Personal Development Planning

Personal Development Planning

Many businesses nowadays pay a lot of attention to how they develop their workforce. Managers and leaders are keen to offer staff new opportunities to learn and move their careers forward.

There are huge benefits in doing this. It not only makes sense because you get a more qualified workforce but it also means staff are likely to feel a sense of loyalty and hang around rather than looking for a job elsewhere.

What is a Personal Development Plan?

Personal development can mean different things to people in different sectors. The essential focus is on developing skills or gaining experience that can further someone’s career or their ability to do a particular job better.

Often called CPD or continuing professional development, it is a lifelong process and everyone’s needs are likely to be unique.

  • You might want to forge a career in management, in which case you will be focused on taking the appropriate leadership courses and getting the right experience.
  • Or perhaps you are a healthcare worker and you want to work towards a certain specialty and need specific qualifications or experience to move forward.

Setting Up a Personal Development Plan

Creating a personal development plan that works for you as an individual is important. The first step is to take a close look at where you right at this moment and where you want to be five, ten, even fifteen years in the future.

It’s important to point out, of course, that personal development planning is a lifelong practice. Just because you’ve hit your goal of getting a management or leadership role doesn’t mean that you stop. There is always something new to learn.

You need to identify what skills and qualifications you have right now and what other skills, knowledge or experience you need to acquire to meet your goal. This is something that isn’t set in stone. You should come back to again and again. Let’s call it our ‘current reality’ and that can shift as you grow and develop, personally as well as professionally.

You may, for example, have a degree in business. Now you need experience working for a company and a good mentor who can help you develop your career. You probably want to start looking at leadership courses.

Once you have identified your learning and development opportunities, it’s time to put together a plan of action.

  • What courses/experience do you need to gain?
  • How long is it going to take?
  • Are you going to take a course online or at a college or university?
  • How does all this fit in with my life?

It’s important, whether you are just starting on your career or you have already reached a management role, to keep evaluating and measuring your progress.

You may well need to adjust your personal development planning at various times because of obligations such as building a family and other factors.

A personal development plan should be flexible. The key is that you are in control and you can tailor it to meet your needs.

Personal Development Plan Going During a Crisis

In recent times, we’ve had the additional challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. It might seem right to put your personal development planning aside at a time like this. You may not be able to get to physical classes or book on a course.

The good news is that there are many virtual courses online that you can add to your personal development plan. A crisis is also an experience in itself and one that can certainly help forge your future career.

If you are a manager, this is also a great time to encourage employees to take CPD to help boost their skills and their job prospects for when things start to get back to normal.

During a crisis like Covid-19, giving employees a more positive option such as learning new skills is not only good for business it’s also a boost for the individual’s self-worth and their personal wellbeing.


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