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Career Planning Guide

Career Planning Guide

Create a training log

Although your core efforts need to be focused on completing your research, there are lots of opportunities on offer whilst you are a student that it is wise to make the most of. Ultimately, the odd day or half-day off is not going to disrupt your studies irrevocably, and often students find that thinking or learning about something else leads to the kind of tangential thinking that leads to those golden moments of clarity and insight! Taking part in training, either at the university or beyond, is also part of the networking that we have already noted is crucial (not only to your career development and as a gateway to possible opportunities, but also because it helps build a community around you, which is fundamental to positive wellbeing).

Engaging with training and development is also part of another cycle – the Continuing Professional Development Cycle. The CPD cycle has 7 stages to enable you to set, develop and review your professional objectives. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development outlines these stages as:

  • Identify: Understand where you’ve come from, where you are and where you want to be.
  • Plan: Plan how you can get to where you want to be, with clear outcomes and milestone to track progress.
  • Act: Act upon your plan, and be open to learning experiences.
  • Reflect: Make the most of your day-to-day learning by routinely reflecting upon experience.
  • Apply: Create opportunities where you can translate theory into practice and put your learning to work.
  • Share: Share your learning in communities of practice to generate greater insight and benefit from the support of your community.
  • Impact: Measure the overall impact your learning has had on the work you do.

What this cycle emphasises is the importance to log and reflect on your training throughout your research degree. This is both to enable you to complete your research project, and to make you as employable as possible. At the University of Exeter the Researcher Development Programme offers multiple opportunities for development, and there will be a equivalent at your University. CIPD have lots of exmaples of learning and development plans and CPD records, which demonstrates the variety of ways you can approach creating a training log. In addition, the University of Exeter People Development team have written some  guidance on how to record and reflect on your training and development. You can read this guidance and consider and a bespoke template for recording and reflecting on your training and development.

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