A professional development plan is essentially a strategy that you outline and, importantly, write out and track that helps you achieve your career goals. If you’ve never set goals before, start by ensuring that your aspirations are SMART. This methodology – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timed – allows you to be precise and create attainable goals that you can check off as progress.
Drafting Your Plan
Your professional development plan should begin with an end goal. What do you want to achieve? Once you know this, you can break it down into smaller steps. One example is if your ultimate goal is to become a Scrumban professional. According to IBQMI®, this career pays approximately $137,720. With the Certified Scrumban Practitioner training program, you’ll learn the steps you need to maintain a forward trajectory in the agile management industry.
Another step in your professional development plan should be to gain the personal and social skills needed to succeed in your chosen career. As a project manager, for example, you’ll need to be highly organized and able to interact with people across a breadth of positions, from interns to IT executives.
Professional Development Courses
If you’ve already taken a professional development course but are unsure about your skills, it’s never a bad idea to keep studying. You can always learn more about different management methodologies, which can help you better communicate and collaborate with teams throughout your organization. If you do find a professional program, make sure it covers the fundamentals and includes a full skills assessment at the end. IBQMI®, for example, offers a host of different professional management certifications, including Lean Project Management, Kanban, Total Quality Management, and Enterprise Architecture.
Making A Change
If you’re writing your professional development plan at the launch of a career change later in life, make sure that you are fully comfortable with your qualifications. As Parade explains, it’s not uncommon to live within your self-doubt. This can lead you toward pursuing a lesser goal and can hold you back in the long term. Your plan can even help you uncover skills you may not have perceived as valuable in the beginning.
Measures Of Success
There is no one way to measure success. Because success is a subjective term, the definition is up to each individual. However, a few things you might use as your own personal KPIs include having a sense of purpose, being in a position that helps you make a difference, achieving your certifications, and having the courage to persevere when faced with setbacks.
From a professional standpoint, you might measure success by how quickly you climb the corporate ladder. A word of advice here: you do not have to accept every promotion along your professional path. There is nothing wrong with needing extra time to gain the experience you need and desire to succeed later on. Jumping the proverbial gun at your job may backfire and leave you struggling to keep up with your new responsibilities.
Ultimately, your success is up to you. If you’re not sure how to succeed, create a professional development plan. This should include everything from setting goals and marking certifications off your “to-do” list. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you measure success by your own hand and that you don’t compare your paycheck to others.