Information for professional and technical staff
Information for professional and technical staff
Get to know yourself
Set aside time to consider your current and previous and experiences (paid and voluntary):
- What knowledge and skills do you have?
- What interests you most about your current (or a past role)?
- What activities or tasks that you have done in the past week/month have given you most satisfaction or enjoyment?
- What would you like to do more of or less of?
Explore your personality and strengths with some online tools:
- National Careers Service Skills Health Check
- VIA institute character strengths survey (need to sign up by email)
- At my best self-reflection tool
- Take a free personality test on 16 personalities or the Jung typology test
- Determine what your career anchors are so that you can use them to guide the search for different roles
How to use your insight:
Is your current role a good match for you in terms of what you enjoy doing, what gives you satisfaction and your personality, strengths and career anchors? If not consider:
- Identifying elements of your role that could perhaps be done differently or projects that you could take on, and discuss these with your line manager. They could perhaps form part of your PRDP objectives. Also see the section on this page 'Developing in your role'.
- Reviewing job descriptions and person specifications on sites such as imperial jobs and jobs.ac.uk to identify the type of roles that you might be a better match for you. Consider signing up for job alerts.
- Whether it is important for you to work in a particular department or organisation that matches your interests or values. Your role may be right for you but you may get more enjoyment or satisfaction if the department or organisation you work for is better aligned with your interests and values.
- Career planning (see the 'Career Planning' section on this page.
To plan properly you need to dedicate time and space to think. Consider setting time aside for one or more of the following:
Attending a College career planning workshop
Working through the free resources on sites such as jobs.ac.uk e.g.
- How to make a career choice video
- Career development toolkit for HE professionals
- Career planning ebook
- The 5 minute career action plan
Making contact with people in roles that you think might be your next step and ask to meet with them to talk about what they do in more detail
College resources and support
- Organisational and staff development
- Learning and Development Centre
- Career development support
- Equality and diversity
- Development options
- Safety training
- Staff networks
- PA and administrator network
- Support Services Social Committee
- Job swap scheme
- Jobs at Imperial
- Managing Your Career – video on Lynda.com
- Study loan scheme
Developing in your current role
If you enjoy your role and it is compatible with your current life circumstances you may not be looking for a change or career progression. However, there are lots of ways you can develop in your existing role:
- Use a continuing professional development framework, such as the one offered by the Association of University Administrators (AUA), to identify areas in which you are strong and those in which you would like to develop. Talk to your line manager about developing skills and see if there are any activities or projects that you could work on
- Connect with people in similar roles within and outside your institution to share good practice, ideas and suggestions, and to problem solve together
- Within Imperial: consider joining a network or use the College webpages to identify people who do a similar role to you and send them an email and ask to meet up
- Outside Imperial: considering joining a professional association such as the Association of University Administrators (AUA), the Association of Research Managers and Administrators (ARMA) or the Higher Education and Technician's Educational Development (HEaTED).
- Consider opportunities for internal job shadowing and external job shadowing or a visit to another EU university or organisation.
- Consider the different elements of your role and identify what could be reviewed and potentially done differently/more efficiently. Talk to your line manager about developing one of these elements into a project/objective for your PRDP
- Keep up to date with the software you are using and explore additional functionality by attending training courses or undertaking e-learning
- Attend learning and development courses to develop your knowledge and skills but also to have the opportunity to reflect on your own role and meet and share experiences with other staff members
There are many ways to develop, to increase your knowledge and skills and to progress your career. As part of your annual PRDP you should identify your development needs and create a development plan. Attending training courses is important but also consider the not-so-obvious ways in which you can gain valuable information and learn about different perspectives:
- At the beginning of each academic year ensure you review the College’s training provision on the Learning and Development webpages
- Consider opportunities for internal job shadowing and external job shadowing
- Consider a Job Swap with someone at the same grade working at Imperial
- The Erasmus programme provides an opportunity for a staff member to visit another EU university or organisation
- Join a staff network so that you are better connected and can share experiences, ideas, issues and good practice
- Become a member of a professional network such as the Association of University Administrators or the Association of Research Managers and Administrators
- Mentoring – consider asking for a mentor or becoming a mentor for another member of staff
- Coaching - a one to one process that helps individuals think through their options in relation to a range of situations they may be facing in the workplace
- Attending events and seminars
External resources and support
- Association of University Administrators (AUA) - the professional association for higher education administrators and managers
- AUA Continuing Professional Development framework - to support the career development needs of higher education professionals
- Association of Research Managers and Administrators - the professional association for research management in the UK.
- WonkHE – higher education policy, people and politics
- Guardian Higher Education
- HEaTED - membership organisation dedicated to supporting the professional development of technical staff in higher education
- Jobs.ac.uk careers advice – free resources: toolkits, videos and vlogs
- Managing Your Career in Higher Education Administration – book by Michelle Gander and Heather Moyes (see book review on WonkHE website here)
- FutureLearn – free online courses mainly from UK universities
- EdX – free online courses mainly from American universities
- National Careers Service
Professional and Technical Staff Working Group
The Professional and Technical Staff Working Group (PTSWG) was established in 2016 with the aim of advising the NHLI EDI Committee on issues affecting professional and technical staff and contributing to the NHLI Athena SWAN application and action plan. PTSWG meets two to three times a year and reports to the NHLI EDI Committee