Note to self – you’re a success
In the next few weeks, our new Career Evolution A5 notebooks are being sent out to all our new clients. We have always found it useful to have a notebook on hand, that is solely devoted to a single subject – your career progression and all that relates to it. By having all that information in one place, you can refer to it easily. Hopefully the mere presence of the notebook will encourage our clients to make notes, which can be retained and reread for future reference. If you encounter a challenge in your career that you have faced before, perhaps you have made notes and commented on it in the past. This accumulated knowledge will end up being invaluable to you in the long-term.
The write stuff
With so much work done these days on computers, phones and digitally, it’s rare and refreshing for some people to put pen to paper. In fact, when it comes to having to write notes out longhand, it’s almost become a lost art, so used have we become to typing and keying in words. For some, indeed most these days, it’s become complete second nature to type rather than write – and the thought process linked to writing, to being creative, is entirely enmeshed in the typing process. But it’s also important to retain skills like writing by hand. If you write for a living, you probably use a mixture of both. It’s easier to take notes longhand on a notepad when you’re interviewing someone over the phone, for example – most people type two-handed, but write with only one.
When it comes to devoting time to writing for yourself, the act of writing makes you think slightly differently to someone typing. Putting pen to paper gives you more time to compose, to think about what you want to say, as ink isn’t as easy to erase as the delete button a keyboard. Digital text documents can be updated to reflect today, but earlier drafts – which may contain an occasional nugget of observation – are lost forever. Not so with pen and ink.
When writing longhand, you may want to draft it out first. But if you’re jotting down thoughts and observations in a notebook, you also tend to go with your gut feelings – and often this results in more honesty. It doesn’t matter if there’s crossings out and scribbles, it’s for your own use and should be treated as such, not something to be published or seen by others.
In our Career Evolution notebooks, you should take notes during your job search and subsequently when you are in your new role. You can keep notes on where you’ve been successful and include positives about the role, but also be honest and comment on possible negatives too. In this way you can keep making a note of your successes, achievements and experiences. It’s not so much diarising your career, but it is worth it, from time to time, to just stop and look at where you are and how you are feeling about your work. Like a diary though, it’s private, so you it should be a true reflection of you and your career path.
It’s also useful to start using the notebook when you are at the beginning of a new role, or even just in appraisals and conversations with your manager. Listing out what you’d like to discuss in a review can form part of your groundwork for an appraisal meeting, and the outcomes can be duly noted alongside your preparation – with ideally some of your ambitions countered with some constructive results. If you like, you can divide the notebook into subsections relating to different aspects of your career, such as CV updates, interview techniques, ambitions, advice – in much the same way as our own Career Evolution notebooks.
If you are a new Career Evolution client, look out for your notebooks arriving soon. If you are one of our valued current or past clients and would like a notebook too, please contact Sue Thomas via email, Twitter or LinkedIn with your address details and we will send one out to you. Hopefully you’ll have some positive observations and thoughts to write down, when you put pen to paper. Happy scribbling!