When should you be reviewing your development?

14 Nov 2018
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Learning should be a continuous consideration throughout your career, particularly if you want to reap the rewards of your professional environment such as promotion, increased pay or securing the best cases. Achieving this involves implementing an effective development plan utilising both internal and external learning programmes. However, how often should you be reviewing your development and what are realistic timescales for learning? Additionally, do you know what the most effective ways are to enhance your performance? For our blog this week, we’ll be discussing when you should consider your development and what objectives you should look to put in place for tangible results.

 

Discuss your career path
Research from Quantum Workplace shows that discussing your career path and opportunities for growth more than once a year leads to a higher level of engagement, in comparison to those who have these conversations less frequently, with once a month being the optimum time to talk. As part of the regular dialogue, development remains a priority for all parties. Plus, this evidence suggests that it’s in the interest of the individual and the firm to have these conversations and outline a clear path for progression based on strengths and overall aspirations.

 

Implement a development plan
Development is a progressive process but introducing a development plan is a prime time for self reflection. It can help individuals highlight clear areas for development and as best practice, this should be narrowed down to the top three priorities on each occasion. Many will choose to approach this with SMART criteria of specific, measurable, applicable, realistic and time-bound in order to ensure that any goal is achievable and measurable. Usually, this should be set quarterly for smaller goals, with bigger goals spanning across a sixth month to a one year period.

 

Remember your personal skills
Are you thinking about progression? Then remember every role will require some element of personal skills, to a degree, and these will become even more crucial as you ascend the career ladder.  Take problem solving skills, for example. This will be an essential element in your daily life in law and Fast Company recently reported that 62% of recruiters seek professionals with a strong capability in this area. However, other personal skills which ranked highly also included adaptability (49%) and time management (48%). Therefore, personal skills should always be enhanced through a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course, more crucially so if you wish to become a senior member of the team.

 

Reap the rewards
If you’re able to meet your development goals, it can only have a positive impact on your overall career. According to an Adult Learning Survey by Niace, there’s a strong correlation between learning and sustained employment. This is because staff who undertake regular learning are able to adapt more quickly to the changing requirements of an organisation, which is what gives them a competitive edge which is incredible valued in law. Plus, it can also help individuals to appear more conscientious, highly motivated and engaged, bringing positivity to the workplace, working in your favour when opportunities for promotion or particularly appealing cases arise.

 

Regardless of your seniority, development should be an ongoing labour of love in order for you to become the best version of yourself in a professional environment. Therefore, it should be considered on a regular basis, with conversations about career paths ideally taking place once a month but with an overall development plan covering quarterly work activity. This development should of course take into account practical or technical skills but it should also incorporate personal skills in order to form a well-rounded development plan. Continuous development in this way is now more accessible than ever, particularly thanks to the blended learning approach that Kaplan Altior offers, with learning undertaken in both face-to-face and online environments. For more information about courses available with Kaplan Altior or to book your place onto an upcoming course, contact us on 02920 451 000 or email us at: altior@kaplan.co.uk