Plan Your Professional Development

How to Build an Effective Professional Development Plan 

To assess your potential as a professional, an employer or prospective employer may ask about your professional development plan. They may request this information during your interview or a performance appraisal as a new hire. Here are some steps to take to develop an effective professional development plan

Preparing your Professional Development Plan

It’s always wise to gather some information first. If your goals include advancement or a pay raise at your current employer, then meeting with your supervisor is an excellent place to begin. Ask them what skills or knowledge you could improve on to add the most value to your department. Take a look at your peers who occupy similar positions as yours. Are there outstanding performers? Examine their background and see if you can identify the knowledge and skills that have contributed to their success. 

Look into the agendas for seminars or workshops offered by your employer. Identify the skills and knowledge bases that are considered cutting-edge in your field. Because being tech-savvy will make you more marketable (whether the job you’re seeking is technology-based or not), be sure to include at least one technology-related goal in your plan. 

Another thing you can do is to look for lists of job titles of different positions in your field, or jobs you might like to have. Then, look for patterns in the qualifications required for these jobs. Make a list of the common ones. Compare them to your personal and professional strengths and select a few areas to target in your plan. 

Creating Your Professional Development Plan

Writing down your objectives can make it easier to achieve them. Put together all the information you’ve gathered, including the skills and knowledge you need to acquire, the technology you need to learn, and the job requirements for interesting positions in your field. 

Think about how you can upgrade your skills to align with your professional goals. You may want to check with your professional association about workshops, tutorials, or local or online seminars related to your field of interest. You can also consider taking some professional development courses to learn as much as you can about improving your skills. 

Plan out exactly how you’re going to acquire the skills you need. Will you take online professional development courses? Sign up for general classes such as those teaching the technology skills you need? Attend an upcoming development workshop designed for those in your specific occupation? Think about how much time you have to invest in professional development and how to balance it out with your lifestyle needs. 

Including tentative deadlines for your goals is a smart move. Each time you cross off an objective, be sure to update your resume and professional social media pages with your new qualifications. 

Professional Development Courses at Amberton University

If you’ve been asking yourself, “What is professional development?” then get in touch with us. We offer a range of graduate and undergraduate degree programs, specializations, and courses designed to accommodate the specific needs of working adults. We offer both online and classroom formats, flexible schedules, and easy payment options. If you’re looking for a way to increase your qualifications while maintaining your current job, we’d love to hear from you. 

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