Understanding and Developing a Professional Development Plan

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Published: 05th December 2016
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Professional development is a very important concept that everyone should be familiar with and know of. Any type of development helps us do better and become a better person. In order for us to become even more successful than we are today, we need to consistently go through professional development in order to gain new skills or improve upon existing ones. Given the highly competitive job market, this is extremely important as professional development provides us a competitive edge compared to others. A point that I cannot stress enough is that in order for us to do better, we need to consistently improve ourselves and our current level of skills.

Now knowing what professional development is and why it is so important, it is just as important to know that professional development can take various forms. MentorSeekr, which is an online mentoring resource powerhouse, effectively describes the various types of professional development ideas that someone can tackle.

MentorSeekr places professional development into five categories. The five professional development categories are 1) obtaining new skills, 2) obtaining a professional certification, 3) attending seminars, 4) obtaining feedback from your peers or mentors, and 5) personal reflection.

The first three professional development types all involve some type of training, which can be formal or informal. The last two professional development types are learning events where you obtain direct constructive feedback from peers, managers or any mentors you have. You would then use this specific feedback to improve the specific areas that you were provided feedback on. The difference between the two development types is that in the last one, you can personally reflect upon your accomplishment or shortcomings and see what, if anything, you can do better. What is important to point out is that you can use the information you have obtained or learned to then use one of the first three professional development types to develop and improve your skills.
 
In conclusion, no matter what type of development activity you undergo, it will always fall into one of the five categories mentioned. It is always a good idea to constantly learn new skills….in this job market, it will not hurt and will give you that competitive edge!


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