My personal professional development Plan
By Melany Gallant | Posted January 23rd, 2013 | Learning
Admittedly, when I was a lot younger, new to the workforce and not nearly as wise as I am today, I was under the (mistaken) assumption that a career or professional development plan wasn’t something I needed to drive.
I assumed it was something my manager would chart out for me and I would simply follow.
Fortunately, at some point the wisdom did kick in (I like to think I’m a quick learner).
It suddenly became clear to me that if I wanted to have a career, rather than a string of jobs, that the primary responsibility for my professional development resided with me and me alone.
I also discovered that this “plan” should include a great deal more than mapping out a few training courses. With this point in mind, here are a few ideas to help you build out your own professional develop plan.
Every organization, no matter what size, has a variety of tools and resources available to help employees advance their careers. But, remember, the onus is on you take advantage of them. Because frankly, not every organization or manager will be proactive about promoting them.
Make your annual performance appraisal work for you
One of these tools I’m talking about is something you have to participate in every year anyway — the annual performance review.
Did you know that the annual performance appraisal is an excellent career development tool? Yet the reality is that many people still fail to extract any value at all from their organization’s performance management process. Instead, they view it as a dreaded administrative exercise they must go through for compensation purposes.
However, your performance appraisal can be a wonderful opportunity for you to reflect, take stock, and take action.
If you choose to really engage in the performance appraisal process, it can help you develop as an employee and succeed in your career aspirations. When review time does roll around, listen carefully to the feedback your manager gives you on your performance.
Ask questions and ask for concrete examples if you find feedback unclear. You’ll gain valuable insights on how your manager “sees” you, and what’s expected of you in your current position.
Together, you can identify areas for training and development and capture them in your development plans.
Get what you need on the job
Research by the Center for Creative Leadership tells us that up to 90 percent of what we need to know to do our jobs, we learn on the job. So what can your manager or organization do to foster on-the-job learning that broadens or deepens your knowledge, skills, abilities and experience?