The purpose of this assessment is to provide an opportunity for you to collate a professional career development plan that emonstrates a career goal and details steps toward achieving this.
The first step in a career plan is knowing yourself. Self-awareness allows you to know who you are, where you are now, the skills you already have and where you would like to be in the future. You can then start researching possibilities for your career and begin to make considered choices. These steps are important; however, the focus of this assessment task is around making it happen – your course of action.
Your Professional Career Development Plan may include:
The skills you need to develop, qualifications and courses required, possible ‘stepping stones’, experiences required,networks, memberships, information and support required, how you may overcome hurdles and obstacles.
Your plan should consider andinclude current and future workforce information and data.
S - Start with your strengths, what manual skills and tasks are you good at? Consider your communication skills, emotional intelligence and personal characteristics. Are you highly organised? Do you learn new skills quickly? What skills do you bring to nursing - can you speak more than one language? Do you have a supportive family? Do you have the financial means to undertake further study? Do you have previous management and/or leadership experience? Can skills from your previous employment or study be useful?
If you are having difficulty, ask your peers, your facilitator and preceptors what they believe your strengths are.
W - What are your weaknesses, what is not as easy for you? What do you dislike? Are you disorganised? Not a morning person perhaps? Do you dislike working in a team? (you can also see this as a strength if you like to work alone).
O - You must consider the opportunities available to you, are you loving to another state when you finish your degree? What opportunities may arise from this move? You need to be realistic about your personal circumstances. Opportunities can be large but also can be quite subtle.
T - The threats can be seen as challenges you face. These may be personal (for example not be able to move due to family) or professional (the closing of a speciality ward in your current location).
You do not need to submit your SWOT analysis rather it is the foundation of your plan.
The second step is to think about where you would like your career to head in the future - do you have a particular speciality you would like to aim for? Where do you want to be in 2, 5 and 10 years time? At this stage you will need to explore workforce requirements, for example, if you wish to be an ICU nurse in five years time, will the workforce demand be there? the data you explore may be international, national, state or local data. If you find that there is not a growing demand (or there is a slowing demand) for your chosen plan, you need to consider how you will enter that area given potentially increasing competition and be aware of the demand - it does not mean that you should change your plan - but you need to be aware of the workforce implications long term. Remember to reference your data sources.
The third step is your plan - how are you going to reach your goals?
- What further qualifications will you need? Who offers this course? (Be specific here - where is the course offered, how long will it take? what will it cost? are there scholarships available?)
- What experiences could add your plan? If you what to specialise in Community Family and Child Health, would a position on a Paediatric clinic be a good stepping stone?
- What networks do you have available to you?
- Are there professional bodies you can join (these are often wonderful ways to network)?
- Would volunteer work in a particular area assist you?
- Where are positions for this type of work normally advertised?