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Your job plans take place annually and irrespective of when your next discussion is due to take place it is positive to take a step back and review your year so far. If you haven’t started to use Dr Diary yet then this is a must for structuring your work schedule and the time you have spent on each activity.
Where to start: objectives are at the heart of your job plan and if you have one from the previous year then it makes sense to review this first. Your objectives have three strands to them; personal, team and organisational alignment.
With your personal objectives, using the GROW model can help you to structure your thoughts and provide a framework for your discussion.
Goal – where are you aiming to be?
Reality – where are you now?
Obstacles – what is stopping you achieving this goal & Options – having identified the obstacles how can you address them?
Way forward – what are you going to do next?
It is important that you think about the strategic direction of your organisation and consider how your personal objectives contribute to the overall focus of your department.
I haven’t achieved my objectives from the previous year – what should I do?
Sometimes objectives change due to fluctuations in resources and re-focussed requirements with the team. It is important that any changes in the overall direction of your job plan are discussed and mutually agreed. It can be entirely appropriate for some of your previous year’s objectives to remain unchanged but ideally, you’ll agree new objectives focused on key strategic and service needs.
Objectives need to be clear to read and measurable. You may have a mixture of quantifiable and qualitative objectives and these will relate to direct clinical care, support professional activities and incorporate your personal development needs. Your objectives need to be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, results focused and timebound) but it isn’t always easy to write in this way. One approach is to identify the learning development need and then write your objective as a learning objective. If this is new to you then access the e-learning module ‘Developing an effective personal development plan’ as it will help you to see how to do this.
It is important to allocate preparation and planning time but with these approaches and tools it will help you to be more effective and efficient with your next job plan meeting.
Dr Diary is the new job planning app from the BMA for consultants and SAS doctors
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