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How to Write a Professional Development Plan

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | How to Write a Professional Development Plan

It doesn’t matter if someone has long-term or short-term goals. The path to success always comes with a proper plan. That is the reason why a development plan may help people reach their goals more effectively. Yet, many people don’t know how to write a professional development plan. There are a couple of stages they need to go through to complete the process successfully.

First Step: Remain Objective and Analyze Yourself

People need to ensure they understand their weaknesses and strengths. However, it is not only important to improve the skills that will bring them a job or business success. They also need to have in mind their personal characteristics and habits that can potentially become a distraction.

That especially counts when we talk about transferable skills. For instance, organizational skills are the ones that need to be at the highest level. People need to organize their time properly, design their workspace to make it inspirational for working, etc. If they need to improve that, they should write it down in their professional development plan.

Second Step: Identify the Career Goals You Want to Achieve

There is no universal definition of the term success. For some people, that would be the improvement of financial stability. On the other hand, others would focus on flexible work hours, expanding a business to another country, etc.

Still, people often make a common mistake. Long-term goals are inspirational, and they motivate people to work hard every day. However, it is not going to be enough to say “I want to become rich one day”. Every long-term goal contains many mini-goals that people need to pass.

For instance, let’s imagine that an entrepreneur wants to become a content writer and start a personal blog. He realized that it can be a good way to improve the brand identity of his business. However, his content writing skills are not at the highest level. Short-term goals would be the improvement of SEO knowledge, vocabulary, etc. In other words, a person should improve the weaknesses determined in the previous step.

Third Step: Finding the Best Method to Reach the Goal

The long-term and short-term goals may seem impossible to achieve at first glance. However, with hard work, persistence, and a good plan, all the goals become achievable.

Let’s use an example of a person that wants to improve his graphic design skills. One way to do that is to subscribe to a course published by a professional designer. Despite that, finding a mentor that is willing to share his knowledge and skills is also an excellent alternative. Whichever option people choose, they have to be sure it will bring them positive results. That is the reason why they have to research all the available options.

Fourth Step: Determine the Deadlines

Planning a professional development without a proper deadline is impossible. However, the timeline needs to be realistic and motivational at the same time. For instance, if someone started a small business three months ago, it is hard to believe that person will be an owner of a multinational company for one year.

The purpose of the deadlines is to remind people they should be self-discipline. Making excuses and delaying completing some duties will never help anyone to make professional development.

Fifth Step: Check the Plan Once Again

After going through the previous four steps, people should write down their plans. However, that doesn’t mean people should start their journey without double-checking everything.

All the goals need to be SMART. For those that do not know, SMART stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. In that way, they will determine whether a certain part of the development plan requires changes or improvement. It is essential to realize immediately if some pieces of information are missing as well.

Final Thought

The development plan will not mean anything if its creator deals with a lack of self-discipline. Whatever people write down, they need to respect it until the end. With a high level of discipline and a clear and realistic development plan, success will come.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Linda FergusonLinda Ferguson started her career in a local company as a content writer 5 years ago. Now, she is the CEO of https://subjecto.com/essay-samples/ thanks to her determination and complete dedication to work. Linda has always been passionate about academia and writing. Besides her busy work schedule, she manages to find time for attending conferences that keep her up to date with the latest news in the industry.

How To Grow In Your Career

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | How To Grow In Your Career

Professional development is something that requires an intimate awareness of what’s expected of you, as well as the different ways that you can situate yourself within your industry. If you want to get the most out of your time in your career, it’s important that you begin thinking early about your skillset and the way you interact with your colleagues. Professional development is something that begins from a conscious awareness of where you’d like to be in your career and taking informed steps towards that goal. It may take some time to get to that point, but it’s worth it to consider it now if you’d like to get further in your goal.

Navigate Relationships Professionally 

When you’re at work, it can be easy to get super comfortable with your coworkers. However, consistently maintaining an air of professionalism in the workplace will ensure that you’re able to maintain a consistent image that can project you into higher positions in the future. Maintaining this awareness during your interactions with other coworkers means that you’ll be able to more easily navigate conversations surrounding the modern political jungle in dialogues with other employees and coworkers. Developing good relationships with your coworkers is still important, so there’s no reason that you can’t maintain consistent relationships while maintaining professionalism in the workplace.

Develop Your Skills 

Steadily increasing your skills on your own is an excellent way to prove to employers that you’re engaged with your job and are aware of the growth of the industry. By steadily making improvements in your own abilities, you’ll be showing your employers that you truly care about your ability to maintain consistent productivity within your field. Making improvements is always a great way to shift the expectations of your employer and for them to see you as a more serious candidate for advancement.

Dress For The Job You Want 

When you’re working in an industry, how you’re perceived can make a huge difference in how the opportunities that you’re afforded. While you don’t have to go out and buy an entirely new expensive wardrobe, it is important to make sure that you always look nice. The old adage still rings true- dress for the job you want, not the job you have. If you’re having trouble finding apparel to wear to work that you feel comfortable in, consider having some clothing tailored, as this gives off a much more professional look when it fits you perfectly.

6 Ways To Write A Professional Development Plan

StrategyDriven Professional Development Article | 6 Ways To Write A Professional Development PlanWhen writing a professional development plan (PDP) ask yourself two questions: Where are you now? And where do you want to be? Once you get a good idea on these things, you’ll create an effective PDP, can help you on your way to achieving success, both for the short term and the long term.

In layman’s terms, a PDP is like a roadmap: It guides you from where you are now in your career or education to where you want to be; and it comes with a list of actions that you must do to achieve each goal and acquire the right skills.

Regardless if your PDP is for personal reasons, grow a business or expand on your career, it’s a must-have for your endeavors. Here are 6 ways that you can write an effective PDP:

1. Have A Self-Assessment

“It’s important to have a self-assessment before creating a professional development plan,” says Beau Lhotsky, a career adviser at Australian help and Paper fellows. “A self-assessment evaluates your professional interests, knowledge and skills; and it lets you examine your current position as it relates to your career goals. In this way, you can identify the areas in which you can improve them and reach your goals.”

2. Create Goals

When creating goals in your PDP, they should be SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

SMART goals are trackable, which makes it easier to update your PDP whenever you complete important milestones. And, they help you determine which are short-term, mid-term, and long-term. Keep in mind:

  • Short-term is within the next year.
  • Mid-term is within the next 1-2 years.
  • Long-term is within the next 3-5 years.

3. Have Strategies

Your PDP strategies define how you achieve goals; and, they involve the following approaches:

  • Experiential learning (learning through doing)
  • Exposure (learning from others)
  • Education
  • Reflection

Just keep in mind: the majority of your strategies should be experiential, so that you get a hands-on experience and develop new skills.

Follow these objectives when developing your strategy:

  • For career changes, research possible education and certification courses you can take to work toward this goal.
  • Always seek advice from professionals (i.e. experienced coworkers, a previous employer, etc.), and be welcoming to mentorship.
  • Seek opportunities that can help you build your skillset.

4. Utilize Resources

Resources are essential, especially when it comes to finding professional growth in your career and or life (in general). Whether it’s through networking opportunities or workshops, such resources can help enhance your career path.

Some professional resources include:

  • Graduate schools (and continuing education institutions) offer programs, conferences and courses that help you learn more about specific topics, which can ultimately lead to a certification or degree in a desired field.
  • Professional associations (local and national) offer memberships that help you connect with like-minded individuals and build your professional network, thus helping you advance in your career.
  • Webinars are normally hosted by professionals and businesses that strive to educate people on specific topics (i.e. industry trends, skills, etc.).

While some resources may require tuition, fees, or time requirements, it’s important that you determine which ones are available to you.

5. Create Timelines

“Your professional development plan will always be a work in progress,” says Brayden Georgina, a business writer at State of writing and Boom essays. “Therefore, the purpose of having a timeline is to show how you’re growing and changing over time. You can sprinkle in milestones, and make necessary changes when needed.”

6. Allow Changes

It’s possible that things can change, even as you have an established PDP. Therefore, it’s important to keep yourself accountable, and revisit your milestones often (preferably every quarter) to make sure that you’re on the right track, or even make adjustments as priorities shift.

Should any changes occur, don’t be afraid to implement them in your PDP. This can mean allowing reassessments and setbacks into your plan. For example, if a short-term goal isn’t met by the deadline, take time to reflect on why, and then do something about it so that you can do better next time.

Conclusion

Having a professional development plan is essential in guiding you toward the right path in life, and even help you reach goals by implementing structured steps. As you keep in mind these 6 tips, you’ll be able to create an effective PDP that will act as a roadmap on how you can succeed career-wise and lifetime-wise.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Kristin HermanKristin Herman writes and edits at Ukwritings.com and Academized.com. She also freelances for online magazine and blogs, such as Essayroo.com. As a tech enthusiast, she blogs about the latest trends in technology. And as a project manager, she has overseen many writing projects nationwide.

Business Politics Lessons Learned – Who Hired You and What About the Person You Actually Work For?

StrategyDriven Business Politics Lessons Learned Article | Who Hired You and What About the Person You Actually Work For?Landing the best jobs is often about who you know; from referrals to outright hires. But what happens when who you know is not the hiring manager?… Business Politics!


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Why Professional Development Is Key to Your Success

Focusing on improving your individual skills is essential to moving forward in your career. Although some people don’t push for it as much as others, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. If you’re someone who’s on the fence about it for yourself, then you’ve come to the right place.

You won’t get very far doing what you’ve always done. You and your company will suffer from you not advancing your skills. It’s worth setting aside extra time to work on yourself and improve your foundation. There’s never a downside to increasing your knowledgebase. See why professional development is key to your success.

Knowledge & Education

For starters, you’ll learn new knowledge when you participate in professional development courses and activities. You’re going to get smarter and that’s a positive outcome. You can use your new knowledge and apply it to your career and personal life. It’ll get you a leg up on your competition and chances are you’ll move quicker toward that next promotion. You aren’t going to get too far relying on the information you once brought to the table from college. Always be learning and growing if you want to thrive.

Confidence

Your confidence will grow the more you invest in yourself. You’ll have the self-assurance to suggest changes and updates at work without having the fear of being turned down. For example, if you believe your company’s in need of a more modern website to sell your products, you’ll do the research and suggest a solid option like Eventige to help you out. You can express how the intuitive and simple design will guide customers to your products seamlessly. This confidence will stem from you taking your professional development opportunities seriously.

Challenges You

It’s healthy to be challenged once in a while. Being bored at work isn’t doing much for you and will only leave you feeling drained and tiresome. Participating in professional development activities puts your mind to the test and forces you out of your comfort zone. It’s also a great way to meet other people at face-to-face events and build relationships. Going through your same routine each day isn’t stretching you and helping to shape your full potential. There’s nothing wrong with feeling like you don’t know a subject matter well and having to ask questions to learn more.

People Skills

Professional development opportunities help you brush up on your people skills. This is great for anyone doing business with others or someone having to converse a lot with others in the office. It’s also good to be able to speak in front of groups and communicate your ideas clearly with people. Your reading, writing and socializing skills are ones that can always be improved upon, no matter who you are. It’ll bring you out of your shell and you’ll become less nervous as you practice.

Conclusion

Knowing it all isn’t anything to brag about. What’s worth boasting about is learning new information on a constant basis. This is why professional development is key to your success.

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It doesn’t matter if someone has long-term or short-term goals. The path to success always comes with a proper plan. That is the reason why a development plan may help people reach their goals more effectively. Yet, many people don’t know how to write a professional development plan. There are a couple of stages they need to go through to complete the process successfully.

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How to Write a Professional Development Plan

It doesn’t matter if someone has long-term or short-term goals. The path to success always comes with a proper plan. That is the reason why a development plan may help people reach their goals more effectively. Yet, many people don’t know how to write a professional development plan. There are a couple of stages they need to go through to complete the process successfully.

How To Grow In Your Career

Professional development is something that requires an intimate awareness of what’s expected of you, as well as the different ways that you can situate yourself within your industry. If you want to get the most out of your time in your career, it’s important that you begin thinking early about your skillset and the way you interact with your colleagues. Professional development is something that begins from a conscious awareness of where you’d like to be in your career and taking informed steps towards that goal. It may take some time to get to that point, but it’s worth it to consider it now if you’d like to get further in your goal.

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