personal development plan

A personal development plan, also known as a PDP, is something that everyone should do at some point in their lives, professionally or personally. You’re never too young or too old to create a personal development plan. As long as your goals are achievable, and you set yourself realistic deadlines. You may be asked to create a personal development plan at work or school, and some people may find it overwhelming to think about their lives and ambitions. However, this is a great way to figure out what you truly want in your life, personally and professionally, and to feel achievement.

What Is A Personal Development Plan?

A personal development plan helps you structure what you're thinking and feeling. It's a process that consists of defining what is important to you, what you want to accomplish and what you want to improve on.

You need to find a quiet space and think about your future. You will need to give yourself a timeframe to achieve your goals, that is realistic. Of course, the timeframe is subjective depending on your age and what you want to do. You may be asked to think about 3, 5 or 10 years ahead. Please be aware that your development plan isn't set in concrete - you shouldn't be too upset if you hadn't achieved your ideas. Life changes, purposes expire, and goal posts move. However, this isn't an excuse not to do a personal development plan. It's a good idea to review and adapt your plan after some time has passed and reaccess your work and life situation.

Personal Development Plan Ideas

You need to evaluate yourself and ask yourself questions, such as what makes me feel successful? You should also think about what you want to achieve. This can be anything related to your working and personal life. It's a good idea to take an in-depth look at yourself and to write down your strength and weaknesses. Be honest! After you have done this, evaluate your weaknesses and set yourself a task on how to improve them.

Some people like to share their personal development plan, but this is entirely optional. Unless it's required by a workplace mentor, teacher or career coach, then there isn't a need to share your plan. (After all, it is personal.) The people who do share their plan like the feeling of having accountability. If you have shared or told someone about your plan, you may feel more driven to accomplish your ambitions.

The main questions you should ask yourself is;


  • What do you want?

  • Why do you want it?

  • How do you plan to get there?


Using the What, Why and How formula makes creating a personal development plan easier. Remember, the whole point of a development plan is to expand your knowledge, increase your skills and improve important areas of your life. This could be continuing education, improving job performance and increasing your responsibilities at work. Maybe one of your goals is to achieve a better work-life balance.

Another formula you can use for your development plan is SMART.



This formula is excellent for a professional development plan, but either method can work, and they can both be used at the same time. After reflecting on your ideas and dreams, it's a good idea to set short term and long term goals. An example of a long term goal is to become an Area Manager. You will need to identify the short term goals you will need to complete to get there.

Personal Development Plan Example

There isn’t a wrong or right plan. But here we have a personal development plan example which can be used as a template for your own plan. This can be used personally or be used as a professional development plan. Ultimately the style and layout of your development plan are up to you. But these are the things you should include.

Personal Development Plan Template


What are my strengths and weaknesses:


STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES
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2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5

Important goals I want to accomplish:

  • 1____________________________________________________________________________

  • 2____________________________________________________________________________

  • 3____________________________________________________________________________

  • 4____________________________________________________________________________

  • 5____________________________________________________________________________

The most important goal for me is and why:


  • _____________________________________________________________________________

How long will it take for me to achieve this goal:


  • _____________________________________________________________________________

What are the strengths I need for the goal:

  • 1____________________________________________________________________________

  • 2____________________________________________________________________________

  • 3____________________________________________________________________________

Things I need to start doing and stop doing to help me achieve my goal:


START STOP
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5

Which new skills/knowledge do I need to achieve this goal:

  • 1____________________________________________________________________________

  • 2____________________________________________________________________________

  • 3____________________________________________________________________________

  • 4____________________________________________________________________________

  • 5____________________________________________________________________________

My Progress:


WHAT IS WORKING WELL WHAT I NEED TO CHANGE
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 4
5 5

There you have it! Why don't you use this personal development plan template and fill it in? Maybe you will discover something new about yourself. While you're still here on StudentJob, check out the rest of our Career Advice for more information about work. If you want CV tips, check out our application tips instead.

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