Professional goals are how we visualize ourselves in our professional future. They motivate us to move forward if we plan continuously. The Professional Development Plan is the tool to define strategies for meeting these goals.
What are some examples of professional goals?
- Creating collaboration networks at your workplace.
- Learning new skills or how to perform different tasks at work.
- Learning a new language.
- Learning how to use a new digital automation tool or alternative that makes work more efficient.
- Improving the metrics of your work by setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound (SMART) goals. For example, increasing production yield by X% by the end of the year versus the previous full calendar year.
- Reducing job burnout by creating a more positive and energetic attitude.
- Making lateral job movements to another area or department at your workplace.
- Taking courses or webinars or completing tests to measure your knowledge in a given area.
How to further your goals through a Professional Development Plan
Remember, your plan must always be SMART! It is also important that you realize this is all about continuous development, not just a temporary process for a single goal, but constant growth.
To create a Development Plan you must:
- Determine what skills or qualities you need to develop, learn, or improve upon.
- Prioritize your goals.
- Distribute your goals over time based on the priority you established. You don’t have to meet them all at the same time, or in the same way but set dates to meet your goals.
- Work to fulfill your goals, do not expect them to be fulfilled by themselves or by someone else.
- Respect your own processes if you have been successful. If not, be willing to change your processes.
- Evaluate if you have achieved your goals in specific intervals. At least quarterly if not monthly.
Growing professionally requires you to dedicate time to this process. It requires patience and discipline. It is your career, so you must take complete ownership of this process. It is not your supervisor’s job or the job of your HR department. While they can help and you should ask for their assistance, you must have this process firmly in your control. You can do it!