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Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to: Plan for your Professional Development

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Steven Covey called this "Sharpen the Saw" in hisSeven Habits of Highly Effective People.  As a working PM (or a professional in any field) you need to participate in life-long learning.  This means that you must have and execute a plan to make yourself better, more valuable, and more competitive.

Your professional development plan can be a simple list.  You may be pursuing a degree, certification, or specific skill.  The point is - have a plan!

Here is my current plan:

  • COMPLETED (Yeah!)
    • MBA
    • PMP
    • CC (Toastmasters Competent Communicator)
  • Maintenance Required
    • PMP - 60 PDUs before 11/4/2015 (Done :))
  • In Progress
    • Agile Certified Practicianor (PMI-ACP)  Target Completion 1/2014
    • Toastmasters Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB) Target Completion 4/2014
  • Desired (Later)
    • Six Sigma Black Belt
    • ITIL Foundation
That is my plan, as of today, where is yours?

Three Reasons to have a published professional development plan:
  1. Celebration - Looking at your accomplishments to date is fun and provides positive energy
  2. Motivation - In today's gamified world, something as simple as a todo list where you can mark accomplishments complete is very motivational.  Go a step further by awarding yourself gold stars or framing certificates and hanging them on your wall (phisical or virtual)
  3. Reinforcement - as a working project manager, this type of planning and goal setting reinforces the fact that I am organized and motivated to all who see it (aren't you impressed?).
CALL TO ACTION:   Find and update, or create your professional development plan and share it in the comments.

1 comment:

  1. If you have very little experience or you have just started your career, then CAPM certification will surely help you to take your career to the next level. This certification shows your employer that you are a capable person, and you have the ability to manage projects. It also shows that you are well aware of the terminology used in the PMBOK Guide.