Exercise: Start a “Job Journal” to discover what you should do!

At times, I have customers over 50 who are unsure what their career path should be. If this is you, the most important thing is to stay upbeat and don’t get discouraged, no matter what. Here is an exercise that I think will help you if you do it.

Get a fresh notebook and pen and prepare to write down every job you have had, or that you can remember, in your life. Let’s begin in high school. What was your first job in high school? Write it down. Write down how old you were and what you did. Write down how this job made you feel. As you progress, ask yourself these questions and write out the answers for each of the jobs you have held:

  1. What was the company name?
  2. What was your title?
  3. What did you do at your job?
  4. Did anyone compliment you for something you did? What was it?
  5. What did you like about this position?
  6. What didn’t you like about this position?
  7. How did you leave the position – Did you get laid off or terminated? Did you resign or leave the position? How did that make you feel?

You can make it as long as you like, and if there are grammar and spelling mistakes, don’t worry! The only person that will see this is you. Be VERY honest about what you feel, there is no right or wrong answer. Just write it down. Again, this exercise is only for you.

Once you have written down a chronology of all the jobs you remember, go back and read what you have written. Underline, or make a note, of all the things that are common about the jobs that you have liked. For example, You may have written,

“My first job was at (company name) when I was 16. I was a clerk and helped the customers at the front. The thing I loved about that job was the cash handling.”

Then later, you may have written, “My first job in my 30’s was working temporary at a company in downtown Minneapolis. I am not sure what company this was, since I was working temporary, but I remember I was creating purchase orders and doing matching. I loved this part. I also had to tally checks, and I used the 10-key to add them up.  I loved this also. The day went by fast.”

In these two sentences, we notice that the person liked money handling early in his or her career, and accounts payable later in her career. Perhaps an accounting position would be a path to pursue!

Similarly, make a note of the items you did not like in your career. For example: “My last job was as an office manager for xyz company. I worked their for over 7 years. I put together budgets and reports for my supervisor, and managed 8 employees. I liked doing the budgets, but did not like supervising people.” Here we see, that supervising people is not something this person likes to do! 

Once you have completed this exercise, you should have two columns: Things you like to do in a job and things you do not, which should point you in the right direction and path to take for your job search.

Happy job hunting!


One Response to “Exercise: Start a “Job Journal” to discover what you should do!”

  1. The Job You Want to Have vs. The Job You Should Have | Words of Wisdom from the Career Development Interns Says:

    […] Exercise: Start a “Job Journal” to discover what you should do! (aplusresumes.wordpress.com) […]

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