A personal development plan can be used for many different situations depending on you; so it does not have to be complicated or cause you concern. The sample personal development plan we have made available for you to download addresses short, medium and long term goals.
What it should do is give you a clear idea and method of achieving your goals. So in order to put together an effective Personal Development Plan, you should think about these three questions:
Where am I now?
Where do I want to be?
How can I get there?
These three questions will address the important phases of your progress; your short term, medium term and long term goals.
Let us look at the three questions and see how to make a successful Personal Development Plan.
Sample Personal Development Plan
1.Where am I now?
Before you start your action plan you may find it helpful to consider the following questions in order to determine your current situation:
- What am I good at?
- What do I need to work on?
- What could help me along?
- What might stop me?
Use the following example and then repeat the task to reflect your own circumstances.
What am I good at?
What do I need to work on?
|Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Organising projects and events
Advanced IT skills
Taking on extra tasks
What could help me along?
What might stop me?
|Attending a leadership course
Conducting 1-2-1 interviews
Setting deadlines for tasks
|Lack of Time
Lack of money
Fear of change
The above sample personal development plan could apply to someone wanting to improve their employment prospects by concentrating on occupational skills (see box 1) rather than educational courses (see box 2).
This exercise could be used to identify that work-based learning would be an appropriate answer as it involves gathering evidence and knowledge that can be gained on a day-today basis in a work situation (see box 3).
The above sample personal development plan identifies possible barriers that need to be addressed and reviewed regularly (see box 4).
2.Where do I want to be?
This question is probably the most significant one and at the same time the one that needs the most consideration. As you are the one who can answer this question, you need to be aware there are many things to consider in helping you to find the solution. Asking yourself questions is a good way to initiate relevant ideas (e.g.):
What do I enjoy doing?
(In my job, as a hobby….)
What is my aim?
(Promotion, Personal development, Gaining a qualification)
What skills, experience and/or qualifications do I have?
(Some of these may be transferable.)
How long will it take me to complete my goal?
Are there any impending changes to my lifestyle?
(New Job Role, Marriage, Children….)
What is my ultimate goal?
(A qualification, personal satisfaction, career development.)
How will I measure my success?
(Recognised qualifications, personal goals…..)
Is there anyone who can offer me help and advice?
(Line manager, team colleague, friends or tutors.)
Once you have considered all of the factors, you will have come to a decision on a future goal. This may be one single goal, or many smaller goals that make up the final solution.
3.How can I get there?
Having identified your goals, you can now start addressing the “How can I get there?” question by dividing your task into “bite-size pieces”. This is an effective way of putting your plan into action without losing sight of your overall aim. By gaining small successes on your way, you are more likely to remain motivated and therefore increase the chance of completing the final goal.
The best way to organise your work into manageable chunks is to set short, medium and long-term objectives.
|Where am I now?||How can I get there?||Where do I want to be?|
|(Short-Term Objective)||(Medium-Term Objective)||(Long-Term Objective)|
Sample Personal Development Plan
Remember that your Personal Development Plan is an active document. Therefore your short, medium and long term objectives are amendable and should be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure that they are still appropriate.
There is nothing wrong with changing your plan, providing you have updated your plan to reflect your new goals and you have asked yourself the relevant questions. By doing this your plan will continue to be an effective tool that supports your personal development.
Download your personal development plan template now and use it to make your own tailored action plan.
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