Career, Popular
comments 10

3 Reasons Why You Need A Career Journal To Be Super Successful


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!

Filed under: Career, Popular


Colleen is a management consultant focused on organization transformations and has supported many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 clients across multiple industries. She moonlights as a freelance writer (you can follow her writing here) and in another life, she would be an interior designer-slash-Bikram yoga instructor.


  1. ailyn says

    trouble is… what do i do with it? people keep saying it is important, for what i have no idea…. what to put it.
    not that I can read my writing…

  2. Nilanjana says

    Some great food for thought. Think i should start keeping one. just started out on a job that i could hopefully build into a successful career in the long run.

  3. Jenn Jaramillo says

    This is such an amazing way of explaining the importance of something such as a Career Journal. I have a journal I have kept that even has notes of bids I did in the past with different ideas. It really is an amazing moment when you can look back and see just how far you have come, even if it is not noticeable to us! Great advice!

  4. and the bee comes says

    such a good idea! never thought about making a career journal. i’m working really hard on my career, and sometimes feel overwhelmed by all the options available and steps to take, a career journal sounds like just what i need! xo

  5. This is fantastic! I am a journal junkie and just recieved a new one for my birthday. I decided I was going to keep it in my purse and carry it with me all the time and see what I do with it but I think a career journal is perfect.

  6. Julie Santos says

    Great idea! I’ve been doing something similar — I write 3 things I accomplished at work and 3 things I accomplished outside of work. It helps because it makes me realize the small victories do count.

  7. Tonya says

    I never thought of a career journal but you make a great case for one! I’ll have to mull this over. The planners are so cute but I don’t know what to do with them. It’s so easy to organize online and planners tell up space…but they can be so pretty!

  8. Marcelle says

    I would add that it’s also highly satisfying to look back and see all you’ve accomplished on your journal!

    great post!


  9. Rachel Ang says

    Perfectly said. Writing your goals down on paper definitely makes it seem alot more real and doable.

    Rachel x

Leave a Reply to Rachel Ang Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>