Hello again, and Happy New Year!
I was reflecting back on my Flexi-placement this morning, and had to fill out the trainee feedback for it, which asked a lot of questions around personal development, hence the topic of this blog!
As part of the graduate scheme, you will be constantly learning during all your placements. You will be learning professional skills and behaviours that will equip you for a life in the workplace. However it is also crucial that you carve out some time for personal development.
The way I see it, personal development relates to things that I want to know and learn, and not what my employers want me to know and learn. This may include learning a new language, taking up a new sport, or even pursuing some knowledge in a different field to your profession.
On the graduate scheme, there are lots of opportunities for personal development. The scheme pays for all graduates to attend a conference of their choosing, and each trainee is entitled to one day off work for some voluntary experience. I haven’t had the opportunity to take advantage of these benefits yet, but I have my eye on some interesting conferences that are happening this year! As for volunteering, I am hoping to spend a day volunteering at a charity, but I haven’t explored this yet.
There are also other opportunities such as volunteering to write blogs for the scheme, attend university job fairs to promote the scheme, support the recruitment team during interviews and assessment days, and being part of the TESG board which strives to improve the scheme based on feedback from trainees.
At work, I have chosen to take part in the development of a new multi-faith staff network, as this is something that is completely different to informatics. I have also been accepted onto the TEDxNHS organising committee, which I will be working on in my personal time. However I see this as something that is really beneficial to me, because I will be gaining new skills and supporting the development of a major event, which is pretty cool!
At home, I have made a resolution to read 100 books by the end of the year. I am well on my way there; I started this pact a week ago, and have since read 3 books (I read fast!). I love reading, but it also helps me expand my vocabulary and writing skills, which I think is a good tool to have under my belt. I have also begun to work on old pieces of furniture in order to restore them or to upcycle them. This started out as something to do with my Dad, but I have learned new skills such as sanding, painting (& being patient – paint takes ages to dry), sourcing, designing, and how to work as part of a small team where everyone wants a go!!
Are you considering putting more time towards personal development? If so, what are you doing to improve your skills? Let me know on twitter at @ChloeAlexNorton !