Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Levelling up - identifying professional abilities, strengths and gaps

As I am in a state of mind of exploring my next professional development activities, I thought I would try out a newly developed resource within my department in Human Resources, the Nottingham Trent University Professional Development Tool.  The tool is described as: "...provides a starting point for professional development and pathways for career progression, making it easier to identify areas for development and to choose suitable Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities and learning resources."

I chose and completed the following activities in the section 'Understanding your Drivers' to assess these aspects.  There were many more but these were an instant interest to me, I'll work through more in due course.  Yes you can debate the algorithm, questions, results and how you interpret them and they certainly don't certifiy you.  However, it was really insightful and revealing for me to see the results.  In some respect humbling as it confirmed skills that I know have, but not necessarily certified.  I found these activities really useful in understanding and identifying my professional abilities, strengths and gaps and making them more visible.  There might be similar tools in other organisations or freely available online.

Management Skills:

I am really pleased I came out as inspirational manager, being a natural people developer and have become an influential leader in my context.  Complemented by my previous experience of being a department manager, in a non-direct role and had much line management experience.


I'm glad I even out on passiveness as I think that is linked to empathy, which I have maintained to keep as it's a core part of me.  Very rare to see in the workplace these days.

Motivation at Work:

Interesting results this one as it reveals a lot of workplace needs and behaviours.  It does confirm though my unique proactivity, openness to collaborate with others and my high achievement values.  Failure aversion is an odd one, as yes negative outcomes can be somewhat be demotivating to me, but I am naturally a fighter at heart (I'm a Leo) and find creative ways to get the outcome I need or will exceed to prove my critics wrong.  It all depends on the situation.

Through using this resource, it has allowed me to confirm my best and less comfortable qualities, which are now visible and I can take action towards building and improving.  I will analyse the report results in finer detail to understand them better.  From thereon I can start to develop these qualities further by getting involved in projects that best suit my qualities.  As well as identifying suitable resources to develop and embed new knowledge and skills.

That said, to support this, in March 2019 I created the following document 'Scaffolding Skills Development and Opportunities'. to help me learn new skills and develop my professionalism.  Essentially, it’s a scaffold to help structure a purposeful way to progression or employment where new skills can be developed and tested.  It’s ideal for those working towards a new job role, career or developing new skills.  It also helps with preparing for interviews in identifying examples of where you have carried out this type of work and practices.  It requires some effort to map out what skills you want to learn and includes possibility thinking and brainstorming around them, but the outcomes will be rewarding.

How to start: 

  1. Set a goal of what job role, skills or career you want to work towards
  2. Find related job descriptions or speak to someone who is already in that job role or career pathway
  3. List the skills and attributes you want to learn. These can be taken from job descriptions or writing your own
  4. Starting from Category, categorise knowledge, skills and experience into general groups
  5. Complete rest of the columns in the table by answering the heading questions of where these skills can be learned, practised and developed