Creating a professional development plan is a great way to set some goals and stick with them because it allows you to lay out a blueprint for the foreseeable future. Whether you want to go back to school, take a professional development course, change your career, or create a plan for building your own business, being able to see a realistic plan laid out in front of you will help you stay on track. Start by finding the right resources to assist you along the way, such as job boards or networking opportunities; looking for a career with the government? Take a look around Join Government to learn more about available jobs near you.
Here are a few tips to help you create a stellar professional development plan:
Rejuvenate your resume
No matter what your goals are, having a great resume that highlights your skills and helps you stand apart from other applicants is crucial, so this should be a major aspect of your professional development plan. With the online tools that are available these days, you don’t have to build a resume from scratch; simply take your existing copy and add it to a professional-looking template that allows you to use the fonts, colors, and images you want. Using resume templates is the perfect way to get the results you want without spending hours on the design, and when you want to start the job search, you’ll have a quality, eye-catching resume at the ready.
Join a professional association
Whether you’re ready to start looking for a new job or just want to make some beneficial connections in your field, joining a professional association is a great move. Not only can certain associations help you earn certifications or credentials, they can provide opportunities for you to network and meet like-minded people who are just as invested in their careers as you are. There are different types of associations you can join, and many of them come with member fees, so narrow down your options and do some thorough research to make sure you choose the right one for you.
Document your progress
As you begin to set goals and find resources such as a professional association, it’s important to also find a way to document your progress. You might start a career journal or keep a planner that lists everything you’d like to accomplish and check items off as you go. You can also update your professional social media accounts, especially LinkedIn, to include any awards, certifications, or other professional development goals you’ve completed. Keeping track of your progress will help you stay motivated because you’ll be able to see exactly how far you’ve come as well as what comes next.
While you’re working on your goals, it’s important to stay focused and remove any distractions that might keep you from developing the skills you need. Whether you’re taking a professional development course or creating a plan for networking at a local event, you’ll fare much better if you can remove anything that divides your attention. If your goals are rooted in pursuing advanced education, make sure you have a dedicated workspace at home that allows you to stay organized and on track. Establishing a routine is another great way to stay focused when you’re working on a particular task; utilize time management apps or even a simple timer to help you get things done in a certain timeframe.
When it comes to creating a plan for your professional development, it’s important to stay organized and keep track of your progress. By utilizing resources like a resume creator and a professional association, you can make your career goals a priority and follow through with them in a timely fashion.
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Author: Derek Goodman