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Jump into Journaling: How Reflection Strengthens Skills

Posted by Steve Johnston on Fri, Apr 19, 2013

Climb the Career Ladder with Your Own Information

business journalCareer development can be a tricky, and sometimes expensive, thing. Everyone loves the idea of getting a degree, adding certifications, or just getting a few webinars under their belts. Unfortunately, these educational tools, while certainly very helpful for boosting your career, can cost quite a bit of money. If you’re still determined to climb the career ladder, have no fear. You can still learn a lot on a daily basis, and your new information will help make great strides in your professional life. So, where does this information come from?


Business journaling is a growing trend among executives, middle management, and all who hope to reach those heights someday. The information you record on a daily basis will—absolutely will—help you grow in your job, life, and career as a whole. If you’re not convinced, take a look at our business journaling advice. 

Record Everything

A journal is meant to keep private thoughts exactly that: private. This means you’re free to share absolutely everything about every day. Write down important business meetings or just the five minutes your boss stepped into your office for a chat. Keep logs of every business call. Not only will this information help you recall important conversations that might otherwise have been lost to bad memories, you can also keep the information that will help you grow as an employee. From quotes to possible solutions, your journal could be what you need to solve a big work problem and get you the recognition you deserve.

Failures Apply

You may be tempted to keep only the positive aspects of your performance in your business journal, but you could make a fatal error in doing so. By recording your ideas and their outcomes, you can determine which processes work and which to avoid. The only way to keep from making the same mistake twice is to record your failures as well as your victories.  You can, of course, put a positive spin on anything, but remember you’re the only one reading your journal. If you choose to ignore your downfalls, you’ll only be fooling yourself.

Old School or New Technology

It’s entirely up to you how you want to record your thoughts. Many choose the old-fashioned paper and pen method simply because they can jot down thoughts anywhere. Still others prefer an electronic approach with online journals or note apps on their smartphones. The important thing is that you find something you’re comfortable with and can access at any time. If you find you’re putting off your journaling because you’re not near a laptop, perhaps the pen and paper method is for you. If you find you keep throwing away your paper copies or losing the notebooks around the office, then consider switching to an online journaling program. Still others find they just don’t want to write at all. For these cases, a recording device is key. Your smartphone may have a recorder that will allow you to keep your important thoughts organized, and you can always sync to your laptop for safekeeping. The most important thing is just that you do it.

When to Journal

The simple answer is: Daily. However, no one has time in the day to write down every thought or phrase. For the most part, you can get away with writing once per day. If, however, you witness something or have ideas you don’t want to lose, it’s a great idea to seek out a quiet space to get your thoughts down before they leave you. You may eventually discover that one part of the day is better for writing than others, such as a daily wrap-up before bed à la Doogie Howser. Again, the most important thing is that you simply do it.

You’ll begin to notice a difference in your daily work as your successes and failures continue to power you. Every lesson you learn will be right there to revisit any time you need, and that’s how the power of reflection helps you boost your career without a single seminar.



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Tags: Professional Development