Sunday, April 15, 2012

Personal Development Plan

When considering a personal development plan for my professional future I took into consideration the four approaches used in by employers; formal education, assessment, job experience, and interpersonal relationships (Noe, 2010). I figure if successful companies all over the world are using these four approaches, there is a good chance I could use them to work for me as well. 

 Formal Education

When considering employee development, formal education programs "include off-site and on-site programs designed specifically for the company's employees, short courses offered by consultants or universities, executive MBA programs, and university programs in which participants actually live in the university while taking classes" (Noe, 2010).
 My personal development plan is scaled down considerably from this definition. It involves continuing my education to receive my Masters in Instructional Design and Technology. I will also be taking courses in web design and development, and several business classes. Because the majority of my professional experience is in education I feel these classes will make me more valuable to a company. The web design will help if I chose a career with a smaller company that cannot afford IDs and web developers, while the business courses will give me a better understanding of the inner workings of corporate America. "Leadership, entrepreneurship, and e-business are the most important topics in executive education programs" (Noe, 2010), so I think they are a great place for me to begin my personal focus. 


Assessments are basically a collection of information about my behavior, communication style, values, and skills (Noe, 2010). Because I am a teacher the major assessments that I receive are formal and informal observations. As I began to focus on changing my career path I knew I would need an analysis of my strengths and weaknesses in order to have an appropriate plan (Noe, 2010) for my personal professional development, so I spoke with my administrators about offering me additional information during my post observation meetings. Much like a professional appraisal system I asked them to give me specific information about my performance problems and ways to improve (Noe, 2010). This has helped me to get a better understanding of my shortcomings. I have also spoken with a recruiter in one of my fields of interest to find out what additional skills I needed to become more hirable. 

Job Experiences

To be successful in any job it is important for me to be able to learn new skills, apply the skills and knowledge in a new way, and master my new experiences (Noe, 2010). Because I have been in the same
field for thirteen years, I have decided to gain new experiences as I prepare for my career shift. I will be teaching fourth grade next year in order to gain a more robust understanding of elementary math skill development, which will be beneficial for a career in elementary curriculum development. This "job rotation will allow me to be exposed to a "series of job assignments in various functional areas of the company" (Noe, 2010). I have also offered my services this summer to develop a math pacing guide for all of the grade levels in my current school in order to ensure that each grade level is aligned with the state and common core standards. This is a way to enlarge my current job by adding challenges and new responsibilities. 

Interpersonal Relationships

"Employees can also develop skills and increase their knowledge about the company and its customers by interacting with a more experienced organizational member. Mentoring and coaching are two types of interpersonal relationships used to develop employees" (Noe, 2010). Because I am looking to move towards a career field that is very different from my current field I have befriended a woman who has a job I would one day hope to have enough experience to hold. She works with me to help develop my skills, motivate me, and gives me feedback with a lot of my plans and ideas for future employment in the curriculum development field.  By having this coaching relationship I feel more confident that I am headed in the right direction for my future career goals. She also gives me tons of resources to look over and learn from to stay current and introduces me to other people in the field and has even helped me to begin applying for several freelance opportunities. 

Raymond Noe (2010) states that "the development planning process involves identifying development needs, choosing a development goal, identifying the actions that need to be taken by the employee and the company to achieve the goal, determining how progress toward goal attainment with me measures, investing time and energy to achieve goal , and establishing a timetable for development". As I reflect on my personal development plan I feel it definitely meets all of these expectations, and allows me to feel confident in my future professional endeavors. 

Noe, R. A. (2010). Employee training and development (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.


  1. Dani,
    Good selection of formal education courses to make yourself more marketable in the business world. However, don't underestimate the interpersonal and management skills you've developed as a teacher. I like your approach of working with your administrator to get more out of your observations and performance evaluations. You mentioned having a mentor that is helping to prepare you for a future in the curriculum design field. Volunteering for math curriculum work as you proposed this summer is an excellent way to get valuable experience. I like your plan, go for it.

  2. Hi Dani –

    In reading your personal development plans, I noticed some similarities between our career paths. The first is that we are both draw on multiple disciplines and the other was that are we are in fields where the knowledge is evolving rapidly. For me, this means I will be a lifelong learner in order to stay current. This will mean participating in ongoing formal and informal learning and development throughout my career. I think it also means that I will have to be responsible for my development plan. Since I draw on knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines, I will need to continuously assess the needs and opportunities in the various fields. I think the plan you have laid out here is a good map for someone with these needs because it addresses the need to take a multidisciplinary approach and be self-directed.