How to Create a Professional Development Plan to Advance Your Career? – Introvert Whisperer

How to Create a Professional Development Plan to Advance Your Career? - Introvert Whisperer

How to Create a Professional Development Plan to Advance Your Career? - Introvert Whisperer


“No professional growth justifies sacrificing who you are”Yulia Peralta.


During the entire life cycle of an employee, probably the one thing that gives them the maximum motivation to continue excelling at work is if they get recognized and if their managers and seniors give them a chance to grow. After all the reason why anyone puts in all the effort is so that they can have a chance at stepping up on the ladder of success to reach to a higher post that gives them more responsibilities.


Running an organization and making sure everyone remains happy and content is a task in itself. For each post that you have open, you have so many contenders who come and give interviews, and it is probably the same test for you to decide which candidate to go ahead with. Part of choosing which employee you can send to the next level also depends on how well you know your team and how closely you are monitoring their performance.


Today with the help of various aids such as Professional Development Plans (PDPs), it has become a little easier for people to carry out the entire process of identifying who to promote to the next level. However, having said that there is still a lot of work that we ourselves will have to do to ensure that any PDP is made perfectly. In case you are wondering just how to carve the quintessential PDP plan, we bring you a road map that can take you through all the major road bumps to ensure that you get to the destination in an easy and effective manner.



Going about the Hows of making a PDP

Focus on the Key Movers and Doers: this is where things can either be made or fall. The most important step to creating a PDP is to first analyze and identify the key team members who have made it to the top of your performers list.  These are the people who have made things happen and driven others to do the same.  Contributed to the maximum and never stepped back from responsibilities given to them. Rope in your immediate team leads and middle management people to help you identify the key movers and doers to enrol them into your PDP. For those people who could not stand up to the requirement it will be a great initiative if you start a Performance Improv2ement Plan to ensure that they too can move into the PDP category sooner than later.


Ice Breaking with the Initial PDP Meet: now that you have identified the key team members who are ready to get PDP-fied, it is time to inform them about the same. Take the first step by sending them an informative email that tells them exactly what this plan is and why they have been selected for the same. Then follow up by organizing an informal ice breaker meeting where you go ahead with the expectation setting and prepare them on how to get a head start on the PDP process. Ask them a few important questions such as:


  • Where they see themselves in the next few years
  • Suggestions from them on how they can improve their performance
  • What skills would they want to learn to help grow
  • How else can they help the team and what all can they bring to the table.


The Same PDP Yet Personalized: So it is a fact that the PDP process has the same outcome and the end results are also the same. Having said that, try and make the PDP plan in a personalized way so that it suits each team member. If you have three team members in your PDP process, it is a given fact that each of them will have a different SWOT result. The more you identify this and then make the PDP, the more are the chances of the team member to relate to it and action it properly. Some of the things that can be personalized based on the individual are:


  • Plans and modules they can be a part of
  • Trainings that will benefit them
  • New projects that they can work on
  • Certification courses that can add to their portfolio


Be open to Changes and Road Blocks:  when you device a plan and see something for your team members, there are chances that the individual employee may feel differently. When you work on a PDP for someone, be open to the possibility that they might want to head on a different plan altogether. This will be your true test to see how openly you can be flexible and design something which your team member also wants. Also be sure that you take in their suggestions and ideas as well, after all, it is a plan that is being designed to help them grow in their career.


It’s Time to Do It Do It: all the planning and analyzing will come to a complete fail if the plan is not actioned and carried out. The greatness of a good PDP process will be measurable only if the plan is followed through. After all, unless it is worked upon there is absolutely no point of going through all the planning process. Working to get to the goals is something that the team member is responsible for, and at the same time as managers you also need to chart the progress and give them feedback as and when it is required.


Have a Deciding Deadline: all those plans and projects that come with no deadline date will never see the light of the day. It holds true for almost everything.  When you are coming up with a PDP process it is very important to give the mandatory date estimation of the time that the team has to complete the process. Without this in place, there are chances that the employee will slack and the overall outcome and reason why all this was done, will also fail.


The art of making a good PDP process will only be as great as the efforts that the team finally puts in.  So, make sure that after all the planning and making the execution also takes place in the most effective manner.






Elliott Smith is Australia immigration expert at Visa2immigration. He deals with working professionals, students looking for visa services. He also composes articles, on study abroad, methods to apply visa in the most proficient methods.


Brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran – dedicated to unleashing your professional potential. Introvert Whisperer


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