That's enough about me. Now what about me and my career?

Giving yourself, your lifestyle and your career a personal MOT can pay off in all sorts of unexpected ways, writes Rachelle Thackray

Now here's a radical thought: have you ever considered employing your employer, instead of becoming just another exploited rat-racer? It's only when you take time out to consider your options that you realise, among other things, just how much the "psychological contract" - that between employer and employee - has changed. You don't have to be at the mercy of the job market. You could control your career destiny. But how?

The answer, claim those in career training, is to be found in the concept of Me plc, a catchphrase which originated in the idea of applying management principles to your own career development.

The idea is at the heart of a new weekend course, entitled "Mapping Your Personal Direction" and run by Roffey Park Management Institute, better known for its MBA and business programmes.

Course tutor and occupational psychologist, Christina Evans, sees the weekend - designed to cater for anyone from frustrated bank managers to latently ambitious housewives - as "very much a stock-taking process, just as a car goes through an MOT". Or, as one delegate at the launch defined it: "It's the education junkie's version of a visit to a health farm - a bit of a luxury".

Whether seen as a necessity or an indulgence, the course, including an over- night stay at Roffey Park and use of the fitness facilities, comes in response to requests from forward-thinking companies. Nonetheless, around half of the first batch of 20 or so delegates sponsored themselves, according to Ms Evans. "Nowadays, in terms of thinking about me and my career, there won't necessarily be anybody who I can go and talk to.

"People are beginning to take a long-term perspective, and we are using techniques to help them explore what their values are, examine their life is now, how they spend their time, and how happy they are," she explains.

She believes the course, which includes an evening of merriment at the centre's bar ("to celebrate what people have achieved") can stimulate in a way that goes beyond self-help books. "One of the benefits of working it through with other people is that you have got different perspectives. A book can't challenge in that way. Here we have got 22 coaches."

Mary, self-employed for 10 years as a management trainer, found the diversity of her fellow delegates one of the most useful things about the weekend. "It's been good just talking to people, seeing where they are coming from, and getting ideas. Often you don't think about what you are doing; you just carry on. There are so many things that I didn't consider. Your career requires discipline, and it's the sort of thing you have to work at."

Another delegate, Geoff, recently promoted to a more demanding post in acquisition finance, wanted to discover how he could more effectively balance his career with running a charity for bereaved parents. "I want to slow down a bit, create space for the things which are important," he said.

Nanette McDougall, co-tutor with Ms Evans, warns that learning how to market Me plc is hard work. "The first day is very hard; it provokes a lot of thinking and a lot of feelings. They finish quite exhausted and quite frustrated.

"But on day two it often starts coming together. People start to get glimmers, start seeing possibilities. Our job is to help them keep with it. It's a question of pooling ideas until they are off and running."

For more details of the workshop phone Roffey Park Management Institute on 01293 854047.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...

Ashdown Group: IT Manager / Development Manager - NW London - £58k + 15% bonus

£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant / Telemarketer - OTE £20,000

£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...

Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manager - City, London

£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...