Using Journal to Support Your Job Search

Posted by | December 21, 2013 | Career, Job Interviews


Are you searching for a job?  Here are some tips on how you can use journaling in that pursuit.

It is important to know what we are looking for in a position and company. Normally, we can write a long list of  stuff we don’t want, but what do we want?

We hear all the time from career coaches and professional development gurus  that we need to define our ideal job.   However, getting past the mindset that we deserve our ideal job and  that the ideal job is really out there, is something else.   Then after we weed through that muck, we need to write down the characteristics of what we “do” want.

All this is enough to make anyone want to stay in bed with  the covers over their head. With the lengthy list of all  that needs done, and in what priority, it is perfectly  understandable why people stay in a job they don’t like.
The overwhelm of everything is daunting.

Job hunting is a chore whether it’s in an employee-focused  market or an employer-focused market. Of course, it’s  easier when the job market has more positions then lookers  but that hasn’t occurred in a number of years now. And the  prediction is not in favor of it changing any time soon.

Career professionals tell us that we should be preparing for  our next position the same day we start any new position.   Yes, this can be mighty difficult, especially when all the  butterflies are still unaligned and you are still trying to  figure out where to find the rest rooms and lunch room. If  you mentioned all this to your friends they would think you  are crazy and that you should be satisfied that you just  have a job. If this happens to be you — you are in a new  job and still feeling lucky to have that one — it’s the  prime opportunity to pick up your journal and begin defining  your next move.

If you are job hunting and going through the interviewing  process, use journaling to practice interviewing dialogue.   Many of the interviewing books available provide typical  questions to get your started. Find the questions and  practice various responses. Do this 10 to 15 minutes a day  and you will be an expert interviewee fairly quickly.

If you are going on an interview and you are nervous, write  about your apprehension. The mental expression will also  calm your nerves. If you can, arrive early, sit in the car  or the lobby and record your feelings before heading up to  the interview.

During the interview ask if you can take notes and record  the questions. After the interview record the questions in  your journal. After the nerves have calmed, practice a  variety of different responses. Continue practicing until  you feel comfortable with your answer. It is important to  continue practicing with these questions several days later  when you have a different perspective on the interview.   During this process, the journaling will help you expand  language skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills.

It is important to learn as much as you can about the  company before you sit in their chair. A research journal  is excellent for tracking this information. If you find  newspaper articles about the company, copy and paste them in  the journal.

Cathy, a recent law student graduate even goes  into the interview with her “job search” journal in hand.  Occasionally, she explained, she opens the journal purposely and asks questions she prepared and makes sure the  interviewer sees the article, company brochure, and other  information when she is thumbing through. On many occasions she has found that even the interviewer never saw the article. Offer to bring a copy back when you return for the  second interview.

Having a positive attitude in anything always gives us a  heads up for success.  Using journaling to support you in  locating you’re next job is a great way to begin, a great  way to progress, and a great way to come out ahead. You  will find that you are way head of the game when you do this. Your competition most likely will make all the  excuses of why they didn’t do this and you will move up  closer or even snag your ideal job.

All the Best !

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