10 Steps to Build Your Own Professional Development Plan

Having vast experience in Business Development, Training Management, Project and Events Management, I am most fascinated by the Business Development and Training Management and Professional Development areas. For me, these are the areas where you can see real results of your efforts.

Below I tried to summarize my experience and advice regarding professional development — by following these simple steps, you will become more visible in your organization, undertake more projects, enhance your relationships with colleagues, develop relationships with other professionals in your area, and many many more.

  1. Volunteer to serve as a coach or trainer in your area of expertise:
  • Teaching others will deepen your knowledge of the subject even more.
  • Discussions during the training and coaching sessions may enlighten you with a new idea for process optimization, new project, etc.
  • You are doing a good deed by teaching others for free, which will contribute to deepening of your relationships with colleagues.
  • Select training areas that will challenge you and make you read more in your expertise area.

2. Expand your accountabilities:

  • Include wider tasks.
  • Think of new assignments or new projects, which could help your department or the organization as a whole to perform better and achieve greater results.

3. Participate in meetings and conferences of your area of expertise and other areas that interest you:

  • Schedule regular meetings with various departments and organizations to discuss various subjects that refer to your area of expertise and other areas that interest you.
  • The meetings should provide you with the knowledge, exposure and expansion.
  • Make sure you evaluate the meetings on their completion and write down valuable knowledge, ideas and points.
  • Share your knowledge and thoughts.

4. Sign up for coaching and feedback counselling with other members of staff for the areas that you need improvements in.

  • Approach those members of staff whose knowledge and expertise fascinate you and ask for a coaching session. You could ask him or her to become your mentor too.

5. Volunteer to make a presentation in your area of expertise or in the area that interests you.

  • It could be a training on soft skills, or informative presentation on interesting facts about something that you are doing regularly.
  • Invite a variety of people from your organization including the very senior management, and who knows, maybe it will help you get the assignment you were dreaming of for a long time.
  • It will help develop your planning and organizational skills, and speaking in public.

6. Replace your boss for one day:

  • Talk to your boss and ask him to empower you with his duties and responsibilities for one day.
  • You will need to work with him in advance to identify areas in which you will substitute him during that day.
  • Prepare well and undertake this task with full seriousness.

7. Expose yourself to another function:

  • If you think of moving to another department, talk to your boss and the boss of the department you would like to work at, and agree that you will undertake a small project in the new area.

8. Take on special assignment:

  • Is there a problem? Do you know how to solve it? If yes, step up and propose your solution to the senior management.
  • Present your solution as a plan and include the details.
  • It will help you increase your analytical abilities, improve judgement, knowledge of the organization and decision-making skills.

9. Attend a training course

  • Look for the training course that you think will benefit your career and the organization, and get enrolled in it.
  • Later you can share what you learned with your colleagues — see paragraph 1.
  • Use online resources, for a quick learning. There are loads of resources such as:Lynda.com, Khan Academy, free educational resources of various universities:Coursera, edX, and many more.

10. Professional reading

  • Read technical books, trade journals, reports in your area of expertise and other areas that are of interest to you.

To contact me regarding professional development, learning and organizational development or training management services, please send a message to my LinkedIn inbox, or call: +971 50 8967705.