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STRATEGIES FOR CAREER SUCCESS

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					STRATEGIES FOR CAREER SUCCESS Attitudes towards disability can make it difficult for disabled staff to contribute fully and achieve as they would like to. Rory Heap, who recently completed the National School’s Personal Development Programme for Disabled People, says that the programme’s combination of peer support and rigorous feedback helped him to develop strategies for tackling obstacles and reaching his potential. “The Personal Development Programme for Disabled People is designed for disabled civil servants who wish to improve their personal effectiveness and power and create their own career strategies. That’s what it ‘says on the tin’, and that’s pretty much what it did for me. The course I attended had a very diverse membership – a wide spread of departments, ages, grades, levels of responsibility and impairments. Of course at first we were a bit of a hotch-potch, struggling to find a common level beyond sharing some very vivid organisational horror stories. However, by the end of the first three days of this five day split programme we felt safe and, beyond that, very mutually and professionally supported. But this was no touchy-feely hand-holding indulgence. The programme is based around the acquisition and practising of specific mainstream skills, which include negotiation, personal power and influence, political intelligence and team working. I found the sessions and exercises on Negotiating Skills particularly useful in developing more effective team working attributes. In personal skills development terms, we were exposed (in a mock interview exercise) to some rigorous group observation and feedback which I felt were very helpful and useful indeed. So, why were they helpful? In my experience, disabled staff in the civil service often have to counter very significant organisational and attitudinal barriers before they can start to reach their potential. This programme gave us the chance to both look at some of those barriers and help each other come up with strategies to overcome them, and to begin to visualise ourselves as achievers and contributors. Even though many of the barriers have not disappeared, I now feel much more able to confront them and to work with colleagues to make positive attempts to overcome and even remove some of them. It’s a tough world for disabled people, even in the civil service, and managers want more and more from us all the time. I think the Personal Development Programme for Disabled People can contribute a great deal to increasing the effectiveness of disabled people in the Civil Service, and to help realise our potential.” Rory Heap, Senior Equality and Diversity Manager, NOMS Staff Equality and Diversity Team


				
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Description: STRATEGIES FOR CAREER SUCCESS