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4 Examples of a Professional Development Plan

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A professional development plan is a set of targets for improving your talents, knowledge and to keep up with the pace of change in your profession. This is normally developed with your reporting manager as part of career planning and performance management. The following are illustrative examples.

Basics

The basic idea behind a professional development plan is that you communicate how you will progress in your career by planning to take training and steps in your work that you find challenging.

Minimal Effort

Some professionals are curious and ambitious such that they learn on their own. Such talent often dislike training as they find it tediously slow. Training looks good on a professional development plan but there are alternatives such as self-study, industry events and ambitious performance objectives.
The plan above is minimal in that she outlines things that she was most likely planning to do anyway and simply reframes them as learning activities.

Ambitious

A high performing employee may use a professional development plan as an opportunity to push for support from management to advance their career. This may include expensive training or education that looks good on a resume. It can further include requests for authority and responsibilities.

Performance Improvement

A low performer may use a professional development plan as an opportunity to show their manager that they are working to improve. Note: this template is also a little more extensive with separate targets for each goal.
Overview: Professional Development Plan
Type
Definition
A plan for improving your talents, knowledge and to keep up with the pace of change in your profession.
Related Concepts

Professional Development

This is the complete list of articles we have written about professional development.
Career Goals
Career Growth
Development Plan
Direct Experience
Employee Goals
Goals
Individual Goals
Lifelong Learning
Personal Goals
Professional Growth
Professional Image
Professional Skills
Realistic Goals
Silent Goal
Smart Goals
More ...
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Professional Development Examples

An overview of professional development with examples.

Professional Development Examples

An overview of professional development with examples.

Professional Development Goals

A list of common professional development goals with examples.

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A list of common professional strengths.

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A list of common professional skills including hard skills and soft skills.

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Resume Strengths

A list of professional and personal strengths for resumes.

Career Planning

A guide to career planning.

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A list of common professional weaknesses that can be used to answer interview questions related to your weaknesses.

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Career Examples

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