Career Tools: Your Job Journal (and 4 Excellent posts)

jibberjobber-job-journalLast week a user emailed to ask what the Job Journal is.  On our last Wednesday webinar we spent more time than usual on the Job Journal (some weeks I don’t have time to go into it).

The Job Journal is outside of the idea of tracking contacts, companies, and jobs in your job search, so some people kind of ignore it.  It also suffers from the Pill vs. Vitamin syndrome (this is a critical concept to understand… click here to see my thoughts on it), so it’s easy to think “I’ll do that later, when I’m not working so urgently on landing my next job.”

But let me suggest that working through the Job Journal idea is critical.

It became important to me for a couple of reasons.  First, in my depression and discouragement in my job search, I lost a clear perspective of who I was.  It’s easy to do. If you can’t see yourself clearly, you think you aren’t good enough to land the job you are fully qualified to do.  I got to the point where I doubted my ability to flip burgers at a restaurant… and I’m the guy who put myself through most of my undergraduate and MBA programs!  Determined, driven, motivated… but lost my confidence.

Going through the exercise of brainstorming your accomplishments for the Job Journal helps you regain a clear vision of who you are and what you bring to the table.

Additionally, going through the exercise helps you craft stories that help paint your picture.  As you list your accomplishments you’ll have stories about your ability to solve problems, think analytically, work in teams, lead people, be led by people, be creative, etc.  All those things you say you are… the stories make your claims much more substantial.

Compare this:

I am creative.


I am creative.  For example, I was invited to work on a project that _________.  It was clear the problem was _____________.  After realizing this, I __________________.  As a result, the project _____________.

You might recognize that mini-story has a Problem/Action/Result format.  When you start thinking about talking about yourself with mini-stories to back-up what you have done, and put some real meat behind your claims, you will come across as a much stronger candidate.

I love, love, love what this can do for you. You can believe in yourself again, even though you have gone through months of “rejection,” and you can present yourself much stronger (through mini-stories).

How can this not be a critical part of your short-term and long-term career management?  It is worth the time to get away from technology and distractions and brainstorm your accomplishments… and then come back to JibberJobber to enter them in.  I can’t make you do it, I can only beg you to do it.  But if you do it, you will be much better off.

I should mention that all of this is on the FREE side of JibberJobbber…

Read these blog posts about a job journal strategy

The Job Journal – this is an introduction to the tool where I announced it back in September of 2007.

Job Journal Revisited – Included in Free Level – this is the announcement we made in October 2009 where we moved every aspect of it over to the free side.

Your Success Stories and a Job Journal – I took a quote from executive and professional coach Beverly Harvey’s blog post about the stories, which she calls critical components, and said, YES, and use the Job Journal to track these stories!

Beverly Harvey isn’t the only career professional talking about this.  Liz Handlin, who I wrote about last week, wrote a post in January 2007 titled Keep A Job Diary.  Read that for further validation of the concept.

One thing I love about the job journal, or job diary, or whatever you want to call it, is that it is a component of your long-term career management strategy.

3 thoughts on “Career Tools: Your Job Journal (and 4 Excellent posts)”

  1. Job journals are one of the most underrated and neglected career tools, so it’s great that you’ve provided this cool way of doing it.

    Coincidentally, I just published an article about job journals (or the “rainy day file”) yesterday, which may be of interest to JJ blog readers.

    Is it hard to get in the habit of keeping a job journal? Yes, for the first week or two. Then it becomes a habit that will serve you the rest of your working life.

  2. I love the job journal. I use it to jot down good stuff, successes, and congrats received, otherwise I forget too much of this. Very useful when it’s time for my performance review.

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