Professional Development Plan [Download]

personal development


Examples of How to Develop a Personal & Professional Development Plan
Your personal and professional development plan (PDP) is your roadmap for your career (and your life), helping you identify the steps to take to help you reach your dream job as well as live the life that you want.

Definition of PDP:

On the career side of things

,

your

professional development plan

provides structure for professional growth and outlines explicit learning and development goals so you know exactly what you need to do to get from where you are now to where you want to be.

An example of professional development goal might be to transition from a management to a director level role; e.g.

“Secure a Director position within the next 6 months.”

On a personal level

,

your

personal development plan

identifies areas for personal growth and change — which, of course, can have a significant impact on your career as well.

An example of a personal development goal might be to strengthen your marriage; e.g. “

I will take my wife out on a date on the first Saturday of every month and I will do the dishes at least 5 times each month as well.”


Reading these examples, you will quickly realize your goals for each PDP will vary.

This conversation in

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”

by author Lewis Carroll, illustrates the need for planning your life and career:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” (asked Alice)

“That depends on where you want to get to,” said the (Cheshire) Cat.

“I don’t much care where —” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if only you walk long enough.”

How to Write Your Personal and Professional Development Plan (PDP) — Includes In-Depth Tutorial + Download

You’re more likely to get where you’re going if you decide where you want to go, and then plan your journey. If you don’t, you’ll still get “somewhere,” but you might look up in a few years and wonder how you got “here.”

Some employers offer professional development planning; however, you should take a more well-rounded approach — one encompassing both personal and professional development. And if you had previously engaged in a corporate professional development process, it may have been to identify how you can move up within that organization — and staying with your current employer may not be your long-term goal.


Research has shown that 80% of employers look at cultural fit first as well as executive skills and traits. Be sure to check out this

list of personality traits that every executive needs to have to succeed personally and professionally.

The PDP examines what you need to work on in 6 different areas of focus: Family, Spiritual, Social/Relationships, Physical, Financial, and your Career.

This process isn’t meant to be difficult or lengthy. It’s a snapshot of where you are right now and how to move forward. But it should be something that you revisit regularly — at least once a year — to make sure that you still want to go where you said you did, and that you’re still on the right path. You may only have one or two items in some areas of focus, while you may have four (or more!) in other areas. Your plan will be unique to you!


How to Plan Personal and Professional Self-Development Goals For Managers/Execs

The first thing to do is an assessment in each area. Use the below example Assessment Worksheet

(be sure to download the below PDF resource as well)

to guide you.

For your career development goals, for example, examine job postings for the job that you’d like to have, or your dream job.

Is there a particular degree required?

A certification?

Specific software skills?

These will help you determine what you need as minimum qualifications for the position.

Once you’ve completed the assessment process, you’re ready to work on creating your personal and professional development plan.


Where I Am Now

Drawing on your assessment, identify specific items to work on within the six areas of focus. This can either be a short-term task (such as increasing your LinkedIn connections) or a long-term goal (such as finishing your bachelor’s degree). In the “Where I Am Now” box, write down your current status. For example,

“Nine hours short of bachelor’s degree in business.”

Be as specific as you can. Instead of listing “Need better computer skills,” for where you are now, be specific.

Do you need to improve your typing skills?

Word processing?

Excel?

Coding?

HTML programming?

This will help you as you set your goal and also help you decide what resources will help you reach your goal.


Resources Required


Answer this question:

What actions are needed to meet my goal?

The answer will help you identify the resources required to get you from “here” to “there.”

Depending on your goal, there are a wide variety of resources that can help bridge the gap. For example, if you want to learn a new language, you could take an in-person class, work with a tutor, take an online course, use an app, or learn by immersion. The choice is up to you.


When considering which resources to incorporate into your PDP, use this list for inspiration:


• In-Person Class (Academic Programs)

• College or University Degree

• Online Course (Including Udemy, Lynda, etc.)

• Certification Program

• Workshop

• Conference

• Software

• App

• Membership Site

• Book

• Workbook

• Manual

• Professional Networks (Joining an Association)

• Mentoring/Networking

• Learning Through Practice (Portfolio Development)

• Research Activities

• Professional Activities

When considering the right resources to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be, consider your learning style (do you prefer in-person training versus an online course? Self-study program or learning with others?), your timeline (could you improve your language skills faster with an online app that you can start using today versus waiting to enroll in a six-week class that starts next month?), and your budget.

Sometimes the resource will simply be your time. For example, if you want to build your online network, committing to spending five minutes per day on LinkedIn — asking for (and accepting) LinkedIn connection requests — will help you do this.

For your Social/Relationships area of focus, this may mean establishing or growing your online presence. For example, setting up a LinkedIn profile, or growing your number of LinkedIn contacts. Or increasing the number of Facebook friends you have. Or having a certain number of “real life” get-togethers with friends each month.

Remember, the resources you choose are up to you!


Goal

When setting your goal, look at where you are now, and also what you need to be successful in your area of focus. When possible, make sure your goal meets the “SMART” criteria — Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Quantify your goal in terms of numbers, dollars, or percentages. Instead of: “Be debt-free by Dec. 31,” write “Pay off $6,580 in student loans by Dec. 31.” Define exactly what you want to accomplish, by when.


Outcome

When evaluating the outcome, you may not be able to assign a score right away. The criteria offered includes: Not Met, Partially Met, Fully Met, and Exceeded. If you review your PDP on a regular basis, you can assess your outcome in terms of where you are right now in meeting your goal, but continually update your progress as time goes on.

The criteria offered includes: Not Met, Partially Met, Fully Met, and Exceeded. If you review your PDP on a regular basis, you can assess your outcome in terms of where you are right now in meeting your goal, but continually update your progress as time goes on.

If you review your PDP

on a regular basis

, you can assess your outcome in terms of where you are right now in meeting your goal, but continually update your progress as time goes on.


The question to ask yourself is:

How much difference has this made to improving my [focus area]?


For example:

How much difference has this made (right now) on improving my career?

How much difference has this made (right now) on improving my family relationships?

How much of an impact have I made (so far) on improving my finances?


Here’s to timing…

At the bottom of your Personal/Professional Development Plan is a review date. Choose a date when you will re-evaluate where you are, your progress, and your goals. Ideally, you will want to do this once a year.

December is often a good time as you look at the year ahead, but you may also choose to do this on your birthday or another significant anniversary (for example, your annual anniversary of your employment with your current company). Be sure to put this date on your calendar.

Once you’ve developed your PDP, post it somewhere you will be able to look at it often — for example, on your refrigerator, or on the wall next to your desk at home. This roadmap will ensure that you know where you want to go and that you stay on track.


Personal/Professional Assessment

Name _________________________________ Date _________________

Can my family relationships be improved? If I waved a magic wand, what would be different with my family relationships?

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

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How is my spiritual health? What do I want my spiritual life to be like?

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Who are my key social/relationships with? Could these relationships be better? How?

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

How is my physical health? Is there anything that I need to work on with my health?

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Financially, how am I doing? Do I need to improve my financial well-being? How?

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________


When it comes to my career…

My strengths are…

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

I need help with…

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

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One year from now, I want to be…

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

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Three years from now, I want to be…

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

Five years from now, I want to be…

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

I will consider myself successful in my career if…

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________

DOWNLOAD

Click below to download an example/template of the above PDP Assessment & Sample Personal/Professional Development Plan

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