The Cycle of Professional Development
Gaining professional experience is a continuous cycle, like mastering the game of chess. Strategies and tactics are being challenged and developed on an ongoing basis. Experiencing your next level of professional best is influenced by multiple factors, being receptive to feedback to seeking training opportunities. Other factors involve not letting the seasons of highs and lows in life divert you from staying committed to your professional development. Career plans can be flexible and exercise their clause to change to pursue a different path at any given time. Being committed to your professional development should be non-negotiable no matter the career path that you choose.
Professional development starts with a mindset that is determined to complete the work and paradigm shift to succeed in your professional endeavors. Professional development is a long-term commitment. The Professional Development Partnership outlines the professional development cycle in five stages. Each stage promotes reflection and promotes you to be intentional about being loyal to your definition of success through professional development.
1. Review. During the review stage, assess your progress of mastering your skills and abilities related to becoming an expert in your current and next level role, if applicable. Which skills do you need to fine tune or relearn in a new way?
2. Identify your goals. Confirm a timeline to accomplish your goals. Set benchmarks to monitor your improvement and progress. It’s ok to start focusing on one area for starters.
3. Determine the skills you need. Make a list of the professional skills that you need to work on developing. Choose the listed skills based on performance feedback, responsibilities of your current role and the position you’re preparing to experience.
4. Plan to achieve. Do you need to subscribe to industry resources? Are there classes or industry certifications that you need to complete? Include time allocation and financial investment when necessary to achieve your plan.
5. Record your learning. Journal your outcomes. What did you learn? Are you experiencing specific themes that you need to cease or duplicate in other areas? What additional knowledge do you need to acquire?