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5 Steps to Executing Your Professional Development Plan


By Micah Norris


Maybe you have a vague idea of what you’d like to accomplish in your career, but you’ve never mapped out the concrete steps it would take to get there. By creating a professional development plan, you can determine exactly where you want to go in your career and what you’ll need to do in order to achieve these goals.


With support from a career coach, you can start tackling your professional development plan! Here’s how to define your goals, connect with accomplished people in your industry, and seek out new learning opportunities.


Create an Action Plan


Block off some time to think about your goals in detail. Maybe you want to move up within your current company, land a job at a different organization, start your own business, boost your salary, win an award in your industry, or work on specific creative projects. Then, break down these goals into smaller, manageable chunks. Ask yourself what you’ll need to do in order to achieve them, and assign a timeline for these steps.


Join Professional Associations


No matter your career goals, networking is essential for opening new doors in your industry. But besides getting to know your coworkers on a deeper level, what can you do to connect with people in your field? Joining professional associations is a great way to cultivate valuable relationships. Bizfluent states that you’ll meet people who can support you as you make progress towards your goals, gain access to lots of networking opportunities and special events, and even hear about job openings early on.


Pursue Further Training


Maybe you already have a college degree, or perhaps you’ve even earned a graduate degree. However, that doesn’t mean you’re done learning! You may want to enroll in another degree program that could help you get closer to your career goals or register for a certification program to polish up your skills in certain areas.


Balancing coursework and your day-to-day responsibilities on the job can be tough, so if you do choose to study while working, it’s important to create a structured routine for yourself and ensure that you have enough time to tackle your entire to-do list. Try to avoid distractions during the workday so that you can stay on task.


Learn on the Job


Even if you’re thinking about switching fields or working for another company down the line, you should take advantage of any opportunities to learn new skills or systems at your current job. And if you hope to get promoted within your company, pursuing internal learning opportunities is key! BetterUp recommends talking to your supervisor about where you can improve, offering to take some responsibilities off of their plate, and identifying new ways to create value for your team. With the right approach, you can set yourself up for better opportunities.


Keep Your Resume Current


As you continue to reach for your goals, you’ll want to take a look at your resume so that you can ensure it’s always up-to-date with new achievements, certifications, and training. This is especially important if you plan to start job hunting soon! What if you’re not satisfied with the layout of your current resume? If this is the case, you can create your resume for free by choosing a template online. Check out a resume template library, and select the layout that you like best. Then you’ll be able to add your job entries, a personal photo, and even your preferred color scheme.


Moving up in your career takes time. Professional development doesn’t happen overnight. But by joining relevant professional associations, taking continuous steps towards your goals, and revising your resume with all of your accomplishments, you can check your goals off of your list!


Ready to tackle your big career goals? Seek career coaching with Edward Lawrence! Book a free introductory phone call through our website today.

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