It’s been about a month since I’ve last written. I took a little time off, in fact, I may do so this month as well. I’m taking the time to reassess and regroup my strategy and marketing focus for this blog. At the same time, I am reassessing my strategy in my efforts to change my career. I thought it would be kind of neat to do this on the blog as an example of how to journal reflectively. I must say, if you didn’t utilize the Mind Tools website as a resource from my Jan 25, 2015 blog, entitled The Power of Reflection, you are surely missing out. You can find it listed in the resources at the end of that blog entry. What a wonderful website it is! The site really breaks down the benefits and how-to’s of reflective journaling. Below, I will demonstrate a snippet of a reflection using some of the questions that I took right out of what I read on their site.
You may be wondering why I titled this blog entry, brick wall. About a week ago I was able to go on an interview at USC. They have some lovely brick buildings located all over the campus. I found something about all those brick structures to be so beautiful, full of history and culture. On the flip side, it seemed to represent something traditional, rigid and unchanging. At the current time, I feel that my life has run up against this scenic and impenetrable brick wall. As beautiful as it is, it’s a barricade that I want to get past. I must get past. I need a break through so, I thought I would journal about it. Here we go…
Reflect on Your Experiences
“Effective journaling combines a clear narrative about recent events with critical thinking about what you have learned, and what behaviors, if any, you can change or improve.
To help you write your journal, think about the following questions:
- What has happened since you last journaled?
- What have you learned since your last entry? What mistakes have you made?
- What difficult or painful events have occurred?
- If you could repeat a recent event, what would you do differently, and why?
When you write, think carefully about the most important thing that’s happened to you since you last wrote in your journal. Keep in mind that this event can be subtle.
For example, you might have pulled off a great presentation, but this isn’t necessarily your most important event. It may be more important to note that you were upset with your assistant before the presentation, and that you said something that damaged his trust in you. This is the event you need to write about in detail, exploring why you were upset and why you were cross. Only then can you learn from the experience.
As well as this, it’s important to write down any small or quick wins that you’ve achieved. When you don’t make a point of thinking about these, they might slip out of your memory. But it’s important to reflect on them, so that you can boost your motivation and self-confidence.”
-excerpt from the Mind Tools website
- Since I last journaled about my career, well, I can’t remember when the last time was. I know at the beginning of the year, January 2014, I made a list of things I wanted to accomplish but, I am pretty sure that was not considered a journal. In reality then, it’s been at least a year since I’ve truly journaled about where I am and where I want to go in my career.
- Since my last entry, I have learned that it is possible to change my career. I have absolutely gotten a grasp on the importance of furthering my education for a few reasons. One because my first degree doesn’t open up many doors for me career wise. Although I love Art, it has not been very versatile nor has it made me marketable. I need education in another field. I have also learned that when a door is opened to me, I should not turn around and walk out. Sometimes you will have to walk quite a while before you get to the room that you want to be in. In other words, sometimes the process is slower than I might have anticipated but, if I keep my eyes open and keep moving forward eventually, I will get there. Lastly, I need to have a plan and a back up plan at all times. When I moved back home my plan was unrealistic and I wasn’t clear on how to move forward. I did have a backup plan but, it was one that was moving me backward rather than forward. I was trying to go back to old job moves. Today, I have to try something different.
- The painful events were paying more than a few bucks to renew a credential I don’t want to use but, felt I had to. Also, joining a tutoring agency were I had to go to people’s homes and driving in unfamiliar territory to get there. That was a terrible idea. These pursuits have been expensive, uncomfortable and a waste of my time. I can’t get those things back. So, now, I evaluate if the effort I am about to embark in is worth my time or my financial investment before I do it. How much do I have to put out? How much of a return will I get on the investment of my time/money? Does this choice move me closer to my purpose? Those are three key things I ask myself before making a move now days. Everything is carefully thought out because I just can’t afford anymore costly mistakes.
- If I could repeat any event, I would not have renewed my credential or paid to get a background check. Waste of money. I also would not have signed up with that tutoring agency. I would have spent more time and effort with getting signed up with temp agencies while I pursued full time work at some college, anywhere. My goal is to work at a community college or ground campus. I would apply for some job that I could do mindlessly and with little stress just to bring in a little money while I wait on the thing that is the perfect opportunity for me. Hmm…what is that job? I think I will do better at interviewing if my mind isn’t preoccupied with how much I need the job but, rather with the fact that I just, want the job. My quick win, is that the most money I’ve made since I’ve been home is with a temp job. Hopefully, I get some more of those. My other “win” is that my spirit is happier when I stay true to doing something “different” than returning to teaching, my prior career.
I hope this open look at my reflective journal regarding career moves is helpful for someone when it comes to how to journal. I think I need to do another one where I focus on this blog and how to make improvements on it but, I will do that on my own private time. Let me know if this was helpful or whatever you think.
Until next time…be encouraged.