Personal and Professional Development – for a solid career foundation
Knowing who you are and what will be your next step after graduation is not only about the academic knowledge you gained at Wageningen University & Research. It is about the complete package that makes your personality unique. Once you combine your academic rigor – your professional development – together with your personal traits, you will create a stable foundation to take the next step to enter the labor market.
Once personal and professional development go hand in hand together, you are well prepared for that next step. You will become more aware about who you are and what talents and ambitions you have. This way, you can gear yourself into the direction that will fit you best.
To learn more about personal development, self-reflection is key. Student Career Services is here to help and support you discovering more about yourself.
To gain more insight about yourself, four main questions are the starting point. These questions can be found below. To identify who you are you can create your own navigation manual to guide you. It will answer the four main questions and provides clarity and focus. In order to make this profile, take the following steps into account:
It is good to know what you are good at, and what your pitfalls are. The Core Quadrant helps to find out more about your core qualities and your pitfalls. For inspiration, find a list of qualities here.
Asking others feedback on yourself, may reinforce the qualities you have, but can also reveal your blind spots and show points to develop. It is ok to not be good at everything and to include this in your navigation manual. 360 degree feedback is thereful a useful way to complete the selfreflection.
Qualities are given by nature, skills are nurtured. So, what are the skills you learned throughout life so far; during your study, during volunteer work, during sports or hobby’s or elsewhere. We divide hard skills (it skills, languages, lab skills, etc.) and soft skills – or personal skills (organizing, planning, communicating, etc.). You can develop these skills through education, extracurricular activities and sidejobs or other work. An overview of professional skills and extracurricular activities can be found here.
Once you have reflected on all these topics, you can start thinking about where to work. Not every organization will be a perfect fit. Here are some things to keep in mind while you start searching: Size of the company; a big corporate or a start-up ? An informal or more formal culture? NGO, governmental or commercial? International or local?
Most likely you will end up working with other colleagues, working in a team or perhaps more independently. Knowing more about your performance within a team is helpful. The Belbin Test will reveal your role in a team.
Once you completed the self-reflection, it is time to find that job and start the search process. Time to update your CV, your LinkedIn profile and brand yourself in a way that describes you best! Start broadening your network, if not already done so. Start looking for job descriptions that match with your qualities, your skills, your values. Create a personal motivation letter and if required, practice a mock interview. Student Career Services is here to help you during that last step in landing that job or internship that fits you! We offer a variety of career trainings and workshops to help you for that final step.
Forms of Personal Development and ways to assess yourself
There is a variety of tests available to assess yourself. Depending what you would like to test, you can choose. Furthermore, you can develop yourself further with a variety of courses and modules.