Start a Career Journal

An Easy, Accessible Tool for Professional Development

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Do you keep track of your accomplishments? If you want to steer your career toward your dream job, I recommend you start a career journal to save the stories and experiences that have moved you forward. A journal can allow you to identify your likes, your dislikes, your goals for your future, or your next steps. Here's how a career journal can be useful.

Easy Reminders for Promotion

You're busy every day at work and it may be hard to remember each achievement once you have moved on to the next task or project. If you write down the goals you have exceeded, new initiatives you drove and keep track of your success in a journal, it will be easy to flip back to it when it is time to discuss your next promotion. At one of my previous jobs, I kept track of how I helped the company grow and when it was time to ask for a raise, it reminded me of key reasons why I deserved one and made it easier to make my case.

Future Planning

Your journal can also include stories about how you learned from mistakes and be a reminder not to repeat them. It can also help you keep track of short-term and long-terms goals. For example, I client once asked if I was travelling to a Las Vegas conference the following year and it made me feel excited since I had never travelled for work at the time. So I noted it in my career journal as a goal, and when the time was right, I spoke to my boss about how I might benefit to travel with her to conferences. The following year, I made it happen by taking appropriate actions that showed my boss I was ready. A journal can help prompt you to speak up for what you want, and plan how you will present your case.

Give Your Confidence a Boost

There may be times when you may not feel confident with where you are in your career. A journal can remind you how far you have come from where you started. It also will help jog your memory about the triumphs you experienced from the beginning steps of your career until now. Those reminders are a good way to ignite your energy to keep going and do your best every step of the way in your career.

So, what are you waiting for? Start writing your story of your professional development. Enjoy the inspiration that comes along with having a journal to store your ideas, your goals and your successes.

About the Author

Jessalin Lam handles promotions and special projects for ShermansTravel Media, a digital publisher for travel deals and content. She partners with brands including Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Entertainment Weekly and eBay. Previously, she was the director, marketing and sales at SoundView Broadcasting, a premiere television broadcast and production company. Before working at SVB, she worked at Multicultural Marketing Resources (MMR) as the PR and sales manager partnering with key decision makers to foster long-term business relationships with clients such as Y&R, 3AF, and ADCOLOR. She graduated from Baruch College with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Marketing and Advertising in 2010.

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