Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development

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The BSBWOR501 Manage Personal Work Priorities and Professional Development appears prominently in many of our Business, Leadership and Management courses.

The skills and knowledge developed during your studies of this unit will stand you in good stead, not only for the workplace, hut for the remainder of your course. Let’s take a peek at what’s inside!

Establish Personal Work Goals (Topic 1)

Positive Role-Modelling

The ability to be a positive role model in the workplace is an essential quality for a manager/leader. Role models have a profound effect, modelling appropriate behaviour, offering advice, projecting a positive image and encouraging others.

Inexperienced workers look to role models to see how things are done; for cues on acceptable behaviours. They look to managers and more experienced workers to show the way. These role models significantly shape their workplace performance. Making a list of your personal role models can help clarify your own approach to life and work.

Setting Personal Work Goals

Goals are the outcomes that individuals, teams and organisations strive to achieve. Plans are the documents that outline the physical, human and financial resources required in order to achieve the goals within a given timeframe.

Goals can be classified as:

  • Short-term (within the next 3 months)
  • Medium-term (within 3 to 12 months)
  • Long-term (more than 12 months)

Measuring Personal Performance

There are two questions that relate to the measuring of your personal performance:

  1. How effective am I? Ask yourself throughout the day; “Is the task I am doing right now the very best thing that I could be doing?”
  2. How efficient am, I? This involves getting the greatest outcome from the least amount of effort.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are objective measures of performance which are directly linked to your job role. Performance targets set are based on KPIs.

Using KPIs and comparing actual performance to targets can provide a simple, valid and reliable way of measuring your personal performance.

Set and Meet Work Priorities (Topic 2)

Prioritising Competing Demands

Modern life is fast, exciting and full of options that did not even exist 20 years ago. The choices you have are almost endless. Managers need to develop a range of strategies to help them effectively prioritise work tasks and maintain a healthy work/life balance.

One of the challenges of our modern world is to develop a personal strategy for dealing with choices. This strategy must involve you taking the initiative and having a sound method to keep you in control. One useful strategy is called the URGENT – IMPORTANT Matrix.

Managing Work Priorities and Commitments

Business practices are changing at the fastest rate in history because of the impact of technology, especially computers and the internet. As a manager, you will gain a huge advantage if you are able to stay current with the latest technologies on offer and are prepared to embrace and adapt to change as well as update your business management skills.

In the last 15 years, almost every aspect of business has been revolutionised by technologies that have speeded up, improved efficiency and increased options.

Maintain Appropriate Work-Life Balance

In addition to the number of decisions that you make in any one day is the number of requests and demands made upon you.

With the abundance of PDAs, mobile phones, emails and other technologies, we often have little respite from the constant stream of intrusions. People expect us to be available at a moment’s notice.

It is normal to have some stress. The problems arise when you work beyond the optimum level for extended periods of time. As well as diminished performance you can suffer all sorts of physical, emotional and psychological reactions.

The ability to control stress in the workplace can make a huge difference to your productivity and quality of life. These time management tips are for you – they’ll help you increase your productivity and stay cool and collected.

Develop and Maintain Professional Competence (Topic 3)

Determining Development Needs

All professional should develop and maintain personal development plans (PDPs) to help them manage and plan their short, medium, and long-term employment.

The first step in personal development planning is to assess your personal knowledge and skills to determine your professional development needs and priorities.

Competency standards are nationally used benchmarks for identifying the level of skills and knowledge that you need to perform in a role. You should use competency standards to ensure that the professional development you plan to undertake is suited to your ability levels and the requirements of the role. Your PDP should be a living document that you take personal responsibility for maintaining over the course of your working life.

Making the Most of Feedback

Feedback from employees, clients and colleagues should be sought to help you plan appropriate professional development to improve competence. It is a valuable source of information about your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Some of the most useful feedback you will receive, will be negative feedback. Try to keep an open mind, do not become defensive or disregard it until you have had time to review it objectively.

Learn Your Way

Different professional development opportunities are suited to different people:

  • Some people like working in groups, while others prefer independent study
  • Some people learn best when they are working from books, while others prefer engaging in discussion

You should reflect on the learning styles that suit you when you are planning professional development.

Networking in key

Building and maintaining networks and relationships is crucial to the success of your role. Networks are the range of contacts that you have, in which both parties refer to each other for support. A wide ranging network will enable you to increase the benefits that you bring to your team and organisation.

The Competitive Edge

Have you thought about what jobs will be like, and what you will be doing ten years from now and beyond? Or why you should study business and manage your professional development?

The nature of work will remain but the tolls required to do the job will be very different. Technology is likely to be the biggest change that you will need to accommodate.

The work environment of the future will change to meet the needs of the emerging generation of new workers. Existing workers will need strong leaders to guide them through this change process.

Will you be ready?

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