Journaing, Teddy Roosevelt did it. Harry Truman also.
Want to have a successful job search? Keep a job search journal.
One of the most effective tools I recommend to power up your job search is journalaling. The exercise of job search is not unlike a sport you play. When you review your actions in the field you learn what worked, what didn’t, and adjust along the way.
There are many benefits to journaling.
The biggest benefit of keeping a job search journal is to expand your self-awareness. Self-awareness of your strengths, your energizers, what challenges you, what can derail you is a key driver of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence (the ability to know and manage yourself and others) is a key driver of success in life.
Another key benefit of keeping a job search journal is to manage stress. The stress of job search can have a significant impact on your overall well-being. Journaling about stressful events can help you process them, release the negative emotions, and ultimately enable learning. Our physical and emotional well-being is a key driver of the energy we bring to our job search. The more positive emotion and inspiration we feel, the greater the impact on our efforts.
To make journaling a habit, I suggest you block off fifteen minutes on your calendar and make it part of your morning or evening routine.
The following is a list of useful prompts.
How am I doing? It is important that you look inward to understand your feelings and emotions. What happened during the day to trigger those emotions? Understanding the triggers that cause certain emotions gives you an awareness that lets you control those triggers and consequently the emotions.
What’s going well and what’s causing that? Acknowledging what’s good helps you take a step back from what may have been a very stressful day. It helps you learn what’s positive and what’s helping you achieve goals. Learn from your successes, replicate those to create even more success.
What’s challenging and what’s creating that? Acknowledging what’s challenging focuses you on what needs your attention for learning and growth. It opens you up to experimenting with other ways of acting that may be more effective.
What strengths do I notice in myself? This helps you become aware of your strengths and put them into action. It builds confidence, trust in yourself, and resilience.
What am I learning? What did you learn today? Growing and learning add to your confidence, giving you the momentum to move forward. You should be an eager learner, reading career oriented materials and meeting with thought leaders.
What is an action I am committing to? Create your to-do list, you should have weekly goals and a daily plan. What did you achieve, what’s left undone? Could you have achieved your plan if you had started 30 minutes earlier, not gone to the grocery store or watched Ellen? If you didn’t achieve your plan today, tomorrow is a new day, start over. You have an opportunity to achieve success every day. Committing an action to writing gives it importance and is much more likely to be achieved.
Try this exercise. I challenge you to try it as a gift to yourself for the next seven days. My hope is that it will help you to become more inspired, authentic and agile.
Let me know how journaling helps you.
Rick Christensen: Director, Career Transition Practice
Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.
Rick’s passion is coaching individuals through career transitions, developing career management strategies and in identifying and sharpening competencies to open doors to new opportunities. His efforts have assisted thousands of individuals achieve their full potential.