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Reflective Essay - Transition to Professional Practices
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Reflective Essay

Unit Name : Transition To Professional Practices

Assessment 3 : Individual Reflective Journal (30%) 

Word Count: 1800 words. 

Please note that this assessment is based on your weekly journal. The final essay must demonstrate that you have engaged with ongoing reflection using the process of journaling during each week of the unit. It should be written as a weekly journal – week 1, week 2, etc. It is very important to attend classes to write about each week in class. Consequently, the assessment will reflect your ongoing learning throughout the trimester and will be based on the weekly journal you have kept for this purpose. 

Your reflective weekly journal will focus on applying your learning throughout the trimester to your own transition to professional practice, e.g., class discussions, activities and learning in class, lecture and tutorial material and the weekly readings. 

Your weekly journal must be supported by adequate reference to the literature and at least 10 (scholarly) journal articles read, in addition to any textbook references. More details will be provided in class. You must use the current APA referencing. The format of your weekly journal will be discussed in greater detail by your lecturer in class. 

Introduction 

Becoming a practicing professional comes with many risks and opportunities. I have noticed as an undergraduate in this profession that transitioning from academia to the workforce requires careful planning, introspection, and adaptability - an understanding gained through taking this course will provide more significant insights into this path: 4S model framework, Helping Model framework, and Nancy K Schlossberg transition theory are invaluable guides on this path; also critical are self-care practices conflict resolution techniques employment evaluation instruments all studied thoroughly for job transition success.

As an active practitioner of self-reflection, this course has allowed me to better comprehend my process for entering a new phase in my life and its obstacles. By critically analysing personal experiences as well as applying theories and concepts learned in class, this class may better equip me for facing the many obstacles inherent to transitioning from college into employment. My reflection essay allowed me to evaluate course materials critically while simultaneously voicing my opinions about them.

Week 1

My research into transitioning from academia to the workforce has led me to recognize this event as an inflection point in human history, signifying our shift from having little-to-no knowledge in a subject area to applying it confidently in real-world situations. Such change requires various changes - forgoing familiar surroundings in favor of professional employment; abandoning academia for its unknown terrains, among other things (Wakely, 2021).

Understanding all of the steps required can ensure a seamless transition into professional practice, from understanding all of its phases: context, identity, community, and strategies - which includes external factors like labour markets, technological advancement, and public opinion as well as our internal elements like creating identities with assets, limitations and core beliefs during this phase to developing support systems such as individuals or locations we turn to for guidance or advice and strategies like setting goals, acquiring skills or furthering education throughout this journey (Mellor et al., 2017).

As I explored my transition into professional practice, I gained great insight into its challenges. Thanks to self-introspection and insights from those close to me, I feel more prepared than ever to navigate this essential professional development period.

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Week 2

My life experienced its most extraordinary transformation when I decided to pursue higher education abroad from my native country to another. Making such a significant decision required considerable planning, thought, courage, and mental fortitude on both an emotional and physical level - adapting to a new culture, language, and lifestyle was daunting at best and extremely taxing at worst.

As well as leaving my friends and family behind, this journey would challenge my endurance, independence, and adaptability - my endurance was tested firsthand as my independence and adaptability were tested by an unfamiliar educational system, instructional style, and standards. While challenging at times, this voyage proved rewarding in terms of personal development, adventure, and new perspectives gained.

Retrospectively, I now appreciate how essential leaving one's comfort zone to advance both personally and professionally is. Due to this change in perspective, I have developed characteristics such as resilience, adaptation, and determination when faced with obstacles - giving me the confidence to conquer unknown territories more successfully while being better prepared to meet new obstacles head-on. Leaving my comfort zone has genuinely defined who I am today.

Week 3 

As part of my preparation for entering the workforce, Nancy K. Schlossberg's video on transition theory proved extremely useful in giving an in-depth overview and practical guidance for managing each stage. It enabled me to make informed choices during such a critical life stage as entering my new profession (Khan et al., 2021).

One key takeaway from watching this film was understanding all the factors affecting our evolution. A successful transition depends on many elements, such as our environment, responses, emotions, assistance from others, and preparations; by watching how these components interact, we may gain greater insight into our transitions and take appropriate actions accordingly (Schlossberg, 2020).

To my delight, the film also stressed the necessity and awareness of self-reflection as part of this process. Examining our assets, obligations, values, and objectives may lead us on an affirmative path forward with a greater purpose for the future.

Furthermore, mentors or peers providing insightful perspectives or criticism were encouraged as mentors may offer advice that provides perspective. I found Nancy K. Schlossberg's transition a helpful theory about the transition from academic studies into professional employment.

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Week 4

Achieving one's career objectives is only possible through adopting professional practices. The four Ss of this transition is crucial for achieving one's career objectives (Sueningrum, Simadibrata & Soemantri, 2022). The first S, "Situation," is necessary for evaluating current conditions and challenges; one should set clear goals and plans for accomplishing them - four critical components in making the transition successful.

The second S represents "Self," or introspection and self-discovery. To foster professional growth and balance professional and personal endeavors, one must reflect upon oneself and unearth their personality traits. Assessing abilities, capitalising on strengths, and working to eliminate flaws must all be prioritized to maximise potential and grow professionally. By realizing ideals, one may also achieve balance.

Support, the third S, is indispensable in any job move. A network of friends, family, colleagues, and associates offering guidance can serve as an invaluable source of feedback and assistance to enhance performance at work.

Strategies, the fourth "S," refers to devising and executing plans to further one's profession. These techniques involve discovering new information, building relationships with key individuals in one's industry, and seeking out opportunities.

Being open-minded to new concepts is crucial for workplace success. The Four S's are essential in aiding with professional practice transition.

Setting goals, using strengths to address weaknesses, seeking help when necessary, and developing effective ways can all help increase chances of professional success - these four elements being Situation, Self, Support, and Strategies, respectively.

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Week 5

Nancy K. Schlossberg has designed the Helping Model Framework as a comprehensive approach to transition theory application in therapeutic settings. I see six key pillars to this model framework as its building blocks: relationship development, assessment, goal setting, intervention, termination and follow up - each stage must occur seamlessly for successful transition into professional practice (Schlossberg, 2020).

Relationship Building" emphasizes the significance of creating an amicable and supportive bond between experts and those going through change. After conducting a comprehensive "assessment" of their current condition, personal abilities, shortcomings and growth opportunities should all be properly taken into account when formulating goals during goal setting phase. Intervention stage includes creating action plans to meet these targets before terminating them effectively before concluding with follow up phase for assessment of intervention effectiveness and course correction if needed.

The Helping Model Framework offers an efficient, data-driven method to assist individuals in making a smooth transition from academic studies to professional employment. I believe that its application has multiple uses in real life settings such as career transition and personal growth. Nancy K. Schlossberg's Helping Model Framework can serve as an insightful means of comprehending all phases of job transition more accurately (Schlossberg, 2020).

Her theory rests upon an assumption that individuals adapt to change through various stages and that providing specific types of support would aid their process more successfully. Helping Model Framework comprises five stages - evaluation, self-understanding, negotiation, assistance, and evaluation - that collectively make up its framework.

Individuals at different points during their transition process may require different forms of aid. At this step, it's crucial that we assess the current situation and weigh both advantages and disadvantages associated with any changes we plan on pursuing. At the same time, one should carefully consider their objectives, aspirations, and values in relation to any requirements set by their new job in the assistance phase. In Negotiation Stage, identify potential obstacles and devise strategies to address them.

Evaluation, the final step of transitional experiences and personal growth evaluation, involves reflecting upon one's transitional experiences and honestly assessing oneself against criteria in which you excelled and/or require more growth. At last, the Helping Model Framework can prove valuable for new professionals as it serves to guide and assist new hires as they embark on their professions.

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Week 6

These characteristics form part of my persona in both personal and professional environments and are integral components to my success in both. If I were asked to describe myself using three terms, they would include being determined, compassionate, and innovative.

My strong sense of direction and indomitable will propel me relentlessly toward achieving my objectives. Through such dedication, I've managed to overcome difficulties and achieve many things, both personal and professional in nature. I am an exceptionally kind, compassionate, and empathetic individual with a strong desire to assist others.

Due to this empathy, I've developed meaningful relationships across a broad spectrum of people from every walk of life, further inspiring me to pursue a career that allows me to make an impactful contribution toward making the world a better place.

My approach to problem-solving is genuinely distinct and forward-thinking; in both my personal and professional lives, this discovery has enabled me to uncover previously unrealized options as well as create novel solutions to situations that had once seemed intractable. These three qualities define whom I am as a person, guiding my decisions as I face challenges and pursue opportunities in my lifetime.

Week 7

As both a student and individual, I've encountered my share of tension yet have learned effective coping mechanisms to handle anxiety when it arises. Being aware that anxiety exists is vitally vital to personal and professional success. Positive self-care behaviour includes practices like exercise, meditation, socialising with family and friends, and engaging in passion projects - these techniques give me strength and resilience when faced with daily challenges.

Conversely, negative self-care behaviours have been linked with increasing tension levels and subsequent health problems. Negative self-care behaviours include practices such as excessive imbibing, substance abuse, or binge eating. While such actions might appear harmless at first, their long-term effect will only bring temporary relief.

As part of my strategy to manage stress, I engage in daily self-care practices that address my body, mind, and spirit. Through taking good care of myself, I've discovered I can better withstand adverse situations while remaining successful throughout all aspects of my life.

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Week 8 

Both personally and professionally, I have dealt with multiple conflicts throughout my career and life experiences. A team member whose frequent lateness caused stress within his team. Their actions caused frustration among teammates, who understood they required action to be taken against such individuals. As part of my plan to address this problem, I initiated dialogue with the offending team member.

Through attentive and compassionate listening, we identified multiple causes for their disengagement from our initiative while finding ways for them to contribute meaningfully while overcoming any potential hurdles they faced in doing so. By taking this route, we could end the argument and move forward constructively. I learned that to successfully solve a problem, you need to discuss it openly with everyone involved before working toward developing solutions that benefit all parties involved.

Thanks to my newfound skill in managing issues in both my personal and professional lives.

Week 9

Employers concerned about their employees' mental well-being may provide them with access to an EAP (Modovan, 2020). Employee Assistance Plans offer counsellors, resources, and referral services designed to aid staff members with personal matters like tension, anxiety, depression, substance use, or interpersonal matters (Cleveland, 2018).

Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs) provide employees with assistance for personal or professional issues which might impede work productivity, motivation, or well-being. EAPs help enhance retention rates, absenteeism, and attrition rates by offering access to professional treatment; some EAPs even offer managers and employees training programmes on managing mental health in the workplace and counseling services as additional features of support for employees' well-being in the workplace.

As a student researching transition to professional practice, I am firm in my belief of EAPs' importance and their positive effects on employee wellbeing. When employees become aware of EAP services available through their workplace EAP provider, they report feeling better equipped to cope with the demands and difficulties of their jobs.

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Week 10

Conflict resolution skills are necessary both at work and at home; I realized after discussing conflict resolution this week how vital it was to identify its source, brainstorm possible solutions, and select one as being most suitable (Furlong, 2020). I learned through experience how essential it is for all parties involved in a dispute to find an amicable agreement that benefits all involved parties, which requires being sensitive, sympathetic, and vocal about matters being discussed in any dispute resolution session (Bercovitch, 2019).

Furthermore, I gained insight into various conflict resolution strategies like negotiation and mediation-arbitration as potential solutions. As soon as emotions flare, it can be challenging to maintain decorum and objectivity - essential components of dispute resolution (Kurbonalievna & Adxamovna, 2021). By employing conflict resolution techniques frequently, I may develop my emotional intelligence and self-control and improve future conflict management processes.

Week 11 

My chosen field will reap immense rewards from the skills acquired in Week 11 on "Transition to Professional Practice." Through this session, I came to appreciate how important it is to anticipate and accommodate changes both personally and professionally, becoming familiar with models such as 4S's Helping Model or other frameworks like helping models such as 4Ss or helping Model.

Furthermore, I realized the significance of maintaining positive attitudes, such as a growth mindset when dealing with change as well as taking measures such as self-care when confronted by tension or workplace conflict. Additionally, this course highlighted the significance of mastering effective dispute resolution strategies. With my enhanced comprehension, I became better able to utilize active listening, empathy, and effective communication in pursuit of problem-solving goals and creating long-lasting relationships between clients and colleagues.

At this point, thanks to my education in this unit and all that it taught me, I feel I'm better prepared than ever for professional practice and its challenges and opportunities. Education has provided me with both knowledge and abilities essential for succeeding within my chosen field of endeavor.

Conclusion 

My transition training proved immensely useful, providing me with an in-depth knowledge of the challenges in transitioning to any role, whether at work or elsewhere. Furthermore, this course equipped me with self-awareness tools such as introspection exercises as well as transition models essential for attaining future professional goals.

As part of its focus, this unit prioritized developing transferable skills like self-care, conflict resolution, and direct communication. These workshops also examined ways employers demonstrate care for employees by offering assistance for any personal and professional issues that may arise during employment, such as an Employment Assessment Programme (EAP).

During this unit, I gained tremendously and am well equipped for whatever changes may arise in both my personal and professional activities going forward.

References

Bercovitch, J. (2019). Social conflicts and third parties: Strategies of conflict resolution. Routledge. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DtqiDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT11&dq=conflict+resolution&ots=9unphxaAvd&sig=5LhWi-XMZF4VDERjmlBMpoHfjc4
Cleveland, R. E. (2018). Using digital portfolios: Reflection, assessment & employment. TechTrends, 62, 276-285. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11528-018-0262-0
Furlong, G. T. (2020). The conflict resolution toolbox: Models and maps for analyzing, diagnosing, and resolving conflict. John Wiley & Sons. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=j2P5DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR13&dq=conflict+resolution&ots=WLkOrXYGjF&sig=Rzx1R0l5cO_37H9MIG6rBjwKDmQ
Khan, M., Kaynat, S., Khan, I. U., Khan, S., & Waheed, U. (2021). ASSESSING PURPOSE AND IMPORTANCE OF TRANSITIONAL CHANGE THROUGH STUDENT DEVELOPMENT PERSPECTIVE. PalArch's Journal of Archaeology of Egypt/Egyptology, 18(2), 866-874. https://archives.palarch.nl/index.php/jae/article/view/9644
Kurbonalievna, I. G., & Adxamovna, B. G. (2021). Innovative solutions for effective conflict resolution in higher education institutions. South Asian Journal Of Marketing & Management Research, 11(6), 33-37. https://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:sajmmr&volume=11&issue=6&article=005
Mellor, P., Gregoric, C., Atkinson, L. M., & Greenhill, J. A. (2017). A critical review of transition-to-professional-practice programs: Applying a standard model of evaluation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 8(2), 23-30. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2155825617300959
Moldovan, L. (2020). A tool for continuous evaluation of competences and approaches to employment support. Procedia Manufacturing, pp. 46, 263–270. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351978920309100
Schlossberg, N. K. (2020). Information literacy is designed to support transfer student success. Supporting transfer student success: The essential role of college and university libraries, 41-62. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=bBAFEAAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA41&dq=nancy+k+schlossberg+transition+theory&ots=mTObOI1A2L&sig=MAUQhZ3SU7VEStcdg6XjumJKUhc
Sueningrum, A. S., Simadibrata, M., & Soemantri, D. (2022). Clinical teachers’ professional identity formation: an exploratory study using the 4S transition framework. International journal of medical education, 13, 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8995016/
Wakely, L. (2021). Does the culture of academia support developing academics transitioning from professional practice? Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 43(6), 654–665. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1360080X.2021.1905495

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