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Personal Development Plan! Anybody wrote there own before?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by stealther, Aug 12, 2005.

  1. stealther

    stealther
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    Personal Development Plan! Anybody wrote their own before?

    I have been given the task of writing my own personal development plan. I am sure this is a test to see if my ambitions/expectations coincide with their plans for me. :eek:

    So I am a little nervous about what to put. :)

    I can sort out my short term goals easily but medium and long term are posing very difficult for me. I know ultimately I want to be an IT manager but do I really want to tell my boss that I want his job? :rolleyes:

    Anyone had any experience of this?

    A bit about the company what i've observed and my role:

    Company established 20 yrs. Provide software solutions for a number of well known retail suppliers in the fashion industry. Solid customer base with regular maintenance income. New customers are not actively looked for and are treated with 'luke warm' interest if they contact us. Only 8 employees including 2 user support analysts guys myself being one of them 1 QA guy 1 full time programmer, 2 contract programmers who work from home 1 general manager and the managing director/owner who does pretty much everything from implementing new customers to offering third line support to myself and the other support analyst. Parts of the software (AS400) are over 20 years old now and there is talk of developing a new GUI and in my opinion the corporate image of the company needs a dramatic overhaul

    Any help would be really appreciated
     
  2. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I'd say, rather than making a different role (different employer!) your mid/long-term plan, make perfecting your current situation the ambition.

    you know the company, what they do wrong, what they do right, and what you do wrong/right as a result, and vice-versa...

    perfection of your role as a support guy, better training, more expertise, more committment, blah blah blah... in order to help the company achieve better productivity,profitability, customer realtions, blah blah blah.... ;)

    focus on areas of personal performance improvement, which will lead directly to business process improvement, lots of ass kissing, and a big (and equally subtle) hint that you'll be expecting a corking payrise as soon as you show them you've put this master-plan into action... :D
     
  3. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    It would be silly for your boss not to think that you are going to either want a role that is similar to his or that you will go somewhere else to find this role. It's called career progression.

    It seems you know the companies strengths and weakenesses quite well and what you might want to do is explain where you see the company is going and how you fit into the vision. One thing I'd bring up would be that your company isn't actively looking for new business and don't welcome new customers. If I was the MD, I'd be kicking someone for not welcoming new customers ! The new customers will bring more work and more money, more work means your boss will need help and you would be able to fill the role and work beside him. More money means the MD is happy and might recruit more people to look after the new customers.

    On the other hand, there is also a role I can see is someone overseeing the GUI front end makeover. Depending where you want to go, you might want to plum for Business Analyst type role since you know the system well and you have a working relationship with the customers and know what they want/need.

    The company sounds like it could expand into other areas. AS400s aren't exactly new technology so maybe a Client Server solution could be suggested.

    On another point, I went to a major postal service (who recently changed their name only to change it back again) and within 6 months I had moved on. Reason being the only way to progess through the ranks was for my boss to move on and for the other 6 people in the team not want the role. I couldn't see that happening so because of the that and the fact the work was boring, I jumped back out again.

    Richie.
     
  4. Steve N

    Steve N
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    I have to do mine annually which then gets discussed with my head of dept.
    I was slightly intimidated at first but chatted with my boss who explained that it's main purpose is to identify aspects of your role that could be improved by support from the company.
    In other words I produce a wish list of courses/training etc that I feel could enhance my abilities and make me more efficient, better trained etc.
    It shows ambition if you suggest training/courses etc that will better equip you should promotion opportunities arise. However, I think the main purpose is to "develop" your abilities to enable you to carry out your current functions more effectively.
    I would suggest that you ask for an opportunity to discuss with your boss what he feels should be the format/content of the plan.
    Better this than coming across as someone who wants to take over the world and/or totally reorganise the company, if all they want is for you to say you would like extra training on excel and to go on a customer relations course.

    Good luck
     
  5. Dr Diversity

    Dr Diversity
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    Been there too. You have to mix what you want and what the company wants and what the company wants from you and hope for the best. Play the buzz word bingo and beware that anything you say will be taken down and may be used as evidence against you :)
     
  6. stealther

    stealther
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    Thanks for the advice guys. So do you think it is ok to illustrate the company’s weaknesses?

    Here is what I have so far:

    Goals and Timescales:

    Short Term Goals:
    I would like the knowledge to immediately answer any incoming query and be able to fix any problems posed by the customer. (3 months)

    I would like to bring up to date and standardise all of the user documentation and continue to maintain the documents during future development (3 months and ongoing.)

    Medium Term Goals:
    Continuing User Support I would like to be involved in improving the corporate image of the company for example by helping overhaul the outdated website. (Timescale?)

    I would like to contribute to the development of the software in terms of graphical user interface and ultimately hold the responsibility of implementing and maintaining any new graphical user interface work undertaken my the company (Timescale?)

    I think developing the above ideas will help increase the attraction of the company to potential customers.

    I am interested in learning what is required for the installation and set up of new systems for customers (Nobody hear does it the MD currently has to do it himself which is why I think he isn’t over bothered about expansion)

    Long Term Goal:

    I want to run the company :D :D


    What do you think am I on the right track?

    Ultimately I would leave if I had to in order to progress my career. I like it here a lot and I would rather make this job develop into a good career, I like the people here, I like my boss, the customers are good and the pay is fair. What I dont want to do however is get involved with new ideas and responsibility without the financial reward.
     
  7. Astaroth

    Astaroth
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    Certainly with all my plans it has always been along the lines of:

    Short term:
    Become a better/ respected etc XXX (what ever my current role is possibly fleshed out with anything in particular I can do like training or additional tasks etc)

    Mid-term
    Get to a YYY (what ever the next role above my current role is)

    Long-term
    Always very wooly as I dont know what I want long term, sometimes I have put in mid term that I want to get a better understanding of different departments/roles etc to give a clearer long term aim


    Personally I dont mention if my ambitions are to be within the same company or not. In the discussions I would say that I like the company etc, I hope that there is the opportunities to get to where I want within it but wouldnt rule out looking outside if the opportunities werent available within
     
  8. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I'd say it all depends on the personality of the MD... :rolleyes:

    It's his baby after all, you'll have to judge if it's a case of him wanting things the way they are, or if he's just happy to roll along as he's making enough money for himself, or if he really wants/needs somebody else to help drive things along from within...

    It's always tricky ground in a small privately owned firm.... if you told him he had chosen an ugly wife, he would definitely take that quite personally....;)

    your suggestions all seem really positive, possibly a bit strongly worded (definitely drop the word outdated), but if he's a confident bloke he should at least be impressed by the interest you take in the things going on around you...

    Me personally, I'd probably also drop the GUI bit, as that's probably heading into 'ugly wife territory' :D

    New installations/customers :thumbsup: ie you want to learn from the boss personally, (so he can have an easier life as a result)
    I'd make that my number one point after your short term goals, which are excellent.

    All IMO obviously.... :D
     
  9. richjthorpe

    richjthorpe
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    Hi Stealther,

    Does the company know it's own weaknessses ? If it does and they know that you know about the weaknesses then I don't see the problem in you requesting to have a hand in helping raise the profile. If your company don't see problems that you have mentioned, I would have a chat with your boss or MD (Completely informal, our kitchen area is great for informal chats) and just ask them if they've thought of doing X maybe changing Y and guage they're reactions. If they agree then you could go into the appraisal suggest yourself for the position. This would save face if instead you go into the meeting and say "I think you should do this and that and the other" and they shoot you down. Preperation is the key.

    How long have you been in the company and when do you see yourself moving in to a management role ?

    Your goals seem good and proactive, I don't think many people would decide on restructuring the Help Guide to a system.

    As Dude says, try not to use strong words that could put the company down, try and be a little more tactful.

    I remember a work colleague was interviewed by 2 guys in a company I joined and was asked what his career objectives would be in the next couple of years. He replied to be in management like yourselves which caused a bit of a chuckle on their behalf. He got the job and later found out that the 2 guys wre the CEO-US and MD of the company.

    Richie.
     

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