Once or twice a week I get a chance to ask, "do you keep a journal"? It happened again this morning.
The question has two variations:
- For job search, do you keep track of where you went, what happened, how you did?
- Are you taking notes about what you're learning and experiencing on your new job?
The answer is inevitably, no. Occasionally someone will say they had for a while, but stopped. For most, keeping a work-related journal is something they've never considered.
I am big on having a journal - full stop - especially during reentry. Yet, I get it, maintaining a journal (or writing in general for that matter) is not something most people do. After all its work, an extra task in an already busy day. Who's got time for that?
Nevertheless, the utility of it jumps out at most folks when I explain how to do it and why it's a good idea.
Aside from the obvious benefit of jotting down names, dates, addresses, and numbers, the journal writer has an opportunity to trap emotion filled details essentially as they happen. What seems big and noteworthy RIGHT NOW needs to be logged in ASAP. Never mind how things may look tomorrow. What's important is the unfiltered, raw data. Get it down and move on.
How this information is used remains entirely up to each person. It's their journal. They are out to achieve things (land a job, retain a job, move up in a job) and their journal can be a powerful tool.
First, by providing a place to store details and specifics, otherwise lost in the shuffle. Second, by engaging the writer in their own real-time narrative. Here's the desired outcome, here's what happened. No fluff, no spin. Just the facts, privately and honestly rendered.
There's nothing like it.
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