Your personal and professional development plans

December 1, 2009

It can be difficult thinking about your continuing personal and professional development and setting clear achievable goals.  One of my mentees struggled a bit with this.

So, where to start – think about where you are at the moment, what you want to achieve, and how you are going to get there …

  • Carry out a SWOT analysis to identify your Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats; this will help you to think about which skills you need to develop and how you can go about developing them
  • Be proactive when thinking about your development and try to identify a range of activities that could help you progress
  • When setting your goals try and make them SMART – Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Timed; this will give you something to aim for and help to keep you focused
  • Aim for 5 – 6 clearly defined goals which are achievable, usually within a year
  • Remember to regularly review your personal and professional development – roles and circumstances can frequently change, so your CPD plans and goals need to change too, to accommodate new opportunities

Motivation and momentum …

November 30, 2009

I thought I would post something about getting motivated and maintaining momentum as I’m really struggling with this myself at the moment.  I have a research project to hand in at the beginning of January for a masters course I’m part way through, and I’m finding it really difficult to get going …

This is what I have suggested in the past when a mentee has felt de-motivated and lost momentum …

  • Set small achievable targets – SMART goals might help you with this (i.e. goals that are Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Timed) – e.g. I’m going to write this many words on this topic by this date
  • Setting yourself deadlines by which to complete small sections of your portfolio at a time should help you to keep focused and not feel overwhelmed
  • Set deadlines with your mentor if it helps, and agree a review date – I have done this in the past with mentees to help with motivation and momentum
  • Set aside time each week to work on your portfolio, that way you will get into a routine of working regularly on your portfolio
  • Try using a Gantt chart to list all the specific tasks you have identified and the deadlines you have set yourself for achieving them – this makes it really clear to see the whole timetable you have worked out (If you’re not sure what this is go to the Gantt Chart I created for a project I was working on a couple of years ago – I found it really useful to keep myself on target)
Gantt Chart

Gantt Chart Example

Now I just need to put this into practice and see if I can get somewhere with my own project … 🙂