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How Professional Development Helps You Achieve Your Career Goals

By: Tara Brennan| Professional Development| Image: Pexels

Reaching new heights in your career is easier if you have a plan to guide you. Creating a professional development plan can help you stay organized as you take steps to advance your career. Read on for some pointers from Cultured Focus Magazine.

Customizing Your Development Plan

Start by examining your skills and identifying areas where you want to grow. This can help you set achievable goals that you can use to guide your professional development plan. Each goal should correspond to concrete actions you can take in the real world, such as taking on leadership responsibilities or expanding your credentials in your field.

Many different formats exist for creating a professional development plan, and assessing your needs as you research can help you choose a suitable approach. For example, you can use a task management document like an action plan which details the steps you need to take to reach a specific objective that furthers your overall career goals. You can also add a timeline to your action plan so you can stay on track.

Building Your Professional Network

Mediabistro notes that networking enables you to move forward in your career, bringing new opportunities and exposing you to a wider range of ideas. Many jobseekers find roles via referrals within their professional networks. Try using social media sites to connect with and learn more about the people in your industry. Also, you should consider joining a professional association to help expand your network. You can attend networking events and get to know individuals in your field. These organizations also have educational and career development resources you can utilize.

Taking Courses Leading to a Degree

Achieving a higher level of education could help you advance in your career. For example, by enrolling in a degree-granting program like one in education, you can gain further knowledge and validate the skills you already possess. This allows you to learn about instructional practice and learner development, along with knowledge in particular subjects if you want to be a teacher. Online degree programs make it much easier to work full-time and keep up with your studies. When researching options, here’s a good one that is accredited and structured to allow you to start classes 12 times throughout the year.

Searching and Applying for New Jobs

Moving forward in your professional life might entail applying for a new position. You should examine internal and external job listings to see what positions are available. Also, consider asking around your network if there are any unlisted opportunities you can pursue. You can use social media and online job sites to advertise your skills and research companies that are hiring.

Whether you're looking to change companies or land a promotion, you should write a resume that summarizes your skillset and career achievements. While you should only include truthful information, Glassdoor points out that you can also tailor your resume for each application you send, emphasizing skills that are relevant to the position. It's also important that your resume is easy to read and appears polished. You can choose from a variety of free online templates designed by professionals to help create your resume. Then, you can add your information along with any custom colors, photos, and images you need.

Professional development is the process of completing practical actions that help you achieve your career dreams. You can join a professional association, improve your resume, or go back to school for a degree. By creating a professional development plan, you can achieve goals that help you pursue your career dreams.

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