Why You Need to Keep a Professional Journal

Posted on: December 8, 2009

If you’re like me, I know I do good work but I don’t always see the importance of what I consider to be small things, are actually part of a bigger picture and do matter and make a difference.

What I’m talking about is remembering all of your achievements no matter how big or small.  Did you do something to save money, to increase sales, to improve processes, etc?  All the things that you accomplish may matter at performance review time or when you’re putting together a new resume.

A professional journal is a good way to document daily or weekly successes you’ve achieved in that particular time frame.  It is important to keep a journal at work so when you have your performance review, you can actually show documented proof of those achievements and how it made a difference in the job you did.  You may have contributed more than you realize.

A professional journal reminds you of those achievements in the event you need to remember what you did to make a difference in your last job(s).  We often forget things we did in previous jobs that can make a difference in putting a resume together.  Employers want to see quantifiable results you either increased/decreased, sped up/slowed down or cut/reduced something and by how much.

By keeping a professional journal, it will make it easier to remember those particular events.  I would highly recommend a written journal and not one on your computer at work so in the event you leave your job, you will still have access to the information.

I found this tip of keeping a professional journal a great idea and I hope you will too!  It could be the difference of getting your next raise or your next job.


14 Responses to "Why You Need to Keep a Professional Journal"

This is a great idea. In the past I have kept achievements listed on the date and the monthly summary of my Daytimer but so many times I don’t list the details. So, I may have to really dig to remember the exact details of what I accomplished. Your idea of using the journal would help in that aspect. Thanks for sharing.

As you get older, it gets harder to remember everything so it can make a difference. Thanks for your comments.

This is a great idea, Therese. I’ve usually relied on past status reports and then reviews to help me to recall my accomplishments. To your point above, however, it does get harder to remember everything as time goes by. I will definitely consider starting a journal as a result.

Thank you for sharing this on your blog. Very nice by the way!

Thanks Colleen! I appreciate the compliment.

Great idea! It can also be a useful tool when performance reviews come around to build a case for a salary increase. Surely this is worth the investment of a little time each week.

This is timely, because a few days ago I decided to buy a new journal for business only. I like the idea of taking a few moments at various times of the day to jot down ideas of ways things can be done better, and what has been accomplished.

Thanks for your ideas!


Yes, it seems very timely. Best of luck!

Great idea Therese! My husband keeps engineering journals but I never thought to apply it to myself. He got a LifeScribe pen to record his journals. I have been wanting one as well but didn’t have a reason to ask for one. Now I do! Much thanks!

I like the LifeScribe pen idea too! Thanks!

This is excellent advice, Therese. I began keeping a professional journal a number of years ago. As you pointed out, it really makes a difference recalling details when preparing for year-end performance reviews or looking for a job. Thank you for sharing.

This is a very good idea, Therese, and one I feel is generally forgotten. This type of journal becomes especially important when you are updating your resume in preparation for a job search. Thanks for writing this article to remind us of the importance of a journal.

Thanks, David! You always have to go back to the basics. Glad you enjoyed the blog!

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