The Importance Of A Personal Development Plan For Career Development
In my previous TweakYourBiz post I discussed the importance of encouraging continuous self development among employees. I want to follow up in this post with a reflection on the importance of a Personal Development Plan.
Kotter (The New Rules: How to Succeed in Today’s Post Corporate World, Free Press, New York, 1995), argues that the ability to continue learning is a highly important factor in career success.
There are many types of self-development.
- For example,taking a qualification is one,
- attending a seminar about new ideas is another.
However, even more important is developing the ability to learn from experience, by reflecting on the lessons of what has happened and drawing conclusions from them as to how best to move forward. Central to this process of reflecting and planning ahead is the creation of a Personal Development Plan.
A Personal Development Plan
Before looking at this from an individual perspective, from an organisational one, encouraging the use of this type of plan is important as it identifies opportunities to align job duties with an employee’s personal goals. This can in turn, improve employee morale and reduce turnover.
In my experience it is important to involve your manager during the creation of the Personal Development Plan. You need to get their input and approval to ensure that the goals and objectives of the organisation are covered in the plan.
When I reflect upon my career development to date I can see the real value of having a my own plan, which is updated on a regular basis.
- In the past, my career development consisted on simply attending one or two training courses each year, with little thought going into how, what was learned on the courses could be applied to my job.
- The result was that I frequently never got to put into practice what I learned, and consequently over time I lost the knowledge that I had gained.
However, since I’ve stared creating and using a Personal Development Plan, I now put more thought into my development choices. It now serves me as a road map for my career which I review on a regular basis with my manager to ensure that I’m keeping on track and making progress.
Do you use a Personal Development Plan, or do you have another approach to planning your personal and career progression? I’d be interested in reading about your approach in the comments.
The views expressed on this post are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, Oracle.