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Succeed in the workplace
Succeed in the workplace

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2 Personal development planning

A signpost with 'Future' written on it.
Figure 2 Your future

As the career planning diagram suggests, there are different steps you need to take at different stages of managing your career. A personal development plan is simply a structure you put around your activities, to make sure that they tie back to your thinking about the direction you want to go in.

A key idea in personal development planning is that learning is something which is life-long and encompasses all aspects of our life. A career is one aspect of our life, but as you have seen, it connects to many personal goals so it is easier to think of them together.

So, a good personal development plan helps you to:

  • understand the skills you already have and to identify those you need to acquire or to develop further
  • work out what you want to do in your career and how you will go about achieving this
  • make choices between study and other development options, which might be important for your career and for your personal growth
  • gather together the kind of information that you need in order to:
    • write a good CV or job application
    • present yourself positively in recruitment or appraisal interviews
    • show that you are ready to take on more responsibilities, apply for a promotion or apply for development opportunities that will stretch you.

By completing the course activities in your notebook you have been identifying what you are learning from new ideas and experiences. This is a core skill, which not only helps you to plan your own personal, study or work-based development, but is central to some educational programmes and many forms of employment (QAA, 2009).