Career Development – time to invest in yourself?
Many of us have found ourselves unexpectedly working from home and juggling multiple personal and professional commitments. It is natural to feel apprehensive about the future, especially regarding your career, however, now is a good time to take the opportunity to invest in yourself.
An investment of money or time can be equally beneficial. For members who are currently on furlough, you can still undertake CPD and training.
At ICAS we offer our members a variety of CPD opportunities through our partner BPP, who offer courses, both with a technical focus and course covering soft skills development like leadership and teamwork. With social distancing still a priority for everyone’s health and safety, we now offer these courses via Online Classroom Live – if you are interested you can find more information here.
As well as BPP courses, ICAS has collaborated with Future Learn to identify free courses that could be of interest to members – all of which can be found here. As well as those we have identified, Future Learn offers a huge range of free opportunities to develop both personally and professionally.
Future Learn offer courses focused specifically on careers and career development. For my own development I have recently completed a course designed to help you asses your career and future goals. Taking only two hours a week for two weeks, the course allowed me to be clearer about my own personal and professional development and also allow me to speak to you about why continuing to invest in your own development is key.
For me, the course tackled some of the things I believe are common to think about at various stages of your career, whether it is when you are newly qualified or coming back from a career break or even looking to progress your career within your current organisation. We know from our most recent member survey that 7% of members are currently on a career break, so naturally this may be a time you will be thinking about your future. In such changeable times is seems sensible to take some time to think about your career plans and what skills you have, how they are transferrable and any areas you think you need to develop.
I won’t tell you what the course covered in too much detail. However, as an overview the course suggested considering your vision for you career, where do you want to go, and do you have a plan to get yourself there? Often this can seem a bit cliché “where do you see yourself in 5 years” but it is good to have an idea of what you are working towards, it doesn’t have to be a big but without a goal in mind how are you planning your development? It then covered the importance of your personal brand, networking, crafting a good CV and writing a compelling cover letter. All of which are things that we all have done and will have to do in our professional life, but could we be doing them better?
If you don’t fancy the course, but you do want to upgrade your CV or hone in on your cover letter writing, then head over to the Career Development Section on icas.com – here you will find some help sheets to tackle the task of writing CV’s and cover letters. ICAS also works in partnership with Rutherford Cross who have some great resources, blogs and virtual networking opportunities - just hop on over to their website and see what they have on offer.
Coronavirus and the current uncertainty is likely taking a toll on both our mental health and wellbeing. However, taking some time to assess your current situation and put a plan in action might help you gain some control over the areas you are able to affect change. Like planning your personal development and actively taking part in your learning and development.