Personal Development in the face of Uncertainty and Change: How are you doing it?

On 8th February 2020, Ryculture Health and Social Innovation hosted a training session for university students and recent graduates at American Corner, Bazaar Plaza – Nairobi. The focus of the training was to equip university students and recent graduates with the critical skills they need to advance professionally and as a person.

Ryculture Health and Social Innovation through its programmatic activities and events is committed to making a difference in the lives of young people through competency development and nurturing of the youth potential for social impact in the society. Cognizant of the challenges we have as a society, it’s imperative that the youth are enabled to deliberately acquire skills and put to use these skills for their development and for impact.

The training was structured as a workshop with facilitation as well as group activities around specific cases which would enable the participants put to perspective the new insight gained from the training. It was made clear that for an individual to develop they must set course on what they need to achieve and strategically plot out their way to realize this goal.

The session was facilitated in parts with key insights as below;

Mapping of spheres of development

Participants mapped their goals in the different spheres of development i.e. Economic, Social, Professional, Physical and Spiritual. In these tracks, it was evident that finances normally take center stage in individual goals of most people. However in hindsight, development in the other spheres positions one to achieve their financial goal e.g. when one is competent as a professional, they are set to climb the professional ladder which comes with a rise in pay.

Participants working on personal development case

Assessment of each sphere of development and establishment of targets

To be able to grow in any sphere, it is important to understand where you are coming from. In this case, once an individual have established their situation they establish a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) target on what they intend to achieve. This enables one to work towards the goal.

At this point participants developed their individual development matrices for each sphere with key action items that will get them to their goals. Some of these included taking part time jobs within their professional line to gain experience and build competence, network more to learn about opportunities in their professional line and to get avenues to create value through these networks.

It was made clear that networking is a deliberate effort and insights shared. You can read it here for ways to go about the same.

Resource Mobilization

Upon setting a plan on what one needs to do, it is important to mobilize and organize resources that can enable you to achieve these. In order to achieve a goal there is the initial investment needed. To be able to get a part time job for example, it is important to know the probable companies which can provide such opportunities. This can be through online searches, inquiries from friends and other members of your network. Once this is established, the next phase is reaching out to people in these companies on prospects of securing such a position which can be in line with first understanding the scope of their work and evaluating the match with your goal.

It’s counterproductive to take a part time job/volunteer in a company that doesn’t give you an opportunity to scale towards your professional goal. By gaining such information, one builds a professional network through these inquiries, gains insight about opportunities, trends and the future of work on the sector.

Additionally, if all goes well you land a job with the company. If not they will be in a better position to refer you elsewhere when an opening comes up.

Implementation

Unless you work on your dream/goal you will not accomplish your mission and this doesn’t serve you in any way. It’s therefore important that you act on your goal and follow through on your plan.

“Everyone has a great idea and a plan. The difference comes in the execution and follow through.” – Anonymous

When you land an opportunity in any arrangement that is in line with your development plan, take note that it is your commitment and performance that will set you apart and enable you grow. Otherwise, you’ll just be another member of the team with little difference. This not only makes you dispensable but also makes you not achieve your goal.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Goals change and dreams become bigger or even interests change totality from one field to another which means you have to refocus and set off afresh. This is the reason as to why you should from time to time review and assess whether you are on track and whether this plan is working for you or not. If it is not leading you to your goal, it is better to re-strategize early and start off again.

Debrief session after the training with all participants in a circle

It was highlighted that the education system makes some people pursue courses that they are not interested in but being the cost of taking parallel program is too high, they settle for the government sponsored programs they were admitted to. It therefore means that at one point in time an individual would wish to take another track in life which makes it important to hit refresh button.

Review, reiterate and re-commission

From time to time things don’t work as we had expected and when they do we have to options. To quit or to move on. We recommend moving on. In this some changes will ultimately be needed and this is why it is important to reflect on the process that got you to where you are, consider making adjustments on the plan and once this is done, ‘Act’.

It is important to have a vision and a mission aligned to your personal development plan and to realize this you must have a personal narrative. Your story anchors you and grounds you to your core. It is why you exist and why you do what you. This can be to change circumstances for yourself and those who will come after you or even to make an improvement in the lives of others.

“Your life will in the end be a verdict on your recognition of extraordinary obligations that accompany extraordinary resources.” – Bill Gates’ Mother.

We have a life to live and while we live it we should as well make a contribution to the world we live in. Whether privileged or not, you have a responsibility to those under your care and within your circle of influence. How do you use this responsibility?