Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Building a Professional Development Plan (Step 2)

Step 2 is…a bit more involved than step 1, but it’s worth having it down on paper then seeing your vision materialize. In this step, you’ll essentially be designing a job description — a job description containing the knowledge, skills, experience, and connections you’ll need to excel at the role you ultimately envision yourself in.

This post will take you through finding the right job ads, dissecting the job description, and tying it all into step 1.

Finding the right job ads
Using the right job ads will set a good base for the rest of your professional development plan, so it’s important to use the ones best suited for your needs. The first thing to consider is where the ad was found. Popular sites are Monster.com and Indeed.com Craigslist is ok for when you’re looking for a job, but for your PDP you may want to stick to the most credible sources. Another great site, especially for alternative and creative roles is TalentZoo.com.

Other things to keep in mind are: the industry (is it an industry you see yourself in), type of company (is it a startup, nonprofit, small business, etc), and your attraction to the overall role described (how similar is it to the role you envision yourself in). You want to match all these things as closely as possible to your interests and ideals.

Dissecting the job description
Don’t just read the job description, understand it. Review it line by line and determine the non-negotiables. Non-negotiables are the minimum requirements needed to qualify for the job. When determining the non-negotiables, make note of placement and repetition. The closer to the top a requirement is placed, the higher its priority. The more important a requirement, the more times it is repeated — this holds true when analyzing a description in isolation or analyzing a group of descriptions.
While dissecting and analyzing the job descriptions, you will be sorting the information into the four categories from step 1 (knowledge, skills, experience, and connections). The following chart highlights what to look out for to identify each category.
Click for a better view!

Tying it into step 1
Once you’ve completed the job description, you’ll need to compare it to the profile you created in step 1. What you are looking for is your primary areas of improvement. Your primary areas of improvement are your weaknesses from step 1 that are non-negotiables in your job description. Also, make note of items in your job description that do not appear at all (as a strength or weakness) on your professional state profile from step 1.

To finish this step, you’ll be setting goals, both short term (6-12months) and long term (3-5years). Make sure all your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound.

In the final step that will be published next week, you’ll be creating an action plan to improve your weaknesses and enhance your strengths.

OAN: Keeping Up…
If you’ve been keeping up with this series, give us your feedback. How are you following along so far? Have you benefited thus far?

#ShesaBoss and #theGB

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