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Top 5 ways to get started on the ImproveMe Development Portal

If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you have signed up as a subscriber to the ImproveMe Development Portal. Congratulations – we’re super excited to have you on board!

The purpose of the portal is two-fold – firstly, it’s designed to help you identify potential careers of interest (matched to your two key competencies identified through the ImproveMe Competency Assessment) and provide guidance on the wide variety of ways you can seek to explore these careers further.

Secondly, it’s filled with content to help you develop and grow your key competencies (strengths) further. Not to mention providing motivational content to help you maintain your enthusiasm for improving yourself and planning for your future.

One of the common questions we get asked by portal users is “Where should I start?”. Here’s our list of five activities you should undertake on the Development Portal to get the ball rolling on your personal development journey:

1. Explore your career lists

Visit the Careers tab to review each list carefully and use the Further information links to learn more about what each role entails, including job descriptions and links to relevant industry associations. Use the Notes column to jot down any thoughts you would like to remember. When considering occupations of interest to you, consider how your second competency might be useful in that role. Once you have explored a role, mark the role according to your level of interest – whether that be Interested or Not for me.  You’ll receive a point per job for undertaking this action, and any careers you are interested in will automatically be listed on your portal Dashboard.

2. Watch a TED Talk

Originating from a Technology, Entertainment and Design conference in 1984, TED Talks today cover topics from science and business to personal growth and social change. Leading thinkers in their field of expertise are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging way they can, resulting in some very powerful speeches.

Under the TED Talks tab, you’ll find a range of talks that relate to your two key competencies. You will also find a selection of content to assist with your understanding of motivation, success and more. Why not start by listening to two short TED Talks – Success is a continuous journey: by Richard St. John and Try something new for 30 days: by Matt Cutts – to give you a flavour of how they work. Then work through the lists provided and watch other talks as you have time available. Keep your eye out for new content that will be added on a regular basis too.

3. Listen to a podcast

Listening to podcasts is a brilliant way to pass the time on your commute, relax at bedtime, or even distract yourself while at the gym. Importantly, they are an awesome way to broaden your horizons and learn from people from all walks of life. All you need is your smart phone (and maybe a pair of earphones).

Under the Podcasts tab, you’ll find a selection of podcasts relating to your competencies, as well as others that the ImproveMe team think you might enjoy. There’s also some instructions on how to get started if you’ve never listened to a podcast before.

If you’re an athlete, we strongly recommend you get started by listening to The Wide Open Road Podcast (Ep2): How athletes can effectively transition to life after sport with David Parkin. Another interesting one for all users is Becoming SuperHuman: How to shortcut your career success and lean directly from industry transformers.

4. Learn about influencers

When we say “influencers” we don’t mean people who are famous just for being famous. We mean people who are (or were) truly revolutionary and unique, who achieve amazing things as a result. Whether it’s someone old-school like Steve Jobs, or someone currently experiencing the height of fame like Ariana Grande, our Influencers tab provides a list of people who use the same competencies you possess to their very fullest advantage. Follow the links provided to learn more about each person, and search and follow them on social media for ongoing information.

5. Take action

Under the Take Action tab you’ll find hints about way to expand your knowledge and explore potential industries and careers of interest. Read these tips to collect small points, and then earn more significant points by actually following the suggestions (whether this be setting up a chat with someone over coffee, or arranging to shadow someone at their job for a day, for example).

Final thoughts

Be sure to mark the tick box for each piece of content you watch or listen to on the portal, and use the Notes functionality to record any observations that you learnt from the content.

On the Dashboard tab, you can track how many activity points you need to reach your next milestone (rank). Your Recent Activity and Careers of Interest will automatically show up on the dashboard, as will Notes you make about any of the content.

If you need help at any point, please reach out to the ImproveMe team via help@improveme.com.au and we’ll be happy to assist. Remember, just one small action is all it takes to kick of your personal development journey. Good luck!

Why is ImproveMe relevant for all of us?

Personal development is a well-used yet frequently unexplained term. It refers to our ability to be proactive, managing ourselves effectively, regardless of the challenges thrown our way, and removing any reliance of waiting for others to ‘make things happen’ for us. The reality is that we may not always achieve our personal objectives, but we will certainly experience richer and more rewarding outcomes when we make that commitment to pursuing our own development.

ImproveMe is designed to be the vital tool that can help drive your personal growth, maturity and success, whilst helping you achieve any or all of the following:

  • Understanding yourself better
  • Managing your future better
  • Allowing you to build better relationships
  • Creating milestones and opportunities to achieve your goals

To find out more about how ImproveMe works and why you should use it, read on here.

My peer assessment is different than my own. What should I do?!

You may have chosen for your ImproveMe journey to include a ‘peer assessment’ from a close friend, family member, teacher, coach or other trusted person who wants to support your personal development.

If you did, congratulations! Peer assessment typically leads to an increase in ongoing motivation to continually improve.

It can be common for us to deliver quite a critical perspective of ourselves and our competencies in self assessments, and peer assessments can help balance this view for us. Similarly, many of us have ‘blind spots’ (or unknown opportunities for improvement) that may only become evident through a peer assessment. Therefore you may find that the assessment given by your peer is different to the results of your own self assessment.

Differing results creates an excellent opportunity for you to sit down and discuss the outcomes with your peer. Ask why they rated you as they did for the questions highlighted on the comparison email you received, and listen carefully to their answer. You might be able to uncover your ‘blind spots’ and learn important things about your skills and talents that you were not aware of before.

After your discussion with your peer, consider the new perspectives you have been given and decide which two competencies you will focus on as a result, remembering this could be a combination from your self assessment and peer assessment. Personal development is all about revision and improvement, whatever your chosen field!

If you have a subscription to the ImproveMe Development Portal and require your featured competencies to be updated following your peer assessment discussion, please email us at help@improveme.com.au with the details.

Congratulations for exhibiting the courage to include the independence of a trusted peer assessor in your journey. Your commitment to personal improvement is well and truly underway.