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The Problem with Employer Created Professional Development Plans

by | Feb 14, 2022 | Career Planning

Throughout the course of my work as a career coach and professional development trainer, I’ve helped hundreds (if not thousands) of people to create their own PDP (or professional development plan).

If you’re not already familiar, you can learn more about what a PDP is here.

I am a big believer in taking ownership of your career. That’s why I recommend that everyone create their own PDP, even if your manager or employer has created one for you.

Some organizations “help” employees by creating these kinds of plans as part of the performance review or appraisal process. While this is a nice gesture, it isn’t always useful.

In my experience, I’ve found that a PDP created at the behest of an employer is often an exercise for management, not the employee. In fact, if the employee will later be judged on that criteria, he or she actually feels encouraged to aim low so as not to be set up for future failure.

For those who happen to have other goals that don’t involve working for the company, the PDP becomes an exercise in futility. The employee ends up playing a game, telling the manager what he or she wants to hear and not using the plan to facilitate real, desired professional growth.

Even if your company helps you develop a plan, it’s always a smart idea to create one of your own in private. This will help you identify and take action on growing the skills needed to achieve your true long-term career goals, regardless of whether they involve your current company or whether your current manager would approve.

Buikld Your Professional Development Plan workbook cover

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About the Author

Chrissy Scivicque is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and certified Professional Career Manager (PCM). She is an author, in-demand presenter and international speaker known for engaging, entertaining, educating and empowering audiences of all sizes and backgrounds. Learn more here.

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