Create a Career Notebook: Future

This Future section follows the Past and Present sections of Create a Career Notebook. Most likely, it will be useful to complete some of those exercises before you make a career choice or start a job search.

When you are ready, here’s how to continue to use your Notebook for your future career:

  1. Write a goal statement (open and print Write a Goal Statement).
  2. Make a list of occupations you’d like to explore (open and print Explore Different Occupations).
  3. Or, do both 1 and 2.

If you choose to explore different occupations, start by developing a list. From your list of possible future occupations, you will decide on your first choice and a first alternate (just in case something goes wrong with Plan A.) Open and print several copies of Make a Decision, to help you consider the pros and cons of your different options.

Now that you know what you want to do, it’s time to look for a job! Learn about job hunting, get started, and keep a record as you go (open and print Keep a Record).


If you have tried the Career Notebook and been disappointed with the results, then here are a few suggestions:

  • First, read the fourth edition of The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People. It provides more information, validation, and inspiration than the Notebook. And no, you don’t have to buy the book yourself. Look for a copy in your local library. If the library doesn’t have it, ask the acquisitions librarian to consider purchasing it.
  • Second, give yourself time. Do what you can with the Notebook for now, set it aside, and come back later. If you continue to find yourself blocked and not making progress toward your future career, you might look for a local helper.
  • Third, gain more knowledge or experience. You could try getting a job or taking a class in a subject that is interesting to you. Your local educational institution (for example, a community college) may offer a course on career planning. Ask your friendly local librarian for help locating classes or employment services.

Finally, if your Notebook activities produced a choice that is an impractical one (say your goal is to write poetry), but you need to support yourself, then you are not done yet. Cycle back through the process. Begin with the three long lists you have already compiled. This time, choose six Abilities, six Interests, and six Motivators that might not be your favorite but are acceptable, practical ways to support your art. Now, look over your three short lists and think about survival work that you can tolerate. Or maybe even like. For help with day job options, open and print Explore Different Occupations or read Chapter 4 in The Career Guide for Creative and Unconventional People.