Personal development planning for engineering
Personal development planning for engineering

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1.3 Managing your career development

With a career development plan, you'll be able to be active in pursuing your personal goals rather than being a passive recipient of training and development deemed appropriate by others. After all, you're the one in the best position to know what kind of development you need. Good career planning starts with finding the answers to three basic questions:

  • Where am I now?
  • Where do I want to go?
  • How will I get there?

To help you think about how you might go about answering these questions, I would like you to listen to the first part of an interview with Chi Onwurah, an engineer who became MP for Newcastle Central. Before you listen to the in-depth interview, watch Video 1, which will give you an introduction to Chi and her background through her conversation with Benjamin Zephaniah.

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Video 1 Chi Onwurah talks to Benjamin Zephaniah
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Now listen to Audio 3, which is the first part of the interview with Chi Onwurah.

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Audio 3 Interview with Chi Onwurah (part one)
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Chi gives some sound advice in this audio:

  • Decide what career path you want to follow.
  • Identify the skills you have, and any deficiencies.
  • Plan a systematic approach to your development.
  • Keep records and a logbook.
  • Have a CV that tells the story of your skills.

Now use the next activity to tackle Chi's first point – that is, to decide on, or at least put to paper some thoughts about, a career path you want to follow. I assume by the fact you are engaging in this course that you want to be an engineer, so a little bit more detail is needed here.

Activity 3

Aim of this activity:

  • to put on 'paper' where you want to be.

In your learning log, make that important statement: where you want to be! Don't worry if you are not fully decided – at the moment you can be quite broad and just state the area of engineering you are interested in. On the other hand, if you are already working in your chosen field or have a lot of previous career experience, you may want to be more specific about your goals. There is no correct answer to this activity, as long as your response is personal to you.

Then comment on why you have chosen that particular area of engineering or specific goal.

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