Personal Development Plan: a sample

By John Dudovskiy

Personal Development PlanIntensifying level of competition in job markets due to the increasing forces of globalisation has increased demand for the population of employable age in general, and university graduates in particular (Armstrong, 2010). Therefore, today employees have to be more proactive towards their careers fully utilising a range of available tools such as career mapping, career plan, and personal development plan.

This article illustrates a personal career management plan for the author of the report. The report starts with discussing the dream position of the author and highlighting the main skills and qualities needed to be successful in this position. This is followed by a brief explanation of career mapping and planning methodology.

Detailed explanations of chosen career path to reach the dream job have also been provided within the report, as well as, relevant career plan and personal development plan has been supplied.

Moreover, analysis of major obstacles and challenges the author is likely face in the way of progressing towards the dream job has been included with a particular focus on challenges related to dealing with an international team. The article is concluded by drafting recommendations to future graduates on a different career they could have in a given field after they graduate.


Dream Position: HRM Executive with a Multinational Corporation

Human resources management (HRM) is a field of professional interest for the author because being employed in this field involves working and interacting with people different character and various backgrounds. Moreover, career in HR can be rewarding in many other ways, such as great influence on various aspects of organisation, assistance in personal and professional development of the workforce, and influence and participation in strategic level decision making.

However, operating as a successful HRM executive for a multinational corporation requires a certain set of skills and competencies. Namely, skills and competencies necessary for HRM executives include but not limited to communication skills, interpersonal skills, planning skills, leadership skills, analytical skills, flexibility etc. (Storey, 2009).

The adherence to career plan and implementation of personal development plan formulated further below would ensure mastering these skills for the author of this report in an efficient manner.


Career Mapping and Planning Methodology

Career planning methodology relates to specific tools and techniques available to employees.

SODI career planning model has been proposed by Law and Watts (1977). The abbreviation stands for four individual concepts: self – awareness, opportunity awareness, decision – making and planning, and implementing plans.

Butler and Waldroop (1999), on the other hand, propose the idea of ‘Job Sculpting’ that involves aligning career goals with deeply embedded life interests. Namely, Butler and Waldroop (1999) specify the following life interests:

  • Application of technology
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Theory development and conceptual thinking
  • Creative production
  • Counselling and mentoring
  • Managing people and relationships
  • Enterprise control
  • Influence through language and ideas


Chosen Career Path to Reach the Dream Job 

Career Plan

The career plan involves progressing through a series of consecutive jobs.


The first job: part-time HRM assistant with a small company.

According to the career plan, author’s employment will commence with securing a part-time HRM assistant job with a small company in UK. The search for such position has already started and once found, the employment is planned to last until the graduation from the university.

The author understands that finding a part – time HRM assistant job as a student can be a very difficult task to accomplish due to the current state of economy and disinterest of many companies to employ students in such positions. However, the author remains optimistic and willing to accept the compensation levels below the industry average in order to achieve long-term career plans.

Part-time HRM assistant position is going to equip the author with practical experience with in the industry that is going to be helpful in finding a full-time HRM assistant manager job upon the completion of studies.

Possible challenges to be faced by the author within this first job in HRM may relate to the lack of experience in the industry. This challenge is going to be dealt with by seeking the opportunities of obtaining assistance and mentorship from other members of HR team within the organisation.


The second job: HRM assistant manager for a medium – sized services company.

After obtaining the degree the author plans to commence full-time employment as HRM assistant manager for a medium-sized services company. The author would have a competitive advantage over other recent graduates applying for the same position due to the work experience obtained from the previous employment.

Being employed in this position would enable the author to implement in practice the models and theoretical frameworks learned during the course of study. Moreover, the position of HRM assistant manager would offer the author the opportunities of enhancing the level of professional competency. This employment is planned to last for about two years.

However, there is a possible challenge that might impact the implementation of this plan. Specifically, the author may find it difficult to join full-time workforce due to the lack of positions available. Preventive actions associated with this challenge include commencing the job search before the completion of studies, and increasing the level of employability through attending a range of courses and seminars as explained further below in a greater detail.


The third job: HR manager for a medium – sized manufacturing business.

The next career move according to the plan relates to being employed as HRM manager for a medium-sized manufacturing business. The rationale behind planning to change the services sector to the manufacturing sector is the desire to increase the level of professional competency by gaining an extensive experience in both sectors. This stage of employment is planned to last about 3 years.

The greatest challenge the author is most likely to encounter at this position is associated with leadership. Leadership can be defined as “a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal” (Northouse, 2009, p.3), and successful leadership plays a crucial role in the achievement of HR objectives.

However, having secured the position of HR manager for a medium-sized manufacturing business the author would have the responsibilities of leading other members of HR team for the first time during the career. The author is planning to deal with this challenge well in advance through attending leadership development courses, studying a wide range of literature, and above all, taking chances to exercise leadership within and outside of organisational settings whenever such chances arise.


The fourth job: senior HR manager for a large organisation

The career plan includes a period of employment as a senior HR manager for a large organisation based in UK. During this stage of employment the author would be leading an HR team of around ten employees within an organisation that employs several hundred employees in total.

Possible challenges to be faced by the author in a position of HR manager for a large organisation includes failing to deliver because of the large size of organisation and complexity of the issues the author will be faced with. The author is going to undertake a preventive action in dealing with such challenge in a way that considerable time and effort would be invested to the development of HR team the author would be in charge of. The author plans to be engaged in this employment 2 – 3 years.


The fifth job: senior HR manager employed in an overseas branch.

The author is also planning to work as a senior HR manager in an overseas branch of a global company based in UK.

Group culture can be defined as “a pattern of shared basic assumptions learned by a group as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, which has worked well enough to be considered valid and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way of perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems” (Schein, 2010, p.18)


The sixth job: HRM Executive

As it can be observed in the career plan formulated above, the appointment as HRM executive of a multinational corporation would be preceded by the work experience in HRM departments of several different companies. Working for different employers has been provision in purpose in order to obtain valuable experience in dealing with various HRM issues and such experience would prove to be invaluable when working in capacity of HRM executive.


Personal Development Plan

The implementation of personal development plan formulated according to SMART criteria, the abbreviation standing for specific, measurable, applicable, realistic, and time-bound, assists in preparation to the first full-time employment after the completion of studies. Specifically, the personal development plan objectives comprise the following points:

  • To be reading updates from the most popular HRM industry magazine – each week
  • To start a professional blog and to be posting articles addressing various HRM issues on a weekly basis starting from July 2012
  • To attend HRM management course offered by The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) by the end of 2013
  • To gain the membership of City HR Association by the end of 2012
  • To improve the levels of communication and interpersonal skills through attending a relevant course offered by Impact Factory (London)


  • Armstrong, M. (2010) “Armstrong’s Essential Human Resource Management Practice: A Guide to People Management” Kogan Publications
  • Butler, T. & Waldroop, J. (1999) “Job Sculpting: The Art of Retaining Your Best People” Harvard Business Review, September – October edition, pp. 143 – 152
  • Hsein, W.T. (2012) “Change Management”, HRM Asia, Available at:
  • Murphy, D.J. & Willmott, H. (2010) “Organisation Theory and Design” Cengage Learning
  • Northouse, P.G. (2009) “Leadership: Theory and Practice” SAGE
  • Pride, W.M, Hughes, R.J & Kapoor, J.R. (2009) “Business” Cengage Learning
  • Schein, E.H. (2010) “Organisational Culture and Leadership” John Wiley & Sons
  • Storey, J. (2009) “The Routledge Companion to Strategic Human Resource Management” Taylor & Francis



Category: HRM