Questions Personal and Family

How to write a professional development plan?


Elizabeth T Flanagan

Love without limits

A Professional Development Plan (PDP), popularly known as Employee Development Plan as well as Individual Development Plan, is used for preparing the document for career goals.  It also helps in making a strategy as to how one can meet the set career goals. It’s true that making a PDP is a time-consuming matter and needs enormous planning. But in reality, drafting and implementing a Professional Development Plan can support to identify and develop the actual skills which are required for reaching the goals.  How the planning need to be made for writing the professional development plan is a topic of debate.  Self-awareness is one of the significant factors to be considered for writing a PDP. Below is the guide which can be used by candidates for preparing the PDP for individual development.

1.    What is your primary interest to take up as a career?  
A major career interest needs to be mentioned in terms of a vocation. For example, "My area of interest in professional front is marketing and that too into the banking industry."

2.    Detect your long term goal in the professional field.  
Your goal should be described in form of specific position (Ex: National head of an IT company). Draft a list of promotions that you will need to reach the position you are dreaming to achieve. Don’t forget to note the Position requirements which you want to reach.

3.    What are your short term goals which route to your long term goal?
What are the barriers which you may face to reach the target position? Ex: I want to go to the management course. The barrier is the job timing which restricts me to take admission and complete the management course. The ways to get time for doing the course is to do it online from reputed institutes or take unpaid study break leaves to complete the course in regular mode.

4.    Write the list of activities which you need to do to reach the targeted goal.
Upgrade your technical skills as only subjective qualification will not be enough to meet the job profile requirements. For Example: Besides doing a management course you need to sharpen your technical skills as per changing trends in the industry.

5.    Plan for a Career Timeline.
Here you need to chalk out the steps which you need to cover to reach your target also specifying the time required. You need to decide the time you need for professional development as you are supposed to maintain a balance between career needs and lifestyle needs.

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