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16294859 Getting to Where You Want to Be

16294859 Getting to Where You Want to Be

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Published by Haamid
Be what you want to be and where you want to be.
Be what you want to be and where you want to be.

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Published by: Haamid on Sep 29, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Professional Development Planning isabout exploring where you want to getto professionally in a structured way.The process involves looking ata) Where you are nowb) Where you want to bec) How you might move from point a)towards point b)
Professional Development Planningprovides the opportunity to:Pause and reflect on what you’veachieved so far professionally andwhat you want to achieveExplore what motivates youConsider resources that could helpyou to move forwardIdentify possible obstacles andexplore strategies to overcome themCreate a plan of action to achieveyour goals
‘Excellent – I found it really useful froma personal point of view, wearing mywriting hat, and when I switched to my Adviser hat, I found it was a toolI would refer writing clients to.’ 
Whether you are a writer or a newwriting and literature professional,self-employed or employed, workingfull-time or part-time, juggling anumber of different strands of activityor focusing on just one, this guidecould help you. What you do andhow you describe it doesn’t matter asyou will be reflecting upon your owndevelopment from your own situation.
Taking some time out to think aboutwhere you want to get to professionallyis useful whatever stage you’re at.You may be particularly drawn to thisprocess if you are at a point of changeor you are interested in exploringother directions. You may be in aposition when you need to think morestrategically, for example, if you areputting together a funding applicationfor professional development. You maysimply want to take stock.
This process is all about you. Use thisguide in the way that best suits you.You may choose to complete it on yourown, undertake it as a paired exercisewith a friend or colleague, or find ita useful process to undergo withina mentoring relationship or staff appraisal. If you work within literaturedevelopment, you could use it, eitherwholly or in part, to help support yourone-to-one work with writers, as wellas for yourself.
‘I did it with my partner as a buddy.It was an excellent way of us discussingtogether how my rather adhoc career might progress and how we mightaccommodate it.’ ‘Working with another person gaveinsight into how some participantsmight find it hard to sustain theinternal dialogue the toolkit demandsand instead revert to the perceivedexpectations of other people.’ 
A DIY guide to professional development planningfor writers and literature professionals
 Jude Page
We asked a number of writers and literature professionals to trial this guide for us and you’ll find their generously frankfeedback on how they found the process featured in italics throughout it.
appraisal. If you work within literature
development planningfessionals
onals to trial this guide for us and you’ll find their generously frankitalics throughout it.
Where am I now? ..............................2
Where have I been? ...........................2
More about where I am now ...............5
Where do I want to go? .......................7
Exploring the territory .........................8
A plan of action ...............................10
How is it going? ...............................12
HOW? (continued)
You may choose to do the entire thing,complete with all the extra exercises.You may want to do the core exercisesonly. Or adapt some exercises to suityou. You may find it tempting just to dothe exercises you are drawn to but theexercises you find most challenging orthe least attractive may be the ones thathave most impact upon you. Think of this as a work in progress that you canreturn to at any time and change or addto. It is your process and only you needsee it.
‘The ‘extra’ sections helped meto focus when I was strugglingwith my thoughts.’ 
Allow yourself the space and time toconcentrate fully upon the process. Beaware that you may find some sectionsquite intense and you may need to takebreaks. You may prefer to work throughthe process in stages, rather than at onesitting, but it’s worth trying to completeit within a reasonable time frame so thatyou don’t lose the momentum.
‘I found the sections clear and straightforward. However, it requireda greater deal of thought and soul searching than I had anticipated.’ 
The guide is available in electronic andprint format and can also be obtainedin large print, on audio tape and inBraille on request. As everyone will wantto approach the process in their ownway, we haven’t designed the guide asa form to fill out but you may want aprinted copy so that you have the optionto write in some of the tables.
It is difficult to say how long thisplanning process will take, as everyonewill tackle it differently. As a roughguide, completing just the core exerciseswould total around 90 minutes. Allowtwo to three hours if you decide tocomplete all the exercises.You may feel that taking this amountof time out of your working hours isa luxury you can ill afford but, in thelonger term, the process is likely toproduce a far more valuable return.This process is about investing in YOU.After all, you are your main resource!
Where haveI been?
What would you say are the key milestones of yourprofessional journey so far?
Core Exercise 2
Where am I now?
How would you describe what you do as a writerand/or new writing and literature professional tosomeone who’s never met you before?
Try to do this in three sentences. Don’t think about this too much.
Be instinctive
Core Exercise 1
What are the key achievements, significant events, high/low points?You may also want to consider when you have most enjoyed your work.When have you been most committed/creative/productive? When haveyou achieved despite the odds stacked against you? Again, don’t thinkabout this too much. If it helps, limit yourself to five to ten minutes toestablish the main points (exercise continues on next page).
‘I found that the things I was proud of weren’tnecessarily the things I was supposed to be proudof which was interesting.’ ‘A chance to remember good experiences andrelive what made them special.’ 
‘It was very interesting to write down what itis I do. I found that what I actually do, and whatI think I do, are not necessarily the same thing.’ 
Past Journey
You may find it helpful to look in moredetail at your past journey. Who or whathas helped you and what has hinderedyou? You may want to work throughspecific situations or make a note of the general helps and hindrances youhave experienced. Can you spot anytrends emerging?Here are a couple of examples of specific situations mentioned by thewriters and literature professionals whotrialled the guide. (All the names arefictitious throughout – drawn from thelist of last year’s top UK baby names!)
Getting back to work afterhaving a baby
What helped me
Keeping up with myliterature contactsListening to advice
What hindered me
Lack of self-confidenceChallenge of balancingfreelance working withbeing a mother
Getting a short screenplaymade into a film
What helped me
Winning a place on a shortfilm scheme with intensiveworkshop developmentprogramme
What hindered me
Lack of further exploitationof film via distribution, filmfestivals etc
‘Looking at helps and hindranceshelped me to identify patternsof what works and when it’sworked, even in apparentlydissimilar situations.’ 
 Support from colleaguesMaintaining networks and contactsEditorial support from my publishersEstablishing contact with a local playwright – this provided me with invaluableadvice and guidance, widened my networks and led to employmentSetting deadlines for rewrites – helped me to keep focused
 Being over-ambitious in trying to combine part-time study with full-time workMaking my funding application for professional development cover too many basesDisappearance of editorial supportChange of personnel at my publishersAnd here are some of the general helps and hindrances that were cited:
Another helpful way to reflect upon your development, which may appeal toyou if you like to visualise things, is to map out what has happened to you sofar. Imagine your career as a journey and draw the paths that you have takento lead to where you are today. Or think of it as a landscape. What does it looklike and where are you within it?
Core Exercise 2
‘Drawing a map of where I’ve beenmade me talk about my journeydifferently. Drawing really helped meto unearth issues about what I’vebeen trying to achieve.’ 

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