Planning a better future
Planning a better future

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Planning a better future

2 What roles do I play in life?

Another way of identifying your capabilities is to consider the roles that you’ve played in your life. Imagine yourself as an actor in your own life, like a character in a movie. You probably play a lot of different roles. You might have roles as a parent, employee, friend or student, and each role you play demands different things of you.

For example, if you have previously been a student, you would have needed the skills of learning, time management and communicating in writing. Perhaps you enjoy DIY? If so, you have developed not only practical skills but also learned how to plan and organise as well. If you are a parent, you are likely to have developed a whole range of skills including budgeting, time management, organising, cooking, negotiating, dealing with admin, etc. If you chair meetings of a club, you will have developed your ability to deal with a variety of people, provide leadership and communicate effectively.

Case study: Tom’s roles in life

Look at Tom’s list below. It shows some of the roles he plays and what these roles demand of him.

  1. Student representative: attending meetings to give the views of my class to teachers and lecturers, communicating with people on the same course as me.
  2. Volunteer at Samaritans’ helpline: listening to people talk about their worries, planning my shifts to fit with other team members and my family.
  3. Head gardener: teaching summer students the basics, operating machinery, planning seasonal jobs so they are shared out across the team.
  4. Son: driving my elderly mother to see her friends, using the internet to do online shopping with her.
  5. Treasurer of pub darts team: taking and banking membership fees, paying expenses, and giving reports.

Obviously, there are many more capabilities that could have been included here, but hopefully these will spark ideas about your own roles in life in this next activity.

Activity 3

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Part 1

This activity will help you to identify the roles you have played in your life so far and provide you with an idea of the capabilities you have developed. First, note down the roles you have played most frequently and one or two key activities associated with them.

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Comment

Your list might have a combination of roles – some to do with family or friends, others related to work you have done, or to hobbies or interests. Equally, your list might also include roles that you feel have been ‘given’ to you by others that you would prefer not to play. For example, are you expected to be the ‘organiser’ in your group of friends, even if you do not always feel like doing that? Note, though, that if you are nominated for a role by others, it may be because they view you as being good at it.

Part 2

Now that you’ve identified your different roles and thought about the types of activity that you need to perform, consider which roles you find most satisfying and the ones you feel that you perform well. Use the following questions to trigger your thoughts and record any answers.

  • Are you surprised by the range of things you do and take for granted?
  • Were you able to identify the kinds of activities you carry out in each of these roles?
  • Did they begin to suggest any knowledge, skills and characteristics that might be associated with performing different kinds of roles?
  • Were you surprised at which roles you enjoyed and those you did not, and which you felt you performed well in, or not?
  • Which roles might you want to continue and which, if any, might you want to stop playing?
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You've now completed Section 2 - well done! We hope that you have found your study useful and are motivated to carry on with the course. Remember, if you pass the quiz at the end of each block you will be able to download a badge as evidence of your learning and you can download a statement of participation that recognises your completion of the whole course.

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