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20 Questions To Ask Yourself When You Don’t Know What You Want From Your Career

There’s journaling, and then there’s work journaling. Both involve pen, paper, and personal introspection, but work journaling isn’t about emotional satisfaction. A work journal is a tool. Work journal writing prompts are essentially questions that allow you to reflect on your daily performance and your career as a whole. It’s so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of daily life and forget about those goals you have, which is why it’s necessary to have a way to keep yourself focused.

One of the most convenient ways to do that is by having a work journal and writing in it on a regular basis. The frequency, of course, depends on your life and schedule. Some people can reflect on their work every single day, while others are lucky to reflect simply once a week. You can journal about your work as frequently as you want, but I recommend at least once a week. Reflecting back on your performance from your personal point of view using work journal writing prompts is beneficial because it reminds you to live up to your own standards of performance, and to work toward your career goals.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t work toward the goals of your current company, or aim to meet your boss’ standards as well. Sometimes those things can eclipse our personal expectations and goals, though, and the truth is, you need to meet both in order to be successful. If you’re not really sure what to write down in a work journal, then try these 20 work journal writing prompts. As you become more comfortable with work journaling, you’ll be able to jump in and recognize exactly what to write about. Until then, though, you might need a little push to get started.

These 20 work journal writing prompts will cover all of the bases, and help you dig in on the important things in your professional career:

1. What goals do I want to achieve this quarter? How will I achieve those goals?

2. What did I learn today?

3. What could I have done better this week?

4. What is my biggest issue in terms of organization and time management?

5. How can I be a better communicator?

6. What did I do today that will get me closer to my career goals?

7. I am proud of myself professionally because _________.

8. What is it about my job that makes me happiest?

9. What is one thing I can learn more about in order to be better at my current or future job?

10. What is the next step in my career, and can that be done in my current position? If not, what is my plan? If so, how will I manifest that?

11. What are my biggest professional weaknesses? How can I turn those into strengths, or at least less-problematic weaknesses?

12. What are my strengths? Am I putting those strengths to good use?

13. What mistakes did I make this week, and what did I learn from them?

14. How am I spending my time on a daily basis? Is there anything that needs to be adjusted?

15. What am I most proud of professionally? Why?

16. Is there professional development or educational training I need/want to pursue to improve and further my career? How can I make that a reality?

17. What do I want my career to look like in one year? What are my action steps?

18. What do I want my career to look like in five years? 10 years? What are my action steps?

19. Does my job leave me feeling professionally fulfilled? Does it make me happy? Why or why not?

20. What is my ideal work routine? How can I make that a reality in my life?

Terra is an Arkansas-based writer who spends her free time obsessing over her planner, debating between working out or eating, and singing to her dog, Gatsby, even though he hates it. She also writes for Earn, Spend, Live blogs here.

Image via Unsplash

  • Ella

    This was the kick I needed to turn my occasional post-it note philosophizing into a concentrated work journal-ling effort. Thanks!

  • Piggy

    Thank you! These are great journaling exercises and as I love writing and I’m kind of at a career crossroads right now… yeah, super helpful.

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