Professional Development Through Journaling

By Sara White posted 08-24-2014 09:40


Interested in continuing your professional development, consider the following. Journaling for Professional Development-Developing Yourself Through Reflection by Mind Tools Club, which offers the following advice.

  • Journaling is making a record of your thoughts, feelings, and experiences on a regular basis.  This record needs be documented, audio or video because the key is being able to review it regularly so you benefit from your experiences.
  • With the hectic pace of life it is easy to “move on” and not realize the lessons you are presented with daily
  • Journaling’s biggest benefit is the opportunity to reflect on your experiences and learnings because they help you to
    • Identify mistakes you have made and reflect on how to avoid them in the future
    • Review your learnings and thus keep the information fresh in your mind
    • Develop your critical thinking and problem solving skills
    • Become more self aware and emotionally mature
    • Develop your communication skills because of having to organize your thoughts
    • Deal with negative things because once expressed they can be forgotten
    • Monitor your progress towards your goals
    • What would you like to do that you haven’t yet
    • Make it a habit by doing it at the same time each day perhaps first thing, last thing or at lunch or a break.
    • Pace yourself as you are not writing a novel but just recording your thoughts and feelings and perhaps limit it to 5-10 minutes
    • Reflect (think critically) on your experiences by considering the following questions
      • What has happened since you last journaled
      • What have you learned since your last entry
      • What mistakes have you made recently
      • What difficult or painful events have occurred
      • If you could repeat a recent event what would you do differently
    • Be honest as this is only for your use
    • Focus on positives and negatives
      • No matter how bad a day you have had try and find one positive thing
      • Consider keeping a Success/Victory log as it easy to lose track of what you are accomplishing
    • Keep your goals in mind and record your progress as a way of keeping yourself focused
  • In considering how to journal use the following ideas
    • Decide on a format such as
      • Paper-many people find that the physical act of “putting pen to paper” encourages reflection as it is slow and measured
      • Electronic, either documents, audio or video
      • Keeping it simple in the beginning is wise

Please share your experiences/thoughts

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