My Job Search Journal

by Tamera Dunn
@tam2theEra

While re-arranging my living room, I stumbled across my job-search journal. It's nothing glamorous as it is actually a random notebook someone gave me. Being someone who procrastinates furniture movement and the subsequent cleaning to get everything settled, I decided to re-read the words I wrote down to help myself process each step, stumbling block, and realization I had about myself. 

Writing became my escape because while everyone chose to make 'the job search' the main conversation point, I felt isolated. My thoughts, feelings, and emotions had been bottling up through the first few months of my search and I realized quickly the attitude I had toward job searching was unhealthy and I was seriously lacking some self-confidence. Being able to communicate my experiences, my passion, and my desire to make a career for myself within the field of student affairs is something that is nearly impossible if you allow all of the "thanks, but no thanks" to get to you. 

One thing which really struck me while reading my own words was how much I felt. I had plenty of time on flights, in hotel rooms, and in what felt like my second home in South Carolina to get my head on straight and realize my potential. Having multiple on-campuses also increased how jaded I felt with the questions, the atmosphere, and how invested I allowed myself to get into the visions of how I would make the campus and surrounding community my home. 

My journal is an exercise in communicating my vulnerabilities. For me, it was more poignant to write my concerns, my thoughts, my perceived shortcomings on the page of a random notebook only given meaning by my dedication to allowing my emotions to flow from the tip of a random, colorful pen. Sprinkled in my journal are quotes which led to periods of reflection. Oddly enough, I also found a few entries where I took various counseling models and applied them to myself. 

At times, I think my journal was what allowed me to have the 'practice conversation' before having a conversation about my vulnerabilities with a mentor, trusted confidante, and people who love me for me and were able to balance honesty with kindness to help me acknowledge, plan, and be stronger in response to each challenge. 

I have continued to journal off and on during this semester, and it is important to me to continue this practice since I have seen the value of processing in this way. It is something that no one in particular recommended, but I chose to do because it has helped me to write my thoughts in the past to be able to not get bogged down in emotions. 

-Tamera

Student Affairs - the First Years

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