About the Ultimate EU Career Development Book

Buy the Book!
Unlocking and developing the potential of staff is a challenge for all organisations, whether private or public sector. It is especially an issue for the EU administration given its relatively slow turnover of permanent officials and the scale and changing nature of the challenges its staff face. Staff selection for the EU institutions is now focused, in its final stages, on candidates' 'core competencies' - the personal qualities that will long-term be key to their becoming successful officials.

This book provides a toolbox for personal development in the areas of the same core competencies that have been evaluated at the Assessment Centre. It draws on best practice in current public and private sector organisations and then applies it to the specific context of EU institutions and the particular challenges EU staff face.

Who is the book for?

This book is designed to be used by individuals to help their own personal development in the core competencies. It has been written keeping in mind the maxim that 'coaching is helping people to learn rather than teaching them.' The book will, of course, also be relevant to help shape the strategies and improve the understanding of those who have a management, training, human resource or other personnel development role.

  • EPSO candidates who want to improve their general competencies during their preparation time
  • NGO staff and national officials interested in how the EU is dealing with these matters
  • Temporary and contract agents who plan to become permanent officials
  • People who have received their EPSO Competency Passport after the Assessment Centre, and realise that they have to improve certain competencies
  • Permanent EU staff, who realise that personal development is in the interests of their career progression
  • HR and management staff with a performance development and monitoring role
Many EU staff are not permanent officials - and such staff have a vital role to play in the delivery of EU services. The competencies apply just as much to them and this book is very definitely for them too, not just the established permanent officials.

How is the book organised?

The book takes the EPSO competencies as its starting point and is organised around them. There are 10 chapters, as follows:

  • Upgrading your Core Competencies
  • Know yourself to understand others
  • Analysis and problem solving
  • Communicating
  • Delivering Quality and Results
  • Learning and Development
  • Prioritising and Organising
  • Resilience
  • Working with Others
  • Leadership
Each chapter covers the following ground:

  • Introduction to what the competency is about, and the related behavioural anchors
  • (theoretical) models for this competency
  • (practical) tips and advice
  • How this competency ties into the EU environment (appraisal, promotion, etc)
Annexes provide a series of Worksheets for self-assessment (with scoring grids) against each of the competencies, plus information on the Competency Passport, and a draft Personal Development Plan. The online toolkit as provided for in this website offers an alternative version of the worksheets, with the additional possibility to conduct a 360-Degree assessment.

Style of the book

The book is designed to be as accessible and easy to read as possible, practical and informal. It includes plenty of useful checklists and other learning aids - and with cartoons to inject an occasional moment of humour. It is designed to encourage, illuminate and inspire rather than to lecture.