Exploiting the possibilities that are available to you
Don’t miss the opportunities that exist for developing your career here and now.
Find out what is available in your organisation by speaking to someone in HR or training, your line manager or a union representative. Networking with your colleagues, friends and other contacts can also be a source of ideas.
Opportunities may exist for developing your skills and experience, for example:
Appraisal schemes and career development programmes benefit you and your employer because they provide an opportunity to
Appraisals are often part of the career development programmes employers use to ensure that their staff are appropriately equipped to perform their job role. They also provide an opportunity to consider relevant professional development.
To be successful, an appraisal needs commitment from both you and your appraiser, and to be held in an environment where thoughts and views can be openly expressed. Appraisers undergo training to perform this role effectively.
It is important to prepare well so you can make the most of the process. Some organisations run short training sessions on how to make full use of their appraisal system, or you could ask the HR department for advice. In other companies the process may be less formal, but preparation is just as important.
Note that if you do not have the opportunity to participate in a career development programme or staff appraisal within your organisation, you can still manage your own CPD.
Take time to prepare for your appraisal or a career development session so that you know what your priorities are and can negotiate effectively for yourself.
While most organisations have their own guidelines for both the appraisee and appraiser, you will most likely be asked to complete an appraisal form before your meeting. Here are some key areas that are covered in most forms; reflecting on them will ensure that you make full use of your appraisal.
Refer back to your job description as a reminder of your role and responsibilities.
Think about your own perfomance and that of your team over the past year (or since your last appraisal)
As part of your career or professional development plan, you may identify OU study that requires funding. Approaching your employer for sponsorship will mean negotiationg your funds and cover while you are away from work. Take time to prepare and try these tips to help you make a successful case
An alternate source of funding is a career development loan (CDL), a bank loan available from a bank to pay for learning that will enhance your job skills or career prospects. You can borrow between £300 and £10000 and repay the loan once you have finished your course (module).
Please Note: The Open University has withdrawn from the Career Development Loan Scheme so students will not be able to pay for OU study with a CDL.
I only had to pay for one year of my OU degree, the rest was paid for by the employer I was with at the time. My current employers have been very supportive of my study as in addition to paying fees have given me some time off for revision and exam days… My study has also been recognised as part of my career development.OU student