Career Management – Create Your Own Personal Development Plan

The final two blogs in our series from Corinne Goddard focus on creating your own personal career development plan and “Managing Your Career for Life”.

Now you have some great ideas about how to develop your skills, capabilities and possibly even gain a qualification. Let’s think about taking a structured approach to help you to plan, organise and track your development. It’s time to commit it to paper and create your personal development plan.

Plan the work and work the plan

Take a piece of paper (or you can do this on your PC) and write these headings across the page

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DEVELOP? (What is your goal? It may be related to learning new technology, developing behaviour such as negotiating, gaining a qualification)

ACTION (What action do you need to take in order to do this?)

WHO/HOW (Who can help? How can they help?)

MEASURES (How are you going to monitor your development? What changes will people observe?)

BY WHEN (When do you expect to reach your goal)

Once you start thinking about each of these things, it will help you to create a clear picture in your mind of what you are trying to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. Identifying timescales will keep you focused.

Set yourself practical, realistic goals – start with two or three areas of development. Remember you can modify you plan by adding things in and taking things out as you achieve them. Be bold and take a long term view. 

Your plan should be specific, but it should also be flexible so that you can change it to accommodate new opportunities and changing circumstances. Remember, it’s your plan to help you develop, so you can change it any way you want.

Your plan will help you to identify the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be. It will also allow you to evaluate how you are progressing and identify when you have achieved your goal. Remember to record your achievements and keep your CV up to date!

On the front foot

You are now in a great position to react to changes when they occur – you have written a CV based on a detailed understanding of your present capability and you have a plan to develop yourself further. As opportunities arise, you are prepared and poised to yourself forward.

A chance to take on a new role or be involved in a new project may arise internally in your organisation. You may be in the unfortunate position that your current role is disappearing. With an up to date CV and a personal development plan, you are ready to apply for anything, whatever the situation.

In the final blog we’re going to review all your hard work and look at how career management can help you every day of your career.