reasons you should start one!
#1 A career journal helps you to set goals
There’s something about putting your goals down on paper that helps them seem real. Whether your goal is to work abroad, publish a novel, or become someone’s boss, it takes a lot of steps (and smaller goals) to get there. In my journal, I have three major goals written down, and I worked backwards from those goals to identify the steps I needed to take and milestones I needed to achieve in order to get there.
#2 It helps you keep track of what motivates you
You need to understand what you value in your career, and sometimes you learn what you value by seeing what someone else does, hearing what someone else says, or reading a story about what someone else has been through. The only way to remember all of that inspiration is to record it somewhere! My career journal has a ton of quotes from leaders I admire, great tips and advice I’ve been given, and even some great food-for-thought sayings – my personal favorite right now is “You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce.” Can’t argue with that!
#3 It will keep you honest with yourself
I re-evaluate where I am at every six months or so, and sit down with my career journal to review the past few years. Going back to re-read my goals reminds me of how far I’ve come, and the amount of work, energy and emotion it took to get from there to here! It also keeps me honest because it forces me to ask “is this still what I want?” Sometimes, the answer is no! There is some nice closure in (literally) crossing it off your list and moving on to the next one!
If you need a list of great notebooks to start your career journal, why not check out our faves from etsy!