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Thing 23: Final reflection

This post is part of 23 Things for Professional Development.

I made it! I made it to the final Thing! Oh, I never thought I’d get here…

There are a few tasks for this Thing, so I’m going to work through them sequentially:

1. Reflect on the programme in general and what you want to do next.

CPD23 has introduced me to some new tools and techniques, and encouraged me to think critically and reflectively on these and the tools/techniques I was already familiar with. It has also allowed me to connect with other information professionals online, and share ideas and tips. I will apply this learning through some of the new tools that I have already adopted, such as Evernote, and by making use of some of the ideas inspired by the intangible things, such as advocacy and mentoring.

Continuing on, I would like to continue my progress towards Chartership. Beyond that, I would like to become a mentor – either through CILIP, or another scheme or professional body. I found the Thing on mentoring particularly inspiring: it made me think about how much I have learned from my own mentors, both formal and informal. I would like to be able to repay that to the profession by mentoring others.

2-3. Identify gaps in your experience and write a Personal Development Plan (PDP)

I’ve actually already done this as part of the Chartership process. I’m not hugely comfortable sharing that here, so I’ll skip straight to stage 4:

4. Write about the process of putting the plan together and whether you think this is a useful way to think about your CPD in general

I went about writing my PDP in a slightly ad-hoc manner. I started off well enough: I did a personal SWOT analysis, went through the CILIP Body of Professional Knowledge (although that wasn’t an enormous amount of help, to be honest!), and started filling out the CILIP PPDP template. I made ok progress with that, but then I ran out of ideas so I started looking through example portfolios to see what kinds of things they’d put in their PPDPs. I used the things other people had written to give me ideas for where there were gaps in mine, and filled out the rest of it in this way. Probably not the right way to do it, but it worked for me!

Difficult as I found it, I do think writing a PPDP was a useful exercise. It’s giving me something to plan my CPD around – rather than just doing whatever looks interesting, I’m spending more time thinking about what areas I actually need to develop and how I could best do that.

5. Keep blogging!

I certainly will do! This blog is likely to be a bit quiet for the next month – I’m taking part in National Novel Writing Month (or NaNoWriMo for short), in which I will be attempting to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. “Attempting” is the operative word here – given that I’ve never yet managed to write more than half a chapter without giving up in frustration at my own lack of talent, I have serious doubts about my ability to complete NaNoWriMo! Still, I’m going to give it a try…

Anyway, I will be back to blogging once NaNoWriMo is out of the way, I promise. I’ve really enjoyed CPD23 for the boost it has given to my blogging: I’d been struggling to find the energy to blog, or the inspiration to know what to blog about. CPD23 was the kick up the backside I needed to get my professional development head back on, and I certainly want to keep that up now the programme has finished.

I’m hoping plenty of others do too – I’ve discovered some great new blogs through this programme, and I’d hate to see too many fall by the wayside now it’s done with. So keep blogging, everyone! 🙂

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