What skills do you need to have a positive career?
There are six career development skills that we all need to have positive careers (CDI, 2020). You can find out what they are here: https://www.thecdi.net/write/CD1_85-Framework_poster-web.pdf or scroll down to see them below.
This post focuses on one of these skills in particular: ‘Grow throughout life by learning and reflecting on yourself, your background, and your strengths’.
Reflecting on yourself and where you have come from can be a useful way to see how far you’ve come and to think about what the future may hold.
The video below shows one way you can approach this kind of reflection. My video focuses on my learning to date, but you could use it to make sense of other aspects of your career story or identity, including your experience or your strengths. You may wish to talk through your thoughts and feelings after with a qualified careers professional (details below).
When I first tried this technique in one of Dr. Barbara Bassot’s Transforming Practice through Critical Reflection (TPCR) sessions, I remember feeling really surprised about what came out of me. The creative approach uncovered thoughts and emotions I had not consciously realised. I still use this exercise today to reflect on my learning and career. Thoughts, feelings, and situations change, so it’s worth revisiting. I regularly use this exercise with my clients. I’m sharing today in case it’s useful to you too.
Even if you can’t draw (like me), don’t let it stop you.
Creative techniques like drawing can draw out feelings and reactions that you didn’t previously consciously recognise before.
Reflecting on my reflection.
Looking back on this reflection, I realised at this time I was thinking about the places I studied and the qualifications I gained. But this wasn’t the only way I learnt. In the time I described as a down time in my learning journey, I learnt:
- How to do a Tesco shop with an 18-month-old and a newborn
- How to adjust to working at home
- How to cook
- How to balance and share my time when it seemed in short supply
- How to manage the unexpected
- How to set up a business
- And much more!
Learning does not just happen via courses or in schools, colleges, or universities.
It can happen in all sorts of ways – on the job, through life experience, via our hobbies and interests, through media and reading, and through interactions with others. It happens throughout our lives.
It can be fast or slow. It can be hard or easy. It can happen when we seek it out, and when we don’t. Sometimes we realise we have learnt something straight away, other times it takes a period of time (days, months, years) to process and recognise what we have learnt.
Reflecting on our journey so far can be powerful and revealing. It can help you to move forward and consider what is next for you.
Are you up for giving it a go?
If you do give this a try, talking it through with a Registered Career Development Professional (RCDP) can help.
Bassot, B. (2016) ‘TPCR 1b Experiences of learning’ [PowerPoint presentation]. MACM TPCR module.
CDI (2021) Career development framework: How to have the career that you want. Available at: https://www.thecdi.net/write/CD1_85-Framework_poster-web.pdf (Accessed: 13 May 2021).
Hambly, L. and Bomford, C. (2018) Creative Career Coaching: Theory into Practice. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.