Continuing personal development examples
Do you remember leaving school or university and thinking that exams and assessments would be a thing of the past? It doesn't take long to realise that the workplace can be an equally intense and competitive learning environment.
Whether we like it or not, employees are constantly being judged on their capabilities and benchmarked against their peers. And, unlike studying for a qualification, the goalposts in the workplace keep moving. This might be because of new technology, customer demand, legislation or simply because there is a new chief executive with a different vision. All these changes invariably have implications for the staff.
Some organisations are good at providing learning opportunities when they can see a direct benefit to the organisation. What's offered, however, may not always be in line with what you really want or need for your career. So, if you want to protect your employablity, you need to take charge of your personal development.
According to the 2012 Learning Survey by Niace, the adult learning organisation, there's a strong correlation between learning and sustained employment. Staff who undertake learning activities are more able to adapt to the changing requirements of an organisation and gain a competitive edge in the job market. Candidates who demonstrate that they're conscientious about their personal development are likely to be seen as highly motivated and engaged. Their openness to learning also suggests they're flexible, adaptable and will bring a continuous improvement ethos to the workplace – all of which is appealing to an employer.
So, with this in mind, here are some ways to start thinking about your own learning and development.
Enhancing your performance
What areas of your job do you find most difficult or want to improve? For ideas, look at past performance reviews or talk to your manager, colleagues or HR department. Seek advice from those whose skills or career you wish to emulate.
Improving the areas you identify may mean going on a course or workshop, or you may find that mentoring, guided reading, work-shadowing, or online study is more relevant. For instance, if you know that negotiation skills are an increasingly important part of your job, perhaps your manager could arrange for you to shadow someone with exceptional skills in this area, or even coach you themselves through your next negotiation skills project.
Benchmarking the job market