How to write a Personal Development Plan; An example of a Personal Development Plan
The last few weeks have taught me about who I am as a person. The numerous assessments that I have taken have helped to illuminate the areas in which I need to work to improve myself as well as the areas that I am successful in. The assessment that taught me the most about myself were the ones that I took during the first two weeks of this course. Prior to these assessments I believed that I was a shy person, who was well organized, extremely productive, with high stress levels. I now know that I have an ISFJ personality and that I have a strong preference of introversion over extraversion, a slight preference of sensing over intuition, a moderate preference of feeling over thinking, and a moderate preference of judging over perceiving. The productivity test taught me that while I am on the right track with my productivity efforts I could still be more productive. The Locus of Control self-assessment indicated that I have a moderate internal locus of self-control. The Burnout Self-Test assessment results indicated that I may be at risk for burnout. My score on the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale assessment indicate that I have only a low to moderate chance of becoming ill in the near future due to stress. The textbook and my results on the self-assessments have now taught me that while I am on the right track to being a successful person, I still have room to improve and there are still some areas of myself that I need to reflect on.
The self-assessments that I have taken during this course have unearthed both good and bad qualities about myself. There are three main areas that I need to focus more on in order to improve myself as a person:
- Public Speaking: Public speaking is an issue that I have always struggled with. My ISFJ personality and my strong preference of introversion over extraversion has made public speaking difficult for me. It does not matter how much I practice my speech in advance I still end up feeling self-conscious, jittery, and nervous when it is time for me to present; these feelings do not dissipate throughout my speech and by the end of it I end up feeling exhausted.
- Organization: I used to believe that I was a well-organized person prior to the productivity self-assessment. My worst areas on the assessment were organization, delegation, and productive systems. This was a bit of a wakeup call for me and I plan to use this knowledge about myself to work on improving my organization.
- Delegation: Delegation has always been difficult for me at work. I always end up feeling like I need to do everything myself. The need to control everything is a side effect of my moderate internal locus of self-control. It is something I need to work on to avoid leaving people feeling "trampled" or "bruised" and so that I do not elevate my stress level which could result in my becoming ill in the near future.
My goal in creating a personal development plan for myself is to learn about my weaknesses and to create a plan for how to turn them into strengths. Working on this personal development plan has helped to illuminate my strengths, weaknesses, and failings. I have found the creation of this personal development plan beneficial because it has forced me to reflect on the areas that need improvement. Using this plan I can come up with strategies for how to fix the areas that I need to improve upon before they negatively affect me and my future career.
Strengths (What do I do well?)
- Most of my colleagues are working on their teaching degree, but I am working on a psychology degree. My knowledge of psychology may provide me with insights that my colleagues lack.
- I have an introverted personality; this allows me to connect easier with the children who are not extroverts.
- I enjoy spending time with the children in my group and I care about them as individuals.
- I have developed budgeting skills through experience with my own finances.
- I am a quick learner and I enjoy learning about how to improve myself as an individual and as an employee.
Weaknesses (Where can I make improvements?)
- I am not a good public speaker; I get nervous even thinking about having to speak to a bunch of strangers.
- My communication skills are sometime lacking; I tend to assume that the person I’m talking to possesses the same knowledge as I do and this can lead to me leaving out key pieces of information.
- I find delegation difficult; I always feel like I need to do everything myself or it won’t be done right.
- I prefer not be put in the spotlight and I try to avoid being made the leader of any project.
- My job can be very stressful and it leaves me feeling extremely worn out and tired at the end of every day.
- I have a low level of self-confidence that sometimes causes me to not push myself as far as I could.
Opportunities (What kinds of things could I be doing based on my strengths?)
- I attend twelve hours’ worth of training seminars every year; this gives me the opportunity to network with people who have the same position as I do.
- Summer camp is starting soon and there will be times where counselors will be unable to come into work; I can act as a substitute counselor for their groups to gain more experience.
- There is a new training seminar that will become available next year for customer service; I can attend this seminar and gain the knowledge needed to manage the front desk.
- I could take over the after school Minecraft club since the counselor currently managing it has quit. This would show my employer that I can handle the extra responsibility.
Threats (Where could I be using my strengths and talents more productively?)
- My job always causes me to feel burnout by the end of the school year.
- Most of my colleagues have worked at the school longer than I have and they have developed a good working relationship with our boss.
- Almost all of my colleagues have friends or family that also works at the school, this sometimes leads to employee favoritism.
- My colleagues often do not follow the rules and I end up being grouped with them even though I have followed the rules.
I found it interesting that I struggled more with determining my strengths than I did with weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. I filled up the weakness box more than I did any other box and it was the easiest box for me to complete. This SWOT analysis forced me to evaluate myself in a way that I have never done before; this is the first time that I ever truly evaluated myself in an unbiased manner. I also found it interesting that when I shared this AWOT analysis with my family that they all felt that it was very accurate. I plan to use what I learned through my self-evaluation to improve myself as a person; it is now my goal to find ways to lessen my weaknesses and grow my strengths. I plan to complete the SWOT analysis again in a year to evaluate my progress. This SWOT analysis taught me that it is easier for me to view myself in negatives than it is in positives. This leads me to believe that I need to take care not to sell myself short and to try and view myself in an unbiased way more often.
- A new amendment to the “No Child Left Behind” act passed in April called “Every Child Achieves Act”; this act offers federal funding to Florida after school and summer camp programs.
- The school district has a set standard that all after school programs in the county must adhere to.
- The school district has recently implemented a new training program that requires all after school counselors to attend twelve hours of district training classes per year.
- Additional funding could potentially offer the after school program that I work at budget leeway. This would allow the program to purchase more resources to enrich our program and attract more parents and children.
- If the after school program meets all of the standards and impresses the school district then the program may receive additional funding.
- Attending district training may help employees to improve job performance which could result in promotions to leadership positions.
- If the program does not receive federal funds then the program may have to cut some of its staff to stay on budget.
- If the program fails to meet district standards the program may have to be completely restructured which could result in a new director and current employees being fired.
- If employees were to fail to attend twelve hours of district training then they would be fired.
- The Children's Services Councils oversee property tax funds which are distributed to after school programs.
- The program has increased the cost per child so as to fund clubs for the children to participate in.
- Florida’s minimum wage has been raised to $8.05 per hour.
- Additional funding from the Children's Services Councils could allow the program to expand which would create a few higher level positions for current employees to fill.
- The increase in price per child will increase the program’s budget which will allow for a budgeting safety net.
- The program could fail to receive funding which could lead to pay cuts and firings.
- Parents may decide that the price increase is too much and remove their children from the program; a decrease in the number of children would result in a decrease in the number of needed employees.
- Both parents often work full time instead of having a stay at home parent to watch the children.
- There is a large Spanish culture in Florida which leads to many Spanish speaking children.
- Special needs children are integrated into the program.
- The fact that many parents both work full time could lead to an increase in children attending the program; this would lead to an increase in budget and the potential for promotions as more positions are created.
- There is the possibility of children who only speak Spanish joining the program; this would mean that there would be a need for an English language teacher or a translator.
- The integration of special needs children into the program creates opening for counselors who can work one on one with the child, this often comes with a raise.
- The fact that many parents both work full time means that they have less time to spend with their children which may cause behavioral issues which employees are untrained to deal with.
- If more children who only speak Spanish join the program then the program may be forced to let go employees who don’t understand any Spanish to make room for employees who could understand Spanish.
- As special needs children are integrated into the program counselors may experience a pay cut so that the program can pay one on one counselors more.
- iPads prices have recently decreased allowing for other school districts to have them available for afterschool children.
- Some after school programs in the district have begun to have e-readers instead of paper books.
- New computer viruses are being created daily and the program’s computers and software are out of date.
- Having new technology available for children such as iPads may entice parents to enroll their children in the program.
- Switching to e-readers would allow the program to advertise its advanced technology to attract additional students and increase the budget.
- The threat of viruses could potentially be used to convince the district to increase funding to the program to either get new computers or upgrade the software to prevent the technology from being infected.
- Having iPads around younger children may result in them being broken which could strain the budget if there was a need to repair or replace.
- If e-readers are broken they are much more expensive then paper books to replace which could lead to budget strain.
- New viruses mean that it is more likely for children to click something they should not on a computer and infect it which would require the program having to pay for a new computer or repairs which could cause budgeting issues.
At first I found it difficult to create the PEST analysis because I am an after school counselor and the program that I work for is not what I would normally consider a business. However the more I thought about it the more that I saw that after school programs do share many similarities with a business because there is a budget, employees, customers, and they depend on customer satisfaction for much of the funding. I wrote the PEST analysis more on my after school program as a whole instead of directly on me; to do this I wrote about how certain factors could threaten the budget or how it could cause employees to be fired. I found this PEST analysis very interesting as I had never thought of my workplace as a business before. The most thought-provoking thing I found from this PEST analysis is how easily I could lose my job to budget issues and how there may actually be room for promotion in the future as the program evolves to meet the current needs of their customers.
Plan to Overcome
I would like to not feel self-conscious, jittery, and nervous during public speaking tasks.
In order to become a better public speaker I plan to take a course on public speaking that will teach me ways to overcome my fear of public speaking.
Even after taking the class I might still experience feelings of self-consciousness, jitteriness, and nervousness.
If the class does not help me to become a better public speaker by overcoming my feelings of self-consciousness, jitteriness, and nervousness, then the best solution would be to practice public speaking tasks until I become used to it enough that it would no longer bother me.
I would like to increase my level of productivity.
The productivity self-assessment showed me that I need to improve in the areas of organization and delegation if I want to become a more productive person.
After I have created and followed a plan to become more organized and to work on delegation, I may find that as time goes on that I become distracted by other things and fail to keep up my organization strategies.
In order to stop myself from becoming distracted from organization and delegation I will retake the productivity self-assessment every three months so that I may reassess and make changes to my plan if my score does not increase or if it starts to decrease.
I would like to become a better team member by improving at delegating tasks to other people.
In order to become a better team member I need to create a plan that will allow me to delegate tasks to other team members. I need to work on not feeling as if I need to complete every task personally.
When I delegate to other people I may become nervous about whether the person is completing the task effectively, in a timely manner, and/or in the way I would complete it myself.
To overcome my nervousness with respect to task delegation, I will both speak to the team member I am delegating the task to about the task as well as provide an outline of the task so that the team member would be aware of all aspects of the task.
I originally enrolled in the Human Relations in Administration class as a means to an end; the end being a certification in Human Resource Management. However at the beginning of the course I was asked to create three goals and after creating the goals of becoming a better public speaker, increasing my level of productivity, and becoming better at delegation I found that these were goals that I genuinely wanted to achieve. Over the course of the last seven weeks this class has given me the knowledge and tools that I need to make these goals a reality. The numerous self-assessments have helped me to refine these goals, create a plan to implement them, consider possible obstacles to my goals, and how to overcome the possible obstacles before they become a hindrance. Even after Human Relations in Administration ends I plan to work to achieve my goals and in three months I plan to retake the self-assessments that are relevant in order to map my progress towards reaching my objectives.