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How to Keep a Career Journal for Career Development?


Anyone who is career oriented will tell you that no matter what is going on in their life, their chief aim is always to keep climbing the ladder of success no matter what. It is needless to say that without hard work, dedication as well as diligence you will never be able to make it big in life.

To get ahead you have to constantly bring you’re A game and never deliver shoddy work, yet along with this you have to ensure that you never stop reaching for the sky. For your benefit, given here is a list on How to keep and maintain a proper career journal for your career development.

career journal for career developmentHow to Keep a Career Journal, Log or Diary: 17 Tips

1. This career journal may be made online:

It is needless to say that we live in a technological age where many people prefer to make use of their laptops rather than a simple pen and paper. The decision is entirely yours so ensure that you make the proper one. Just remember that you will have to make use of this career journal a lot even on the go so make sure that you are using a medium that you find comfortable.

As long as you are happy with the decisions which you make in life, you need not be answerable or even apologetic for the manner in which you act. Always hold your head up high and be confident.

2. You could also make one in a notebook:

In the event of being a little old school, you can always opt to make use of a good old notebook to get the job done. Many people across the globe continue to prefer using pencil and paper as it is cheaper and much more accessible especially if you need to jot something down while commuting. However when narrowing down on which notebook you would like to use, you should ensure that it is relatively thick so that you do not have to keep getting a new one, yet at the same time it is of paramount importance that you ensure that the book isn’t too heavy or you won’t be able to carry it around.

3. Jot down things as soon as they come to you:

If an idea happens to come to your mind, you should make it a point to jot it down as soon as it does otherwise if you take too long chances are that you might either forget to jot it down or you might even forget the idea entirely. If you are not in the habit of jotting things down, then initially you might have a little trouble, but over a period of time you will realize that it will become a habit of sort for you. Do not bother about what language you are using as long as it is comprehensive to you that are more than enough because this career journal is a very personal thing.

4. There is no neat to be neat and tidy:

Inspiration comes to one in a flash and at such a moment no one can be bothered about writing in a neat or tidy manner. Your primary aim at all time should be that you have jotted down every bit of your idea so that you leave no room for error nor do you even miss out one single point which you have come up with.

The more meticulous you are in keeping a track of even the smallest of details the better it will be for you in the long run. Just remember that great minds are never concerned with superficial things like neat hand writing, for them it is always matter over manner at all costs.

5. It is not mandatory to pen down the complete idea all at once:

When an idea does come to us, it is not necessary that it comes to us in its entirety; rather it might come in bits and parts. So do not think that you always have to only pen down complete ideas in your journal.

Remember that it is your journal so you can do whatever you like to do. Since you make the rules for your own career journal you can decide whether you would like to jot things down in point form, tabular form, or even in long descriptive paragraphs.

6. Drawings and quick sketches are welcome as well:

As we are all well aware that no two people are alike, some people there are some people who think in terms of words and sentences whereas on the other end of the spectrum there are those that think in the form of images, so if you are someone who does think in the form of images then you should go right ahead and include these images in your journal as you see things in your mind. People make use of this journal as an outlet for their creative energy where they can say whatever they have to or write whatever comes to their mind without thinking twice about it.

7. Take good care of this career journal:

Though you do have the freedom to do, write or jot down whatever you want to in this particular journal, you should make it a point to take good care of this book as at the end of the day it is a proper record of your career timeline. No matter what you have achieved you should never start doubting yourself and second guessing your ability.

Keep in mind that this journal is going to be of invaluable help to you when you are going ahead to create a resume for yourself. A resume nowadays isn’t a summation of all educational qualifications rather it is an important advertising and marketing tool.

8. Mention any new thing which you have learnt:

If by chance you have gone on a seminar or have watched an educational video online, you should jot down anything interesting which you have learnt into this log. There is a mind boggling range of uses which you can put this journal to, so ensure that you are not limiting yourself at any point in time. You will never achieve success if you are someone who does not have a curious bend of mind, but if you do not possess, you should try your level best to be more analytical as then only you will be able to ask valid questions.

9. Also state any mistakes which you have made:

No matter how ashamed and angry you are at the mistakes, errors or blunders which you have made in the course of your work, you should certainly not shy away from mentioning these mistakes in your career journal.

Doing this serves a dual purpose, first of all chances are that you will not make such a mistake again now that you have it recorded and then secondly jotting this down will serve as a validation for you that, yes you made a mistake but more importantly after making this mistakes you picked yourself back and got back on the horse once again.

10. Ensure that you mention any break-through which you have made:

In the event of making a break though after a significant period of struggle make sure that you mention this point in your journal no matter how small or insignificant this might seem. In addition to mentioning the necessary point you must ensure that you also state how exactly you were able to reach this conclusion. This having been said you should make it a point to be extremely meticulous in dating your work so that you are able to keep a track of how much you were able to do in a significant period of time, doing this will certainly not be much effort.

11. Enlist all your successful projects:

Above everything else it is of paramount importance that you keep a track of all the successful projects which you have been able to tackle in the course of your career. Doing this will most certainly feel really good about yourself as it will serve as a validation for all your hard work at sleepless nights.

Along with just mentioning the projects name and the date you should also make it a point to mention what you learnt from this project and things which you would have done differently in the event of being given a second chance or doing something similar in the future.

12. Make a note of any important acquaintances which you come across:

In the business world having contacts is something which is of great importance. So rather than simply thinking of having the contacts on your phone you should make it a point to store all the really important information in your journal just as back up so that just in case technology fails you do not find yourself at sea and have something to fall back on.

Also, if you have been able to come across any mentors who gave you some great help then you should mention what they said along with their contact details in case you need their help in the future.

13. You can also keep some space for venting your feelings:

The business world is a cut throat one indeed and you might not be able to forge meaningful friendships at work and your family members though may be supportive of you, might not understand exactly what it is you are going through.

So for this purpose you can use your journal as a medium that allows you to vent your feelings and just be honest with yourself rather than having to put on a show at all times.

14. Keep a track of future goals you would like to achieve:

Everyone ought to have a strict five year plan so that they know exactly what it is that they are working towards, so you should go ahead and be sure to make your five year plan in this journal so that at no point of time do you get deviated from your goals and you constantly keep working towards them.

15. Keep this notebook close to you at all times:

A good idea may come to you at any time so you must ensure that you have your journal close to you and within arm’s length at all times. It will benefit you greatly to carry it around with you wherever you go.

16. Write as often as you possibly can:

Though writing in the journal daily is ideal, yet it might always be possible to do so, so this having been said ensure that you do make it a point to write in it as often as you possibly can. Since maintaining a journal like this is not time consuming at all, so you need not constantly keep putting it off.

17. After a while reflect on work past as well as present:

Last but certainly not the least is that maintaining a journal is a great way to track your progress. It is a great way to reflect on work which you have done in the past, focus on tasks you are doing presently as well as encourages you to work hard to ensure that your future is bright.


So these are some of the ways in which you can go about making a career journal to keep track of your career development. Though this might sound you like really hard work, but in actual fact it isn’t at all, it is like a notebook of sorts where you can keep a track of anything career related which you think is worth noting down. If you are someone who is very career oriented indeed, then rather than being a burden for you, this task will be rather fun as well as engaging. Therefore this being said, it does not have to be a very elaborate affair as the only one reading it is you.