Don’t bury your head in the sand – get journaling

by | Sep 30, 2021

The New Horizons Careers team is frequently urging individual clients to reflect on their own success stories and adventures. We encourage people to take stock of what they have achieved and (temporarily) ‘park’ the disappointment of job loss. Easier said than done perhaps, although we find that over time the achievement discussions begin to eclipse the more negative aspects of redundancy and overwhelming disappointment. Our consultants recognise that when the chips are down, achievements are sometimes hard to recall or articulate. We are both patient and persistent; helping clients recall their triumphs often helps them to move on.

One of the routes to better understanding your individual achievements and success stories is to keep a record of what you did and what you learned in real time. It is for you and by you, so you get to decide what to include and what to leave out. There are no external rules, although the best learning journals encourage you to record your experience (the activity) and what happened (the outcome) and what you want to do differently (or the same) next time. This is a good way to track your progress against any goals you have set for yourself and demonstrate your readiness to take on new challenges or perhaps a new role.

It is relatively easy to turn everyday work experiences and activities into learning opportunities with a little additional time for recording, reflecting and planning. Some people prefer to record only the events or circumstances which forced them out of their comfort zone, while others include an ongoing commentary whatever the circumstances. Either way, the practice of journaling soon creates a rich source of success stories and achievements. In these (employment) uncertain times, it is helpful to be aware of your strengths and career goals. And we encourage our clients to always have an updated CV to hand.

An updated learning journal should provide the answers to those difficult questions about what you have achieved recently. And it will help you to update your CV with real examples of your successes. In our experience, organisations which have encouraged their people to create personal development plans and record their learning have more insightful or ‘open and honest’ performance conversations with their people. Promotion (or not) conversations are less difficult and individuals are more self-aware. Colleagues better understand their contribution to your business and their value.

It has been a tough 18 months for so many and while further job losses are inevitable in some sectors, others are thriving. The New Horizons Careers team often work with clients who are grappling with decisions around voluntary redundancy. Most of us know someone who has faced the ‘should I go or should I leave’ dilemma. This is likely to crop up more frequently as organisations need to shrink or insist on further changes to working practices. For some that could mean more ‘in the office’ and ‘in person’ interactions, while for others it could be permanent homeworking resulting from office closures.

These are just a few examples of where learning journals can help individuals to determine their needs and expectations of work, focus on their achievement or face difficult challenges. If you would like to know more about creating learning opportunities for your people or promoting learning journals, we are keen to support you. And we are always here to help you with the challenges of transformation and redundancy.

Why not get in touch for a chat in confidence? Call us on 0044 (0)207 831 9843 to let us know how we can help, or send us a message now.