Well, as the summer holidays draw to a close and a new academic year begins, this seems like the right time to reflect on what’s next in your career development. Last month I wrote about the Cavendish Review recommendations for Health and Social Care education and training and the need for wider participation and improved career progression routes.
Everyone working in health and social care should receive a regular opportunity to reflect on their knowledge and skills and how they wish to develop these to improve their practice as well as their promotion prospects, if that is what they are looking for. This is done either through a formal appraisal process which takes place annually or during regular supervision sessions. Whichever method is used in your organisation to get the most out of these opportunities, you need to take an active part in the process.
When you know you have either your appraisal or supervision coming up spend some time thinking about not only what you have achieved in the past year, but also your strengths and those areas of your care practice you would like to develop further. Do you have an area of special interest you would like to develop your knowledge and skills in? Do you have particular responsibilities that require you to gain a qualification? Do you want to progress your career and want to know what steps you need to take to achieve those ambitions?
Researching the types of learning and development opportunities that are available is an important first step. Information about courses, qualifications and development opportunities may be advertised internally e.g. on the notice board at your workplace or on the organisations’ intranet or in a published learning and development programme, or you could look at external opportunities e.g. on the internet. Find out as much as you can about the opportunities you are interested in, especially if the way they are delivered suits the way you like to learn. Often this aspect is overlooked and then people wonder why they are struggling to learn. If the way something is being taught fails to engage your interest and encourage you to know more, it is not enjoyable and you will struggle to learn and retain that learning. When learning is enjoyable it ignites your interest and curiosity with a desire to explore the subject on your own. People have different preferences when it comes to learning and it is important to understand what yours are as this will help to you make the right choices to match learning opportunities to suit your preferred style.
You can use a variety of tools to help you decide what your preferred learning style is. Check out this website for an explanation about different ideas as well as different methods for determining your learning style
By the way, if you are currently undertaking a Diploma in Health and Social Care you can use researching your learning style as evidence towards the units related to professional development
Until next time …..