A personal development plan (PDP) is is a great tool to help you focus on developing your career, supporting you in gaining the skills required to do so. As part of your PDP you will be required to establish what your goals are and how you are going to achieve them.
When it comes to setting your goals, think about what you are working towards and work backwards from here outlining the steps you’ll need to take to achieve this.
Your goals should be personal to you, aligned with the overall goals of the business and realistic. Most of all goals should be SMART…
When thinking about the goals you'll set yourself, you need to focus on ensuring they are aligned with the 5 elements of SMART:
Avoid general ambiguous goals, get to the core of what you’re trying to achieve, for example...
Instead of saying ‘I want to improve my social media skills’, be more specific as to what part you want to improve, so do you want to increase your twitter followers or increase engagement on Facebook?
Focus on what it actually is that you want to develop.
Making your goals measurable will help you to monitor your progress towards reaching your goal. This is related to making your goals specific, the more specific your goal is, the easier it is to measure.
For example, I want to increase my twitter followers by x amount weekly and Facebook engagement by x amount monthly etc.
If you are struggling to measure your progress towards your goals, chances are you need to be more specific.
There really is no point in setting your goals unless they are achievable, some things are simply beyond your influence.
It’s OK to have goals that are challenging, but steer away from those that are extreme.
Set goals that are achievable with the time and resources you have or can stretch to.
Are each one of your goals aligned to what you are working towards and will they help you to drive forward in achieving this?
Relevant goals will help you to focus on activities that will support your development, saving you from wasting time on those that won't.
Giving yourself a deadline to work towards will help you to remain focussed and eliminate other ‘more important’ tasks from taking over.
Set yourself milestones along the way to keep you motivated and on track to reach your target.
When working on your PDP, don't forget that goals are meant to be achieved! The SMART approach is a great way to ensure you achieve your goals and avoid the usual mistakes of setting goals that are unrealsitic. Get the most out of your PDP and use SMART!
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