Creating a Personal Development Plan can be a really useful tool for self-appraisal, goal measurement and can help you to create opportunities for your own growth. Creating a plan can help put in perspective the leadership styles and experiences – both positive and negative - as well as helping you to identify the work that needs to go into you getting yourself the opportunities you want.
Making your own PDP is pretty simple, we know the thought of it may not be super-exciting but it’ll keep you on track and save you time in the long run. We promise. Here’s our five-step plan to get your PDP sorted:
Not unlike a SWOT analysis, a personal analysis lists out your strengths, areas of improvement, opportunities for growth, and threats to these plans (such as socialising 8 nights of the week). Being able to chart out the individual elements of your current work life will provide you a base to build upon when developing your PDP, and allow you to assess yourself honestly and objectively – we can handle constructive criticism from ourselves, right?
Goals: let’s try to be realistic here. No matter how much your Mum says you can be whatever you want to be, for some of us that Rocket Scientist role is just out of reach. Set measurable aims - think ambitiously, but within the realms of possibility. Prioritise your goals, so that you know which ones you should try to achieve first.
Work up a realistic and manageable time frame – let’s not try to run before we can walk. Make allowances for the size of a project and take into account how you might manage those goals with your current workload. Setting deadlines and actually meeting them is an important part of the plan – so no procrastination please, that Netflix series will still be there at the weekend.
Take into account the various resources you may require to achieve your aims – is it help from a senior colleague a coach or maybe a course you need to complete? Factor these into your plan as well as the steps you need to take to get them ticked off the list. Just think, every step you complete is one step closer to that end goal.
Updating your PDP is an ongoing process, if your plan fell apart or you were late on your intended deadlines then try to figure out why. Were you unrealistic or just unmotivated? It might be time for a little tough love to get the next plan over the line – that means turning down offers for after-work drinks and studying for that course you need to complete.