Amy Lindgren‘s career advice is always spot-on. In this piece, the best, and possibly least-obvious of the bunch, is #6. Keep a job-search journal.
Why keep a journal during stressful times?
While your writing may produce a future screenplay, in the here-and-now, writing is a necessary discipline with which you record your own truth about what you are doing or not doing every single day. It is also a record of what you really think about the results of your activities, the promises that you make to yourself (and whether you deliver), and, should you make sacrifices or changes in your goals for specific purposes, you have a record for future review.
It is not the tool that you use to record each personal, phone, email, or job application contact that you make. That is a different tool in your job search toolbox.
What might you learn?
You may find that the job that you take because you need income is not the job you really want and far from the job of your dreams. Your journal is helpful in two circumstances:
1. You like the job and it is working out in ways that surprise you. Life is full of surprises. Celebrate them.
2. You hate the job and hate your life. With the journal in hand, you have a concrete record of the deal that you cut with yourself when you took this non-dream job. Were you desperate for money? Bored out of your mind? Needing to move out-of-town? Whatever the reason was two years ago, your circumstances have changed, you have changed, and now you can begin the search for a new job from the position of an employed person who can say truthfully that:
- “It wasn’t a good fit;”
- “It was an interesting challenge, and, although I like the people I work with, I believe that my skills are better adapted to…”
- or whatever else is true that isn’t whining.