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* What It Is.
Self-Development is taking personal responsibility for one's own learning and development through a process of assessment, reflection, and taking action.

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* When To Use It.
* To continually update skills and to remain marketable in the workplace.
* To determine future career direction.

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* *
* Assess your current skills and interest through paper-and-pencil career tests or through computer programs that analyze skills and interests.
* Maintain a learning log or diary to help you analyze what you are learning from work experiences.
* Write a personal vision and mission statement.
* Develop a personal development plan that identifies your learning needs and goals.
* Find a mentor who can provide you with support, advice, and assistance in your career direction.
* Become involved in professional organizations.
* Read professional journals and trade magazines to keep current on the latest developments in your field.

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* Relationship To Other Learning Strategies.
As described below, learning strategies are often used in combination with one another or may be closely linked to one another.

Individual Development Plan: An Individual Development Plan (IDP) is a formal document, that specifies the individual's developmental goals and how he or she plans to accomplish them. An IDP can be a tool used to promote Self-Development.

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* Examples.
Federal Agencies

Many Federal agencies such as the General Accounting Office and the Department of Education have Career Resource Centers that give employees access to resource materials and computer programs to analyze their learning and career development needs.

Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has installed a computer-based career interest and skill inventory program that can be accessed by employees in selected field sites, as well as used in the headquarters Career Resource Center. Employees trained to provide help with the program and minimal career counseling are available at all sites. Professional career counselors provide more extensive counseling over the phone to field personnel. HHS' approach enables personnel to take charge of their own development and to think through their goals and skill needs. This approach also provides counseling or additional help as needed to support the individual.

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* Where To Go For More Information.
Web Resources

Career Toolbox Web Site

Continuous Learning Online Course

The Federal Training Mall provides Federal employees easy access to on-line training information and course registration.

Learning Styles Links


Boldt, L.G. Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design. New York: Arkana, 1993.

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* Other Individual Learning Stategies.
Following are links to the other Individual Learning Strategies:
* Job Rotations
* Special Assignments
* Coaching
* Mentoring
* Individual Development Plan
* Manager as Teacher
* Learning Groups (Teams)

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