Last week I attended an excellent training course offered through the Learning and Development department at work. Achieving Your Goals was focused on taking ownership and control of the future, and was provided by a fantastic facilitator from a company called Fairplace Ceader.
Some of the aims of the course were:
- Increase self awareness of the options and choices available.
- Be able to identify values and motivations that are important in life.
- Identify the skills and competencies needed to get to where you want to be.
- Understand how people achieve career success.
The course was split into 3 key sections; identifying what is important to your career, identifying where your career is going, and finally the intangibles of career success focusing on understanding how to be career smart. The course was extremely intense and demanded a lot of participation from the group. Much of the day was spent working on activities with a partner or in a small group, so trust and a willingness to be open with others was essential to get the most out of the course.
During the course we did lots of practical exercises as a means of developing a strategy for achieving our goals. Practical activities such as writing how our CV will look in 5 years time and then creating an action plan of steps to get there, and thinking of a person whose career we aspire to have and then discussing what made that person might have to done to achieve their goals.
The first task of the day was the one I enjoyed the most. We were asked to pick a postcard from a selection that most represented where we saw ourselves in our career. I greatly enjoyed the task and found it to be an excellent starting point for the day. If we had started with the facilitator asking us to just talk about our current situation I doubt I would have produced such an insightful and analytical response. Having an image to read something into made the task a lot more accessible.
This was the postcard I selected:
I was able to find quite a lot of meaning within this image to symbolise the current state of my career. The birds in flight are my career. I feel like things are taking off for me career wise however I don’t know where I am headed or where to land. Each bird is flying on a different course representing the numerous possibilities currently open to me. This is a positive interpretation in many ways which surprised me. The last couple of years have felt uncertain and stressful career wise however I am finally starting to feel like I am headed somewhere. The only potential negative is the uncertainty about where my career is going in the short term future.
One of the most beneficial tasks of the day was a skills assessment. We were each given a pack of skills cards and not very much time to place them on to a grid to indicate both how much we enjoyed using that skills and how competent we viewed ourselves. After all the cards were placed we had chance to review our decisions and gain understanding of our skill set. I was able to really question whether I am actually better than I initially think at some things, as well as identify what it is important to improve on.
Overall the course was hugely beneficial. I arrived with no strategy or toolkit for the future. I went home with a better understanding of where I currently am and how I can work towards the places I want to be.