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Personal development

Another part of this involves making sure that when opportunities arise (as they will, if you work hard and think about what you”re doing) ou have the skills needed to take full advantage of them. and instructions, that you can use to plan how you”ll develop the skills you need for a satisfying and successful career. Tools like SWOT and PEST, and techniques like setting SMART goals are all part of the process. Using these resources and applying them to your personal plan for continued development, you will come away with a thoughtful and well-considered plan that you can follow to reach your career goals.

Your Personal Development Plan comprises seven basic steps. We”ve split these steps into these three sections: 0 Understand Yourself. 0 Define your Career Objectives. Create Your Personal Development Plan. Each section builds on the next, so I encourage you to work through them in order. I hope you enjoy this workbook, and find it useful! That”s why it”s important to take a systematic approach to developing your skills, so that they”re ready when you need them. Developing a Personal Development Plan is the starting point for this.

This downloadable workbook guides you through the process of creating your own Personal Development Plan. Within it, you”ll find a step-by-step process, supported by templates James Manktelow, CEO, MindTools. com Contents Why a Personal Development Plan? 5 Understand Yourself ” 6 personal SWOT Worksheet 8 Personal PEST worksheet 10 Opportunity Analysis Worksheet 12 Define your Career Objectives 13 Create your Personal Development Plan ” 15 Have you found this e-book useful? 18 Personal Development Plan Worksheet ” 19 4 Why a Personal Development Plan?

Are you fully in control of your career? Do you have a clear and inspiring idea of what you want to achieve in the future? And are you actively taking steps to pursue the career of your dreams? If you are not, then you risk seeing your dreams dashed. If you put the course of your career in the hands of others – your organization, your oss, your partner, or even (originally) your parents – you risk not going where you want to go, and not doing what you want to do. After all, if you”re not working to realize your own dreams, you”re most likely working to achieve someone else”s.

All too often, this abdication of career direction happens without you even realizing it. See if you recognize yourself in the following scenario: Jim had been in his current position for three years. His Job was com o t rtable. He knew what was expected of him, his boss was great, and his teammates were his friends. Life was good. Six more months passed and Jim started atching the clock. The 4:00 countdown became a daily ritual and by Wednesday, Jim was in Friday mode. He started wanting more excitement and challenge.

The humdrum status quo Just wasn’t cutting it anymore. He needed something to change right away! promotion of some kind… maybe a Job reassignment… well, what about a change of office at least? Unfortunately for Jim, no one ever told him that neither his company nor his boss was responsible for his career satisfaction. No one let him in on the secret that if you do the same thing today as you did yesterday, the results for tomorrow are likely to be no different. You have to be proactive.

You have to take charge, and change the way you think about your career. When you take back control, you will realize that the only way you?ll achieve what you want, personally or professionally, is to think about where you want to go, put in place a plan to get there, and then start moving. Personal Development Planning is a structured way of doing Just that. 0 First, you understand yourself so you can set meaningful goals. 0 Next, you define these goals in terms of what you want to achieve and the steps you need to get there. Finally, you identify gaps in your skills and xperience and create an action plan that will fill them in, so that you start to move you closer and closer to your end goal. So, let”s start the process right now! So, where were all the changes? Surely he’d been at the place long enough to deserve a Understand Yourself Discover Who You Are and What You Want Personal Development Planning is all about creating a long term goal for your career, and then planning how you”ll get there. However, before you can know what you want to do in the long term, some serious reflection is in order.

What are you good at? What are you not so good at? What opportunities are available? And are there factors beyond your control that could impact your goals? To answer these questions, we”ve adapted two classic business tools, SWOT and PEST, so that you can apply them to your personal situation. Through these analyses you will gain a solid understanding of where you are now, and where you would be well suited to go with a high chance of success. In business, SWOT Analysis uncovers the Strengths and Weakness of an organization, and the Opportunities and Threats facing it.

Just as this is useful for organization, it”s very powerful when you apply it to your own situation: By knowing your strengths, you can ocus your efforts on the things you”re good at, and by understanding your weaknesses, you know what to avoid, what to improve, and where to get help from people who do those things better. Taken together, your strengths and opportunities help you to identify potential long term career goals. Your weaknesses and the threats you face are things that need to be managed, mitigated, or planned for to ensure your goals remain achievable.

To begin a Personal SWOT you ask yourself a series of questions about your existing circumstances and fill in a four-quadrant grid like the one found on page 8. We explain these quadrants below: Strengths The goal here is to uncover what sets you apart from most other people. What do you and others see as the qualities that make you stand out? When thinking about your strengths, don”t limit yourself to Just work skills, think of all the experiences you”ve had, and the opportunities you”ve had to grow and develop. This includes your education, aptitudes, personality factors, and interests.

Answer the following types of questions to complete your strengths section: 0 What are you really good at? 0 What skills do other people recognize in you? 0 What do you do better than most people you work with? 0 What do you get recognized or rewarded or? 0 What, about yourself, are you most proud of or satisfied with? O What experiences, resources connections do you have access to that others don”t? Remember to ask your friends, peers and family to give you ideas about your strengths as well. We tend to be self-effacing and downplay our own strengths, so this is a great way to get more ideas.

It”s also a real boost to your selfesteem when you learn what others think you do really well! Weaknesses Here you turn the tables and get real about the things you are not so good at, or the areas where you can improve your current performance. We list our weaknesses so we an reduce them or manage them, so they don”t stand in the way of our goal achievement. When you do this, don”t “beat yourself up” about weaknesses: We all have them. The trick is to recognize them manage appropriately. Also, don”t be too self-critical. If you”re fair and forgiving about other people”s weaknesses, make sure you forgive yourself your own too.

To complete your Weaknesses section, use the following questions as a guide: 0 What do you try to do that you Just can”t seem to master? 0 What do you do only because you have to in order to satisfy Job requirements? 0 Are there one or two aspects of your ersonality that hold you back? 0 What do other people most often identify as a weakness for you? 0 Where are you vulnerable? 0 Where do you lack experience, resources or connections where others have them? Unlike the Strengths section, don”t feel compelled to list every weakness you can think of. Limit yourself to the ones that can have an impact on your career satisfaction.

Opportunities Now that you have looked inside yourself, you turn your attention to the outside and identify elements that you can build on or take advantage of that will improve your chances of success. This is best done by setting aside ome time and brainstorming in an attempt to uncover new and innovative ideas that may not have occurred to you before. 0 In what ways can you maximize your strengths? 0 What opportunities are open to those who do these things well? 0 What would you love to do that you”re good at? 0 How can you minimize your weaknesses? If your weaknesses no longer held you back, what could you do? Where do you see the most potential growth for yourself: Within your current company, in a different company, a different industry, or different career all together? 0 What trends are having an impact on your current career or one you are thinking bout pursuing? Threats Finally, you analyze the things that can derail your success. Although threats can”t be directly controlled, they can be planned for. That”s why it is so important to identify as many of them up front as possible. The more you know about them, the less likely you are to be “blindsided” by something unexpected.

Now, you might feel that you”d rather avoid looking at threats, thinking it will cause undue worry and stress. The reality is, you will encounter much more anxiety if you don”t think about potential threats, especially when they start building in significance. Remember, a threat loses much of its sting hen it is managed and prepared for. Ask yourself the following types of questions to uncover these potential hazards: 0 Do you have weaknesses that need to be addressed before you can move forward? 0 What problems could your weaknesses cause if left unchecked? 0 What setbacks might you face?

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