The 3 Steps To Create A Professional Development Plan

Woman write planIt is important for all working professionals to have a vision for their future.

Most individuals, whether they are just starting out or are in the middle of their careers, should implement short and long-term plans for improving not only their career path, but also their own skills and education.

A helpful self tool in this process is a professional development plan, which is a guideline for the steps necessary to reach professional goals. In this article, we will cover three steps in creating such a plan.

Analyse Your Present Skills

In order to assess what you need to learn to get your dream job, it is vital to analyse what you currently know. Although you may be great at your current position, think about what skills and qualifications you require for the job you want. For example, if you want to attain a managerial position, you need to have leadership, communication and delegating skills in addition to whatever technical skills are specific to that industry. By writing down and assessing your competence in the required skills, you can plan for how to improve, what to learn and what guidance to ask for from mentors.

Create A Timeline

Although it is never guaranteed that you will receive the job you want in the timeline you aspire to, you should still plan as if that will be the case. For example, if you are hoping to receive a promotion to a senior position within the next three years, create a timeline that will help you manage all the things you need to do to get that promotion. Break up the timeline in years, months and weeks, and then plan which skill or concept you will focus on learning each week.

Identify Resources

Consider how you will make your development plan a reality. There are a multitude of ways to attain new skills and knowledge, through mentorships, online classes, university degrees, or even through self-education, such as reading books or online articles. While some of these are free, others, such as classes and books will require you to pay for them. Make sure to find out how much these items will cost, and make a plan to make sure you can afford them.

A development plan will help you to analyse your current skills and plan for how to learn new ones. Use this three-step plan to help your career progress.

Here is another article you may find useful – How Can You Achieve That Dream Promotion?

Many Thanks

Mark Williams

Head of Training and Development

MTD Training   

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Updated on: 5 October, 2015

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