Thursday, 5 February 2015

Development plan and CV update

In my last post, I mentioned my awareness of the fact that I hadn't yet managed to update my CV or write a development plan for the coming years, even though I was due to do it in January. Well, in a fit of enthusiasm (or perhaps boredom - I've been on maternity leave for 3 weeks now, and no baby yet...) I finally spent this morning updating everything.

I actually found the task really enjoyable - as long as I'm in the right frame of mind, I find thinking about my future career goals quite aspirational. It also reminds me that, for the most part, I love what I do!

I began by writing a personal development plan (or PDP) stating what I would like to achieve generally. This included things like increasing my understanding of research support, improving my staff management skills and seeing one of my Chartership mentees successfully Charter. For each goal, I wrote two or three ways in which I hoped to achieve it. All of this is pretty similar to the performance and development review (PDR) I do at work every year, which I could use. However, I like to make this one a bit more personal and include things that I might, sometimes, choose not to mention at work!

Once I had written the PDP I wrote a basic 1-year, 3-year and 5-year action plan. The 1-year plan is a little odd this year because I know I'll be on maternity leave, so the list is relatively short. However, it doesn't mean I can't do things like keep in touch with my team at work and continue to mentor Chartership candidates. From past experience I know that I want to maintain an awareness of what is happening at work and in my general area of expertise - I really missed having so few work links for a full year last time, and don't want to repeat that experience. But  my personal situation does mean that, in contrast to previous years, my 3-year and 5-year plans are more in-depth.

The next two tasks were writing a Personal Statement and updating my CV. These two took a bit of work, as my job changed in November, so there was a fair bit to say and update. But it is great to have an up-to-date CV, so I know that, if I need it (not that I have any plans to swap jobs in the near future), it's there and ready to go!

Finally, I even put a little bit of thought into what will need updating next year. I didn't bother to write a review of my previous action plans this year because they were so out-of-date (I will admit that the last time I wrote an action plan was January 2012, when my job was very different. It has taken me a couple of years to get used to life with children, and find time for things like this). However, I plan to write a review next year. As I have also changed the system I use for recording my continuing professional development since revalidating, I will start to include my training logs from January 2015 (when I have some)!

All this did take a while to put together (about 3 hours in total), but I really believe that it is worth the time if you can find a spare morning or afternoon. It really does give you some focus, and it's a great way to figure out what YOU want to achieve in the next few years (rather than your employer/ your husband/ your dog informing you). The great thing is that it's personal to you, so if you don't achieve it or change your mind, it doesn't matter! And even if all you do is update your CV, how much less work is that if/ when you apply for a new job?

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