Phew! At one point I thought I was never going to get here! I’ve finally finished 23 Things and I am so pleased. With the pressures of my day job and a hectic family life there were times that I considered abandoning the programme, but the value and learning that I knew I’d get spurred me on.
I’d summarise 23 Things as “stuff I wish I’d known earlier”. I can’t emphasise enough how useful this programme would have been to me 1-2 years ago when I was starting out on Chartership. However, it’s better late than never, as they say, and I’m looking forward to where my CPD journey might take me next.
I have a Personal Development Plan as part of my Chartership submission, but I’m definitely going to revisit it in the light of 23 Things. As suggested I’ve undertaken a personal SWOT analysis to examine my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in terms of my career. It’s been illuminating. It’s forced me to take a much wider view of my CPD and look at my future career, rather than just my current role. It’s also helped me to recognise my own unique skills in my role and identify ways in which I might grab career opportunities to deal with some of my weaknesses. In doing the SWOT analysis I found this Personal SWOT analysis from Mindtools really useful.
In reflecting on what I’ve gained from 23 Things, I’d say it’s had the following impact on me professionally:
I am now an avid Twitter user. I find it incredibly useful for online professional networking and keeping abreast of the latest developments in my areas of interest.
I am now blogging regularly. Previously I was using a private wiki to record my reflective learning. Now I share those reflections, ideas and thoughts with the online community via this blog.
I feel confident that I’m up to speed with new technologies. I have just started using Prezi for a training event I am delivering at work, and I feel comfortable to deal with engaging in discussions about the best free software for referencing or creating podcasts.
I now adopt a ‘whole career’ approach to my CPD, rather than just thinking about how I will develop in my current role. I feel much more self-aware and comfortable acknowledging my weaknesses as well as celebrating my strengths.
Overall, it’s been a fantastic way for me to learn, reflect and develop. I shall be encouraging colleagues to join in for the next 23 Things!