InTuition taster: Career spotlight - plan ahead to get the most out of 2019

While many sectors of education work with the academic calendar, a new calendar year can bring out the reflective practitioner in individuals and those responsible for development in organisations, writes Donna Lucas.

Donna Lucas For Career Ladder Column On P27 100At my own college we have launched a new staff development platform and have restated our training priorities for 2019. So what would help you advance your careers and also help organisations in their staff development work? The four areas to consider are the same for the individual and the organisation:

1. Assess strengths and weaknesses

For an individual this process is best supported by involving appropriate critical friends. For an organisation I’d suggest using a SWOT analysis tool.

2. Develop intent  

It is important for both the individual and the organisation to be clear about what they want to achieve. Developing intent requires an honest evaluation of where you are and where you want to be, so that you can be clear about what must be achieved.

3. Be confident with a plan for 2019

Organise what you what to achieve into a clear action plan for the year. Make sure it’s SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented or relevant, and Time-bound) and accounts for the resources you or the organisation will need. A good plan makes the ambitious feel achievable.

4. Document and reflect

It’s helpful to record, reflect and review the investment made in continuing professional development (CPD) as an individual and as an organisation. I’d encourage you to always reflect on and measure impact linking learning directly to practice. Keep these observations in your records. Too often we fail when answering the ‘so what’ question when analysing training and development’s usefulness. 

Organisations keen on professional credibility should look at SET Corporate Partner status as integral to their 2019 plans. It’s a useful way to provide staff with the associated benefits and highlights the importance of career development and professional status.

Donna Lucas is group vice-principal, HR and professional development, at the Shrewsbury Colleges Group and chairs the Association of Colleges’ West Midlands HR Network. She is a Member of SET and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

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