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Using Journal to Support Your Job Search

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. But golly gee, 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. Amy, 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.

(c) Copyright Catherine Franz. All rights reserved without permission.

Catherine Franz is a writer and author of over 1800 published articles, books on various subjects. She is a columnist and writes several Newsletters a month. Catherine is a 20-year international journaling instructor, including several US Presidents and First Ladies, and author of two booklets on hundreds of journaling tips and techniques. Visit the store at:

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