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How to Create a Professional Development Plan

How to Create a Professional Development Plan

How to create a professional development plan.

Here are the ten steps you need to develop a personal professional development plan.

  1. Identify your goals: one, three and five years from now, where do you want to be?
  2. Make the commitment that: "If it's to be, it's up to me!"
  3. Identify your current strengths, what are you currently good at? Make a detailed list of your mental assets.
  4. Identify your current weaknesses, what are you NOT good at, and need to improve.
  5. In order to improve, list the additional skills, knowledge and information you need to gain.
  6. In order to improve, list the additional material resources you need to acquire?
  7. In order to improve, list the people whose cooperation you will need to gain? Who can help?
  8. Based upon the information you gained from the above analysis, write a detailed professional development plan.
  9. Schedule in your diary the steps and ensure you follow through on your commitments to yourself.
  10. Every six months, repeat and update this process. Commit to a process of continuous improvement.

1. Set your professional goals: Decide where you want to be one, three and five years from now.

The first step to achieving a goal is to set it.

Many people don't succeed because they never take the time to define what "success" means to them, personally. We each have our own definition of success, but in a general way, success means, the achievement of a worthwhile and valuable goal.

Therefore, you need to set a series of worthwhile and valuable goals for yourself and your team.

2. Take personal responsibility. Recognise that, "If it's to be, it's up to me!"

Don't leave your future to chance events.

Chance probably won't work in your favour.

The biggest influence on how your life turns out is YOU.

Your future is most influenced by what you do, and sometimes what you don't do.

Assume total responsibility for your future and say to yourself, If it's to be, it's up to me."

3. Identify your current strengths, what are you currently good at? Make a detailed list of your mental assets.

The next step is to assess your strengths and relative weaknesses. Make a list of all your strengths. What are you good at? What are your intellectual and character assets? You need to know where you are strong, because you should always play to your strengths.

As well as playing to your strengths you must work ON rectifying your weaknesses.

4. Recognise your current weaknesses, what parts of your performance do you need to improve?

Nobody is perfect. So, we can say for certain that you have weaknesses in your performance.

Don't fret over that because, everyone does.

You owe it to yourself to identify where you are not strong.

Don't let this identification of weakness be a reason to lose confidence.

On the contrary, the identification of your weak points is the first step to removing them.

Therefore, the identification of weak points is a reason for you to gain self-confidence.

5. In order to improve, list the additional skills, knowledge and information you need to gain.

Nobody knows enough.

Therefore, we can say for certain that you would benefit by improving upon your current levels of skill, knowledge and information.

One reason you have not already achieved your goals, is that you don't know how. So, gaining knowledge is a part of everyone's personal development programme.

Make a detailed list of the knowledge that you need to gain, and where you might gain it.

6. In order to improve, list the additional physical resources you need to acquire

Similarly, in order to achieve your goals, you will need additional physical resources, in the form of money or equipment or technology.

Practically every goal depends upon access to money, technology or physical resources. So, you must identify resources you need.

7. In order to improve, list the people whose cooperation you will need to gain? Who can help?

Nobody can succeed on their own.

In order to succeed, you will need to cooperation of others. Make a list of the people whose willing cooperation you will need to enlist.

8. Based upon the material you gained from the above investigation, write a comprehensive professional development plan.

This development plan should define the exact steps you will take, and when you will take them.

You need to put the steps into order with the most important first. You always need a list of six things you can be doing this week, that will take you towards your goals.

9. Timetable into your diary the steps and ensure you follow-through on your promises you make to yourself.

A plan will not work unless you do!

Once you have the plan, commit to taking action on the plan. Keep a detailed journal of your progress and what still needs to be done.

10. Every six months repeat and update this process. Commit to a course of continuous improvement.

Perfection is not possible, but progress towards perfection is possible, and should be attempted.

Strive always to approximate closer-and-closer to your "conception of perfection".

To the degree to which you approach that ideal, is the degree of your ultimate success.

Progress is always possible, and therefore should be attempted. So, repeat this process until you achieve your professional goals.

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