Professional growth and development is one of many great things about life and a choice that is sometimes challenging to make. For whatever reasons, we may ignore it, postpone it or proactively pursuing it. Whatever it is, if we want any progress, we need to create a so called personal professional growth and development plan.
Let’s we are at the beginning of a new year, we need to make some resolution. And so we sit down and assess our achievements for the past year, if needed think of a few changes or improvements. Let’s say this year, we decide that it is a perfect time to work towards new goals. Usually people set goals that are rather down to earth for themselves, for example to chance diet habits, to better manage finances, to strengthen relationships, or even to better organized time. But in order to distinguish ourselves from the rest, we need to set our dreams higher, aiming at of goals that have to do with professional growth and development i.e. career.
What do we mean by Personal professional growth and development goals? Well it is all about you initiate things that are directed towards self improvements, Coaching as a leader, as a decision maker and as someone that make a huge impact. For this matter, something that has a significant meaning to you might not mean the same to someone else, because only you know what are the areas that you lack and need further improvements in order to contribute more to those that you serve or work alongside with you.
If you feel that now is indeed a high time to get motivate and excited about taking your professional growth and development to the next level. Here are 3-steps to help you get started.
Step 1 – Commitment
Taking commitment itself is an ongoing process of learning. To put into simple words, Commitment means that you have to make decision about which time on your calendar you will dedicate to your work, or make improvements towards achieving what you aimed for in your career. So, from my own personal experience, a good way to start is by spending 4 hours per week for career and professional development. Of course, just like any talented working class individual, you are always busy and it is hard to squeeze out time to do the extras and of course by the end of the day you’ll realize that time is hard to come by. But, when there is a will, there is a way, because career decides your future, so one way or another you need to seriously look at how you can dedicate extra time for it, maybe you can get rid of time wasting activities such as watching TV and replace it with extensive reading and skill improvements that are directed towards professional growth and development.
Step 2 – Prioritize
To do this, first, you need to ask yourself, what are the 3 main areas of your career that you need to improve and which of those is going to bring about significant changes to you performance in job and provide the change or advancement in your career.
You may or may not be clear about the areas that you need to improve. If so happen that you don’t have a clue, your may refer to your supervisors or your colleagues, in a respectable approach ask if they would give a few honest opinion about areas you need to do some work of improvements. Or if your field of career is rather competitive and no one is willing to give you guidance, you may therefore do self assessments, see if you are mastering well the crucial skills for your position and to the best of your effort learn knowledge and skill that the position you are aiming for in near future requires.
A good example of self- assessment, if you are to climb up the ladder and become the manager of your company, this mean, you would need a solid understanding of financial systems and managements but since as an ordinary employee, this is an area that you are very weak at, and since now you realize that you need to improve your knowledge about financial and monetary managements, you begin to take practical steps such as reading extensively or further study online to get a certificate, and one day when opportunity opens up you are well prepared and more qualified to take on the job.
Not necessarily that what you need to improve are technical things like skill and knowledge, it could be your character and public relation skill, let’s say you need to learn to become a better listener, to improve your negotiation skills, to improve your time management and handling of stressful situtations.
Step 3 – Plan
Now that you clearly know your professional growth and development priorities, you now need to draft a training plan that you can execute. I would suggest that you write down your plan and details should include general goals, specific goals, milestones, timeline and day to day schedule.
If you are involve in a business, and your professional growth and development is all about expanding and increment of the size, then have your professional development plan be included with specific goals, those that are vital to your success in your marketing niche.
Resources that you may help you make your plan may be the Internet, through which you can find various articles, blogs, newsletters, webinars sessions, seminars, advice columns, videos, stories and questionnaires that are free for you to take.
Of course not to forget there are ton of books written by top gurus that you can help you draft out a good plan. It is challenging though to find a book that suit you best. If it is possible get others to help you, or find a partner to work with you that both can reap mutual benefit out of the effort.
Your plan may include some of the CD’s or DVD’s. You may find local training seminars nearby you place or workshops related to your field. If you have an experienced colleagues or supervisor, you can invite them in as your mentor to coach and guide you.