I’m an on-again-off-again journaler; it’s one of those things that could be beneficial but is so easy to forget about. However, this video from the 99U conference on creativity, researcher Teresa Amabile explains how keeping a career journal can help unlock happiness at work and offers some easy steps for committing to it.
Amabile recommends starting small and committing to journaling every day for a month. Try to do it at the same time every day, and use an alarm or some other way to remind yourself to stop and write. And choose your medium—writing, drawing, typing in a word document—whatever works for you.
And what do you write about in this type of career journal? Note small accomplishments so you can motivate yourself to tackle big problems. Try highlighting setbacks or failures that can help fix inefficient systems and practices, or show you areas where you need to focus or improve. Taking time to reflect on the day can help you wind down, plan for the next day, and notice patterns.
Amabile had several great examples and insights from people who took part in her project to keep a daily work diary. They learned more about themselves, their work style, and how to work with others, and many were planning to continue the practice.
Have you kept a career journal before? Is this something you’ll consider? What will you focus on in your reflection?