How To Make Your Own Professional Development Plan

A personal development plan is a program designed to provide and equip you with further learning for your life and your career. There are a number of techniques that you can use in crafting your own personal development plan, and here are a few tips on how to do that.

There is a distinction that must be made between the types of learning that you can gain under a personal development plan.

  1. The first type is formal learning. Formal learning happens when you decide to enroll in a class, or have an external third party train you in what exactly it is that you will need to know. Formal learning can take place in a classroom setting or in a one-on-one tutorial session as well. The classroom setting can be very helpful for most people, as the presence of other students makes you feel comfortable and keeps you motivated to keep up with the pace of the class. Getting feedback and reinforcement from others in this kind of setting can also be helpful if you are looking to retain the information that you are receiving. Normally, certifications and professional accreditations are earned through formal training, so you will need to commit yourself to the class and the program if you are looking to earn a certain certification.
  2. Self-study, or self-directed learning, is another method of getting information about a certain topic that is part of your personal development plan. Again, the idea here is that you need to commit to the personal development program that you have established, and everything should go smoothly. There are a lot of how to and self help books available in the market today, and you can definitely find a plethora of articles on the Internet, which can teach you how to do certain tasks, or do better at your job, as well as keep you organized. As this approach is very research-intensive, prepare yourself for long hours as you look for the right source material for your self-study.

The idea behind crafting and following a personal development plan is simple – a personal development plan is something you establish in order to build on and enhance your core skills, in order to give you an edge in your work. Apart from taking the time out in your day to continuously hone your core skills, the personal development plan must also take into account the training that you can do after your normal routine. These are supplementary courses, which ideally, should help you remain more competitive in the market. Personal development plans are almost always written in response to a certain need. In this respect, take into consideration your current life situation. You definitely don’t want to bite off more than you can chew, so before you craft a lofty and ambitions personal development plan make sure that the extra courses you will be taking actually fit into your schedule. Don’t overshoot, but don’t be too conservative either. After all, the idea is to learn something new, not forget what you already know. 


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