BSBWOR301 – Coordinate Personal Skill Development and Learning Copy
Identify Personal Learning and Professional Development Needs and Skill Gaps Using Self Assessment and Advice from Colleagues and Clients in Relation to Role and Organisational Requirements
Identify, Prioritise and Plan Opportunities for Undertaking Personal Skill Development Activities in Liaison with Work Groups and Relevant Personnel
Access, Complete and Record Professional Development Opportunities to Facilitate Continuous Learning and Career Development
Studying today and setting goals that you want to achieve during your career is quite different to how it used to be. In the past, people knew exactly where they wanted to head – they would determine the right study course to take, outline the subjects they needed to get there, and simply did it, often staying in a single career path for their entire career.
However, now you will find that individuals may state the career they want, change their mind, enter a course, change majors, change courses, swap jobs multiple times during their career, and generally be more mobile.
The reasons for this are quite broad and there is no common thread between everyone who makes these changes. However, some common reasons include:
• Making a poor initial choice
• Career paths not being as lucrative or more difficult to get into
• Changing values.
As we begin this Element, we will be looking at evaluating where it is we are where we want to go and what we want to do. A self-assessment allows you to look at more options and really understand where it is you stand in the scheme of things.
Such a self-assessment can be aimed at attempting to understand your skills, interests, knowledge, characteristics, and values in order for you to make better decisions.
In order to do this, there are some key questions that you need to ask yourself. These are:
• What do I do well?
• What am I good at?
• What do others tell me?
• What do I enjoy doing?
• What energises me?
By providing your responses to these sorts of questions, you are working towards identifying the strengths and weaknesses that you have as well as looking at the type of contributions that you are able to make in the modern workplace.
When you are examining job advertisements on the Internet or in the newspaper, you know that there will be many people applying for the positions that are quite capable of doing the jobs. You need to identify reasons why you are a much better fit for the position than anyone else. To do this you need to understand who you actually are, where you want to go, and what you have to offer your employer.
Your self-assessment should be aimed at looking at the values you hold, the interests you have, your personality attributes, and your overall level of skills. Some of the things you could consider include:
• Value: How important are various values to you as an individual? These include: job satisfaction, flexibility, working indoors or outdoors, leisure time, security, good compensation, and so on.
• Interests: Here you need to consider what your key interests are and what things you like and do not like doing. In essence, we are looking at trying to link the interests that you have with the type of work that you may be asked to undertake in your work. Interests may include exercise, cooking, etc.
• Personality: When you are looking at your personality you are attempting to ascertain those personality attributes that you possess that are helpful in obtaining a job and undertaking work. These may include motivating factors, needs, attitudes, and traits.
• Skills: As well as these more intangible qualities, you need to identify what it is that you are actually good at doing in a workplace, as well as determining what it is that you actually enjoy doing in terms of work.
This inventory of attributes will take you some time to complete, however, it will pay off in terms of what you are able to learn about yourself and your needs in terms of the work that you will do. You must be honest with yourself when undertaking this analysis. If you are not, the results will not be helpful in determining where you actually want to go.
On the following pages are a number of key questions that you need to ask yourself when self-assessing. Ensure that you answer these questions honestly and fully in order to truly understand where you stand in terms of the work that you do.
We will begin by looking at work skills. Essentially work skills are all those skills that will help you do your job in the future. What you know how to do, what machinery you can use, what skills you possess that relate to doing work. When completing this activity try to list at least three current work skills for each section. Remember here we are examining what skills you currently have; this does not mean skills that you would like to possess or will require.
Now that we have examined the work skills that you possess, we should look at the personal skills that you have. What personal skills can you bring to your workplace?
We would all like to think that we have abilities that allow us to be successful. We can tell a joke in a very funny way, we can play soccer, or make a model kit. These skills may represent some workplace skills, but more often than not, they do not. Unless you are a special effects artist, or professional soccer player – of course! However, for the most part, when we are referring to personal skills we are referring to skills that demonstrate our wider abilities.
Thinking back to our examples – making a model kit could demonstrate attention to detail, playing soccer demonstrates great team skills, discipline, and physical prowess while telling a joke shows your positive attitude and good communication skills.
As you can see, the ability to demonstrate the personal skills that you have allows you to show the sort of person you are, and how you can use these skills to better your organisation as a whole. These personal skills are often taken into account by your employer when they have people with similar skill sets, but they are looking for a reason for one to stand out as the desired applicant.
If you are able to examine, determine, and communicate the personal skill set that you possess, you put yourself in a better position to actually be able to show a prospective employer the skill set you actually have.
There were likely to have been one or more skills that you will require in your desired career which you feel you need to develop further. These skills may be ones which you already possess but which need refreshment, or they may be skills that are entirely new to you. Once you have identified the skills that you feel need further development, it is important to think about how you could go about obtaining them.
Some of the most common sources of professional development are:
• Career Planning/Development
A career plan focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years, depending on the job-seeker. The key characteristic of career planning is developing realistic goals and objectives that you can accomplish in the future.
• Coaching, Mentoring and/or Supervision
Coaching is a method of improving individual or team performance through direction and instruction in order to learn a particular skill or work towards a set goal. It usually involves an external expert or coach who is bought in to work on a particular issue. This can be achieved through workshops, seminars and supervised practice.
Mentoring can be defined as either an informal or formal process and can be an important professional development tool for staff, including for managers. Informal mentoring develops on its own between the individual staff member and desired mentor, and formal mentoring involves allocation of a mentor. Mentoring can be provided by someone from within the organisation or an external person. This person may be engaged in the relevant field of practice or involved in a separate field. The mentor provides counsel, insight and guidance and acts as a sounding board for ideas and decisions that relate to the mentee’s career. A mentor can provide advice in professional development strategies, planning career goals, establishing contacts in the field of interest, feedback and exchange of ideas.
Supervision and support practices, as part of workforce development, can be useful to assist with recruiting staff, retaining valuable staff, supporting and encouraging good practice, worker well-being, and engaging in reflective practice.
• Formal/Informal Learning Programs
Informal learning is very likely the most common form of learning. There is no formal structure or curriculum, and usually no expert trainer who teaches students. There usually is no formal recognition of completion, for example, a certificate or diploma. Informal learning is ideal for very experienced people. Formal learning is ideal for new learners, for example, to learn a new technology or specific procedure.
Systematic, formal training involves carefully proceeding through several phases. A systematic approach is goal-oriented with the results of each phase being used by the next phase and designed to produce results for the organisation and/or learners. Typically, each phase provides ongoing evaluation feedback to other phases in order to improve the overall system’s process.
• Internal/External Training Provision
Internal training is when the, Trainers are on the company payrolls and conduct the training programs for the staff as when as required. E.g. induction programs conducted by Human Resource (HR) Training units in most organisations. The training is focused on the organisation’s products, services, policies, operations or some basic job-related skills.
External training is when an external trainer is hired either freelance or from a training company to conduct a workshop for the employees. The organisation seeks knowledge and skill that can enhance the employees’ productivity skills, behavioral skills, performance skills etc.
• Performance Appraisals
A Performance Appraisal (PA), also referred to as a performance review, performance evaluation, (career) development discussion, or employee appraisal is a method by which the job performance of an employee is documented and evaluated. Performance appraisals are a part of career development and consist of regular reviews of employee performance within organisations.
• Personal Study
A Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a personal study and learning plan and is meant to support and help progress according to a career plan. It helps to outline and schedule studies as well as setting and achieving goals.
• Quality Assurance Assessments and Recommendations
Accreditation organisations assess whether the intended learning outcomes satisfy national and/or international requirements regarding the respective educational level and, if applicable, the particular subject/discipline. These requirements may originate from a Qualifications Framework, an overarching Framework for Qualifications, from the academic community and/or from the professional field. Accreditation organisations assess whether an awarded qualification is at the stated level in the stated discipline and they evaluate how the institution monitors it.
• Recognition of Current Competence/Skills Recognition
Reviewing competency standards can help you to determine the skill levels that you require to perform your work tasks. A competency standard is a document that specifies how people should complete their job. Competency standards are used by organisations to:
○ Nominate how they expect work roles to be performed
○ Judge how competent individuals are in their job role.
There are two common types of competency standards:
○ Nationally recognised standards that are delivered by registered training organisations and used throughout the country as a basis of assessment for formal qualifications
○ Standards developed internally at specific organisations.
• Work Experience/Exchange/Opportunities
Work experience is any experience that a person gains while working in a specific field or occupation. Trainees usually have the opportunity to network and learn new skills. Exchange is when one job role is swapped for another to develop new skills.
• Workplace Skills Assessment
A workplace skills assessment involves observing a candidate as they perform their daily tasks, often over a period of time, and using a variety of methods to gain an all-round picture of that person’s current abilities and future potential.
Incorporate Formal and Informal Feedback into Review of Further Learning Needs
Feedback is normally something which happens as a result of some action. Feedback may be provided after the event, or during the event, or both. However, feedback can be provided even in the absence of any learning action, and may even cause a learning event to take place thereafter. In other words, strong ripples bouncing in towards the centre can in due course bring the whole ripple system into being, and ideally cause learning-by-doing and even create some motivation
The purpose of feedback is to help you improve in your job, and that requires a detailed plan of action. That may involve learning new skills, reprioritising your tasks, or re-evaluating how you come across to colleagues. Agree with your manager on what you need to do to make changes.
Ask for an interim review with your manager to make sure that you’re making the performance improvements that you want to make. That way you can make sure your performance is working towards meeting everyone’s expectations.
• It is important that you work towards attempting to develop and maintain your own level of competence. This means you should attempt to assess your personal knowledge and skills against competency standards.
• Once you have done this, you should look for opportunities to improve your performance, and work towards planning these opportunities with others in your organisation.
• Once again, feedback is crucial. It allows you to ensure that you have a large number of ideas which could be used to improve your performance.
• New skills and opportunities to develop them should be identified, along with ideas for how you could go about achieving them.
• Ensure that you carefully store all records of your competence, to ensure that they can be used in the future to demonstrate your competency.