If the idea of keeping a work journal makes you sceptical, don’t worry, we were too, but actually, it can be a really useful tool.
What would you keep in it? Invoices? To-do lists? Nope, that’s a different kind of work journal. The purpose of this work journal is less about keeping up with what tasks you need to get done, and more about keeping a record of your achievements and successes.
But why do it?
Well, it’s a way of preparing for the future. How often have you come to a work application form asking about achievements and challenges you’ve overcome and been stuck to know what to put? Having a track record of things which you’ve done well at should make filling out those applications far easier, and give you a much-needed confidence boost when you come to read back over them.
Any other advantages?
Not only will it help to reassure you when you’re feeling nervous about big meetings or pitches that you have coming up, but it will help you to review your progress and give you a perspective on how you are doing at the time.
So what do you want to include in a work journal?
At the end of each week jot down the highlights and the hardships you’ve faced and what you did. A few questions which you could ask yourself if you’re not sure where to begin, include:
- What were your two main stresses this week?
- What aspect of your job made you happy this week?
- What would you have changed about your job this week if you could?
- Are you still happy overall in what you’re doing? If not, how could you change that?
- How could the past week of work help you in the future?
- What did you learn this week?
You could keep your journal as bullet-points, or write it as a stream of consciousness. Some weeks may have more to record than other weeks, but try to write in it each Friday to keep the practice up. You’ll be surprised how useful it turns out to be!