Looking down the road.

A couple of years ago we used to deliver a PhD Induction program called Personal and Professional Development Planning. Within this I would use an Advanced Driver Training model to demonstrate the benefits of looking down the road to observe what is ahead and anticipate what might unfold, leading to decisions about the most appropriate actions to take.

Advanced Driver Training is used to enable emergency services staff, and those in other relevant professions, to drive safely at high speeds as part of the execution of their duties. The core element s of the skill is the observation and anticipation part.

It never ceases to amaze me how people head into a degree without thought for where they want to be at the end. Not just an undergraduate, but a Masters degree and a PhD. Whilst, it is of course a matter of personal philosophy as to ones reasons for doing a degree, I cannot help but wonder whether this is a by-product of the commodification of education. Of course, in the days of “Brideshead Revisited” one ‘went up’ to University to ‘read’ a subject, and one could afford (literally) to not worry about the costs involved. However, I am amazed that people who will be saddled for a significant element of their life with ‘student tax’ should go into one or more degrees without consideration of the career that may or may not follow.

When Advanced Driver Training is delivered, one of the techniques used is a ‘driving commentary’, where the trainee talks through what they see on their route and the actions they are taking to deal with that. Such a strategy might also serve an aspiring professional well in deciding where they want to get to, the route they see before them and the actions they will take to address their needs.

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Martin Coffey

About Martin Coffey

Career Management Skills Developer, Researcher Development Team.

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