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Creating your Professional Development Plan

Access the Professional Development Plan Template

Step 4 Step 1 Step 1 Step 2 Step 2 Step 3 Step 3A Step 3B Step 4B

So, why do you need a Professional Development Plan? Technology is always changing and we have to grow and develop in order to remain competitive in the field. When you plan, you can achieve more and make progress towards your goals – and it is safe to say many of you share the goal of career advancement.

The Professional Development Plan is your “career roadmap” detailing your short-terms and long-term goals, requirements for success, resources required, and a timeline for completion. The duration of your plan can vary based on your needs…3 months, 6 months, 1 year or 5 years…the choice is yours!. Achieving even small successes will increase your value and motivation.

Fun fact: Studies show that people who set goals outperform those who don’t…even when the non-goal setters are trying to do their best! A Harvard University study found that only 3% of a graduating class had clear written goals, while the other 97% did not write these goals down. Guess what? Those in the 3% were financially worth more 20 years later than all 97% combined! If you needed motivation to start creating your Professional Development Plan just think about that!

Below is an example of how to convert a S.M.A.R.T. Goal into manageable activities that will move you closer to success. Review the example below and then access the Professional Development Plan Template, and create your own! Fill in each of your S.M.A.R.T. goals into the first column, and then decide what set of activities you need to take to achieve the goals. Decide on target dates for each activity, then, don’t forget to go back and update your Professional Development Plan whenever you make strides on the activities or if a deadline is approaching.


SMART Goal Statement Activities I will take to Achieve My Goal Target Dates for Activity Completion Date Completed Outcomes/Updates
  1. To improve my professional presentation skills by delivering three information sessions on the value of the IT Support team to the Regional Product Marketing managers, by the end of January 2013








1. Create the PowerPoint presentation. October 22, 2012 October 16, 2012 Oct 9, 2012 Update– Decided to share the first draft of my presentation with my team members and incorporated their feedback.

Oct 17, 2012 Update – Scheduled review meeting with  Tanya for November 2, 2012.

2. Review and gain approval from my Manager (Tanya Martinez) on the presentation content November 12, 2012 November 2, 2012 Nov 2, 2012 Update – Thumbs up from Tanya to deliver to Regional Product Managers!
3. Schedule three presentation dates in accordance with Product Manager schedules December 3, 2012 Nov 22, 2013 Nov 22, 2012 Update – Presentations Scheduled for January 8th, 16, and 24th . Product Managers confirming based on availability.
4. Deliver presentations January 31, 2013 January 24, 2013 Jan 24, 2013 Update – Third and final presentation complete!