Do you want to do better in the role you have now? Or do you need to get ready for a change in your current role?
Start with a personal development plan. You can use your Personal Development Review or create your own plan – just follow the steps below.
To create a personal development plan, you need to know where you’re starting from.
Try using the SWIM approach - Strengths, Weaknesses, Interests and My Values.
To identify your strengths, start with the selection criteria for your current role. These define the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for your job. Make a list of the skills you have and highlight the areas where you think you make a contribution.
Ask a critical friend what you do well and what they value in you. Request feedback on what you could change.
Review your last PDR and the objectives that are listed. Think about what they tell you about your strengths and where you can improve.
Ask your manager and/or your network for feedback.
Find potential areas for improvement: Where do you feel you could be more confident, skilled or knowledgeable? Identify situations and tasks you find challenging and where you would like to enhance your skills in the future.
Make a list of what you find inspiring in your professional as well as your personal life. Think about what motivates and enthuses you. Can you identify a pattern?
Define what is most important to you, and think about how your values have led you to define your boundaries and shaped your career so far.
Oxford’s Career Weaver can help you explore these questions. It provides a variety of short exercises to help you identify your values and work preferences, name your strengths, identify your skills and understand your motivations at work.
Be clear about what you want to achieve, and make sure to define what success will look like. Aim for a SMART goal: specific, measurable, agreed upon, realistic, time-based.
Follow the steps below. Your approach will vary depending on the reason for your learning need.
Prepare yourself for change in your current role
Development opportunities are everywhere and come in many different forms. They could be a coffee with an expert, a volunteering role, or a training course.
Eichinger and Lombardo’s 70:20:10 principle tells us that 70% of impactful learning happens on the job, 20% happens in social interaction and 10% takes place during classroom type learning activities. Let’s remember the value of on the job learning.
Identify your options
Be creative and open-minded when looking for learning opportunities. There are many resources available that you might not be aware of. Here are some ideas:
Pick the best solution for you
Which option you choose will depend on your individual situation and learning preferences. When considering all alternatives, keep in mind
Now you are ready to put your ideas into writing, and create an achievable action plan. When we write down our actions, we are more likely to achieve them.
Your plan could include
Follow the steps below to draft your development plan. You can also download a development plan example.
7. Decide how you will keep track of your progress
Many of us will spend more time in a year planning a holiday than we do planning our development.
Here are some tips to help you put your plan into action:
Personal development plan