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The Annual Performance Review Mentoring provides an opportunity to reflect yearly on your progress and to discuss your personal development with your line manager. To make sure you prepare effectively, you should read the APR guidance on the HR web pages.
Evaluating your performance does not, however, need to be restricted to once a year. It is valuable to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses and seek feedback from others at regular intervals. You may find the 360 feedback programme useful; it allows you to gain your colleagues' opinions on specific areas of your skill set and to highlight your strengths and weaknesses. The Continuing Professional Development web pages provide several templates for planning your development and keeping a record of your CPD all year round.
It is also important to be a reflective practitioner. Reflecting on how you have applied what you have learnt and its value to your role ensures that you are making the most effective use of training activities and are able to confidently talk about your development in performance reviews. This website includes online resources [link tbc] to help you do so.
The Continuing Professional Development website includes tips on measuring your skills [link tbc] against what employers are looking for as well as useful online and paper resources [link tbc] that help with career planning and making successful applications.
Short courses offered by Professional Development cover a range of topics, including interview skills, CV writing and preparing an effective academic CV. For those staff members nearing the end of fixed term contracts or at risk of redundancy, guidance on the University redeployment system and related support are available on the HR web pages.
If you are a current postgraduate student or an alumnus of the University of Nottingham, you can also take advantage of the services and resources offered by the Centre for Career Development.
Available short courses include sessions on communication skills, improving personal effectiveness, working well within a team and guidance on University policies and practices.
Professional development also offers a series of personal development programmes for women, PEAR, APPLE and WAND. A combination of core sessions and small group learning sets support female staff in achieving their career goals and potential through formal training sessions and informal networks. The City and Guilds Senior Award in Professional Practice (HE Administration) is available for all APM and Technical staff without supervisory responsibilities and covers a range of interpersonal and communication skills.
There are also several less formal methods of improving your interpersonal and communication skills, such as attending relevant conferences, joining a professional body or taking part in voluntary activities. More information can be found on the CPD web pages. [link tbc]
Professional Development offers training courses for several of the major IT programmes used around Nottingham University, including Microsoft Office, Agresso and Web CT. Short Courses on referencing and information skills are also available. If your job role involves working with University web pages, there are training courses for staff on the new University content management system.
The opportunity to practice what you have learnt during training sessions is also important; many Information Technology related skills are easily forgotten if not regularly used. Asking your manager for additional time to practice or signing up for online forums and e-newsletters on a certain topic may be useful.
If your training need is more specialised, you may be able to take advantage of the Individual Development Fund to finance an external course.
For more information see the CPD web pages [link tbc].
If you are still unsure of your skill level then the 360 degree feedback programme may be useful. It allows you to gain feedback from peers, junior team members and senior colleagues about certain areas of your performance, giving you a complete 360 degree view of how your team sees your skills.
For an insight into management and leadership skills Professional Development offers several short courses on a variety of topics, including team-building, motivating your staff and strategic planning techniques.
Another option is to take a recognised leadership qualification appropriate to your role, such as one of the ILM awards. The Individual Development Fund could also finance a relevant external programme.
You may also consider setting up a mentoring relationship [link tbc], either as a mentor or a mentee of a senior manager. As a mentor you would be able to develop your leadership and coaching skills, as a mentee you would be able to discuss your development and benefit from your mentor's wealth of experience.
For more information on developing your skills in this area including mentoring, see the Leadership and Management section of the Professional Development website.
Professional Development offers a programme of courses aimed at improving your Well-being, including time-management, relaxation and building self-confidence. There are lunchtime sessions and longer workshops of 3 and 6 hours.
It is also important to maintain an active lifestyle. As a employee of the University of Nottingham, you can also use all the University's sports facilities and there are a number of sports clubs specifically for staff.
Also available to staff are the Cripps Health Centre and the University Counselling Service. For more information please visit the Well-being area [link tbc] of the CPD website.