Monday, May 7, 2012

Building a Professional Development Plan (Part 1 of 4)

If you do a Google search of “professional development,” you might get the impression that professional development is something only teachers do. Don’t be fooled.

Professional development is simply a lifelong commitment to professional learning; by that definition, anyone can do it. My belief is that everyone should. Learning and education doesn’t stop after you walk across the stage, land a few clients, snag a large account, or land a dream job.
You should set professional goals. Reach them. Then set some more. Why? Because clients are more knowledgeable, the competition is smarter, and everyone is more demanding. If you stay up to date and keep raising the bar you’ll reap benefits like: new clients, new markets, new methods of working, and new opportunities!
BUT, there’s always a but, the course to such victories can be overwhelming and discouraging, especially when you’re at the beginning of your career.
This is where a professional development plan (PDP) comes in! A PDP is a structured approach to professional development that can help you reach your career goals, stay competitive, and wow your clients. A PDP is a roadmap to your dream career, your dream future!
If you don’t have one, then it might be time to put one together. I’ve come up with three steps to help you create your own comprehensive PDP. Follow along as I explain one step every week for the next three weeks.
The firststep to achieving any kind of growth is always understanding your current self. Think about that and prepare for next week’s post!

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