April Doud | Technical Data Specialist
Starting a conversation with my supervisor about my PPDP was an extension of discussions we have already had about my current position and my future interests. During my regular evaluations she incorporated educational and personal job goals into the discussion so she can better help me attain them. After scheduling a meeting with her to review the plan I sat down and got started on the form. Most of the answers came quickly and easily to me. The ones I was not quite sure what to put I wrote a little in there and completed with my supervisor at our meeting. We opted for the June 30 deadline to match up with the annual evaluation so that I can use some of the same benchmarks in my self-evaluation. Now that my goals have been documented and a timeline set I find myself even more dedicated to achieving them.
Q: How did you decide what to pursue and then how did you decide to do a PPDP?
A: I decided to pursue a pathway to a higher position after several conversations with my supervisor about what the career options were in the field of research and analytics. It took me a while reading and learning about QUANTATIVE versus QUALITATIVE research and analysis but what I was drawn to and more excited about was the numbers and tangibility of QUANTITATIVE. My supervisor was great about taking a sideline and letting me come to the decision myself. This decision was the launching point for the PPDP. It is scary to think about the unknown and the what-ifs but I had to make the decision to set fear aside and see what the possibilities are.
Q: Were you nervous approaching your supervisor? Why or why not?
A: I was not nervous to approach her at all. I recently went through my 6 months of probation so we were meeting quite often and she had opened the conversation in my evaluations about future goals in the position and beyond early on. It is important to not be afraid to let your supervisor know that you have aspirations, many positions are not an end all in a person’s career and most supervisors understand that and are more than willing to help an employee reach their goals.
Q: How much time did it take to prepare?
A: My initial pass through the PPDP took me about 30 minutes. I used this time as a brain dump then came back to it the next day to refine my answers and form complete sentences where needed. In total I spent about 2 hours writing and actively thinking about writing. It took me about 20 minutes to search through Lynda.com to pull together the courses that I needed to complete my plan. The last question on the plan is saved for the last meeting with your supervisor / mentor and that question is the summary of how you completed everything.
Q: How did you decide you could do the plan while doing your job?
A: That was a hard decision to make since it does take time outside of work. Ultimately what pushed me forward was being selfish and wanting to achieve more in my career than I have so far. I am pretty driven once I put my mind on the right track and being a newlywed with personal responsibilities along with work responsibilities I needed to stop thinking about all the things that others wanted and needed and focus on what I wanted. In the end what I want will be a positive for my family and personal roles, it will just take time and a little sacrifice to get there. My supervisor was also ok with me taking some of the trainings that directly impact my current role and the topics that are on software we are actively using during working hours as long as my other work was getting completed.
Q: How did you insert development discussion into your evaluation?
A: The development discussion was actually inserted by my supervisor as part of my 6 month probationary evaluation discussions. In past companies I had to push the development discussion forward but I found that once I brought it up confidently to a supervisor it was well received. I have always felt that an evaluation should be an overview discussion of everything that has already been discussed between the supervisor and employee. I have rarely been surprised by anything in an evaluation and have never been surprised since coming to Moorpark College. I find that being open to constant constructive feedback and being vocal about wanting that from my immediate supervisor has served me well. It is difficult to swallow at times but there is always room for improvement and discussion.
Feel free to contact me if you have more questions or you need to talk through your plan.