To create a personal development plan, you need to know where you’re starting from.
Try using the SWIM approach - Strengths, Weaknesses, Interests and My Values.
To identify your strengths, start with the selection criteria for your current role. These define the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for your job. Make a list of the skills you have and highlight the areas where you think you make a contribution.
Ask a critical friend what you do well and what they value in you. Request feedback on what you could change.
Review your last PDR and the objectives that are listed. Think about what they tell you about your strengths and where you can improve.
Ask your manager and/or your network for feedback.
Find potential areas for improvement: Where do you feel you could be more confident, skilled or knowledgeable? Identify situations and tasks you find challenging and where you would like to enhance your skills in the future.
Make a list of what you find inspiring in your professional as well as your personal life. Think about what motivates and enthuses you. Can you identify a pattern?
Define what is most important to you, and think about how your values have led you to define your boundaries and shaped your career so far.
Oxford’s Career Weaver can help you explore these questions. It provides a variety of short exercises to help you identify your values and work preferences, name your strengths, identify your skills and understand your motivations at work.