Expert advice: Use the personal development review to keep yourself marketable

It's important to think about your plans for the future, so that you can be proactive at your personal development review.

By Peter Leth

Take your dreams and career ambitions seriously and plan your working life. It's a good idea to take stock of how you can stay marketable, so you have an active plan when you start the interview.

You alone are responsible for realising your ambitions, dreams and plans. Time goes fast, and everyone is busy, so when it comes down to it, you’re the only one who knows exactly where you want to go in your career.

Therefore, it's important to discuss your dreams and ambitions with your manager at the personal development review, which is usually in the first quarter of the year. Remember that in a busy office you can’t be sure that your manager can see your signals regarding where you want to go in your career.

Be the architect of your own career

At the start of a new year, with the personal development review just around the corner, it's a good idea to look back at what tasks you’ve enjoyed, and to look ahead to tasks and projects you'd like to be part of in the future.

It’s about finding out where you're heading in your career. As Alice says in Alice in Wonderland: "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. However, if you want a plan and a direction, you also have to plan your dreams and ambitions. 

Find inspiration from others

Once you have established your career goals, look for colleagues and others in your network with a career similar to the one you want.

Find them on LinkedIn and look at their profiles. What have they done to reach their goals? What is their educational background? Where can you find inspiration? Try asking people in your network to grab a coffee with you so you can get some inspiration and advice.

Hold on to your dreams

When setting your goals, it's important to take responsibility for reaching them.

When you talk to your manager about your dreams and wishes regarding your development, hold on to what you want. Be loyal to your dreams. And if you realise that your goals can't be reached, consider whether to pursue them elsewhere.

The 70-20-10 model

Remember that opportunities for development can come from several places. This is what the 70-20-10 ratio is all about.

70% of your development should come from your job, 20% through a coach, a mentor or an experienced colleague, and only 10% through actual training and education. Therefore, consider how your development goals fit in. Be very specific at the personal development review.

What can you learn in your job? For example, if you want to be a manager, is there a student assistant you can be in charge of? Can you become a project manager – and perhaps take a project management course? Is there a manager who could be your coach?

Be prepared

It's a good idea to be prepared for your personal development reviews, even if the relevant course you would like to take is not until later in the year. Hard work pays off. So think about your plans for the future and say them out loud to your manager.