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5 Personal Development Plan For Career Success

by George Mensah

It’s no secret that in the last few years, the workforce has seen a significant transformation. Whether you’re pursuing your present career path, joining the Great Resignation, or running your own company, it’s important to stop and think about your long-term objectives.

Additionally, accomplishing your long-term objectives requires you to be deliberate about your direction. A personal development plan can be helpful in this situation.

How about a definition of “personal development plan”? Consider it as a contract you have with yourself that outlines your long-term objective and the series of shorter-term objectives that will lead you there.

Here are some important factors to take into account before designing your personal growth strategy.

Before Making a Personal Development Plan, Turn Inward

Director Stephen Spielberg gave the graduating class of Harvard University a piece of advice that has since become famous: follow your gut. [1]

“Listen to that voice that tells you what you could do. Nothing will define your character more than that. Because once I tuned in to my intuition, certain projects began to pull me into them, and others, I turned away from.” — Steven Spielberg

No matter where we are in our careers—whether we are young graduates or in senior leadership—it makes no difference. Sometimes our instincts are overridden by the voice of what we ought to do.

Regaining your intuition requires being proactive. Make sure your objectives align with the things you actually find compelling.

Another thing to think about: Ryan Wolf, the Gallup Wellbeing Lead, stated in a recent webcast

5 Steps to Creating a Personal Development Plan

Here are five steps to creating your personal development plan for career success.

  1. Start in the Negative

Having started my business Jotform more than 16 years ago, I can attest that deciding which goals to pursue and which to neglect is one of the most difficult aspects of accomplishing them.

According to studies, those who are prone to distraction and who are insatiably curious are more likely to launch their own firms. [4] [5] Distractions presented as goals, such as rebranding when it is unnecessary or recruiting when you are not ready, are omnipresent, and they can be the worst thing that can happen to your business or career.

So how do you start negotiating that minefield and decide which way to go?

Dorie Clark, a contributor to the Harvard Business Review, advises beginning in the negative by identifying what you don’t want to do. Clark says [6]

“Humans are hardwired to dislike uncertainty, and also sometimes because we fear losing status with others if it seems like we don’t know what we’re doing. But that pressure can lead us to prematurely decide on a course of action that may not be a fit. Instead, I advise my clients to take the opposite approach: Get clear on what you don’t want, and then take steps to avoid that.”

Elimination is a useful method for reducing your selections and launching your own development framework.

  1. Write a Mission Statement

Writing a mission statement is a vital step in building your personal growth strategy.

It is now acknowledged that setting goals in writing improves the likelihood that you will accomplish them. According to research, writing down your goals increases your chances of accomplishing them by a massive 42 percent.

As business owners, we frequently discuss the mission statement of our corporation, which is just another way of saying “objective.” But what specifically ought to be in your mission statement?

It should outline both your approach and your goal. Therefore, both lofty and concrete.

“To inspire humanity—both in the air and on the ground,” reads Jet Blue’s mission statement. Or, in the words of Tesla, “to hasten the global transition to sustainable energy.” [8]

Your mission statement ought to be distinct from others’, specific, and achievable.

  1. Research the Fundamentals

While the initial stages of your personal development plan call for reflection, you won’t actually advance toward your goal by working in isolation. Instead, you must learn from the outside world (or the internet).

Dorie Clark advises beginning with the basics. “[F]ocus on the professional equivalent of basic research and double down on essential skills and information that will make you better, no matter what direction you ultimately decide to take,” she writes for Harvard Business Review.

Choose themes that will assist you get closer to your objective. For instance, you could wish to brush up on your public speaking abilities or build your talent for people management if your objective is to get promoted to a leadership position.

Although formal continuing education is a choice, there are now so many other methods to design your own learning. There are various possibilities for online education, including Skillshare, Coursera, and Udacity.

Online education isn’t your thing? Never undervalue the value of face-to-face networking. Plan an informational interview with a respected professional. Request to be shadowed by someone whose career path you admire. Pick an option that suits you.

  1. Decide How to Measure Progress

Establishing how you’ll gauge your progress as you go along is a straightforward but crucial phase in your personal development strategy.

So, how does that appear?

Make a list of short-term goals you’d like to accomplish along the path to your long-term goal, such as receiving a byline in a specific magazine, gaining a certain amount of followers, being asked to speak at an event, or finishing a certain number of courses. Then, schedule a recurring calendar appointment with yourself, perhaps once a month or once every three months, to assess your progress.

Another advantage is that you’ll get an adrenaline surge every time you cross off a milestone as accomplished, which will keep you encouraged to keep going.

  1. Take Your Own Temperature

Wendy Petties, the CEO of Date Your Money, was able to get her financial situation under control and go from bankrupt to the head of a million-dollar company. She assists customers in achieving their financial and personal goals by drawing on her distinctive background as an educator.

In an interview with Time, Petties stressed the significance of listening to your body. “Check in with yourself and ask ‘Does this feel good or not?'” she advised. You have the ability to change and ebb. I continue to check in. Avoid making compromises and contorting yourself in ways that don’t seem right to you.


Of course, it’s essential to constantly assess if you’re accomplishing your goal milestones. But remember to also listen to your intuition. Your personal experience has equal value.

As a result, ask yourself, “How do I feel?”

Determine how to alter your route and return to a road that feels good if at any time your current one ceases to feel good. For instance, if you wake up every morning in a panic and hate what you have to do.

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