2.1 The next steps in your plan
The process you have been following over the last seven weeks has been part of your personal development planning. It just needs completing by considering your next steps.
This first activity helps you to understand the process and what it might offer you personally.
Activity 1 Personal development plan process
Watch the following short video, which explains the personal development plan process.
What is Personal Development Planning?
Personal development planning is a process which can help you to achieve your goals in three key areas: your career and employability, your study, and your personal development. The time and effort you invest in planning around these areas will enable you to continue developing effectively throughout your life.
So, what does Personal Development Planning involve?
There are five stages.
Identify – First identify your strengths, the skills you wish to develop and then set yourself realistic goals for each area you wish to focus on: careers and employability, study, or personal development. Are there smaller, short-term goals that will lead to your larger goals?
Plan – Plan what resources you need and when you intend to work on the goals that you’ve set. Think about how much time you have available each week. Be realistic to ensure your plans are achievable.
Action – Carry out the tasks you’ve set yourself for each goal, and be aware of any new skills that you’re picking up along the way.
Record – Record how the process is going: the progress you’ve made and the skills that you’re gaining. Where might you need to develop further? Recording your insights will help to inform your CVs, job applications and developmental reviews. It may also reveal other aspects involved in achieving your goals.
Review – Take a step back, collate everything that you’ve recorded and review what you’ve learnt. You should be more aware of your skills, and also be able to identify the next area or skill for development.
Remember that this process is flexible. You may identify new areas for development at any time, or realise that you’ve gained a new skill through your work or day-to-day activities. It’s important to record what you’ve achieved and use each stage of the process to help you develop further.
Take a few moments to reflect on what you heard. What were the main points being made? Write down your answer in your notebook.
Then, check you answer.
Some of the points which you might have written down include:
- Personal development plans can encompass career, study or personal aspirations.
- You need to assess your skills and strengths.
- You need to set realistic goals.
- You need a plan with timescales.
- You need to plan the actions you will take to progress each goal.
- You need to constantly record you achievements and new skills.
- You need to step back now and then and review how you have done against the plan, what you have learned and what the next phase of the plan needs to be.
Which of these might be most important to you personally, at this stage?
Again, write down you answer in your notebook. Choose no more than three. You can always revise and add to them later. For now, focus on the things which will be most important immediately after the course finishes. It will serve as a reminder for you to go back to, when you have more time.
This sounds easier than personal development planning is in practice, as those of you who may have been asked to write one before may know. Of course, all the work you have done over the previous seven weeks has been a foundation for yours, so it makes sense to pause in the next section to review that work, and to fill in any gaps.