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A professional development plan is an invaluable tool for those looking to take their career to the next level. It allows you to assess your current skills and knowledge, explore new opportunities, adjust your professional roles as necessary, and document your development along the way. But how do you create a professional development plan? Read on to find out.

Evaluating Your Knowledge and Skills

Taking an inventory of your current skills and knowledge is the first step in developing a professional development plan. This will allow you to determine which areas require extra attention or further education. To gain a better understanding of these areas, consider taking a comprehensive online assessment test. Or, take advantage of any resources available, like courses or seminars that can help you progress in your field. Check out Breakfast Leadership Network’s available courses to start.

Going Back to School

If you decide that further education is necessary, consider enrolling in an online program designed for working professionals. Not only can this be done from the comfort of home, but it can also often be completed at your own pace, allowing you to remain employed while still reaching your academic goals. Many employers also offer tuition reimbursement programs which can help offset some of the costs associated with going back to school.

Documenting Your Professional Roles

As you progress through your professional development plan, it’s important to keep in mind that technology and job market trends are constantly changing. Ensure that any changes in roles or responsibilities you make are documented so that they can be referred back to later if need be. 

Recording Your Progress

It’s essential to keep track of milestones achieved throughout the duration of your professional development plan. This can include certifications earned, awards received, and promotions achieved — again, anything related to advancing your career should be documented for future reference. Doing so will not only provide evidence of progress made but will also equip you with useful data when evaluating potential opportunities down the line.

Updating Your CV

Putting together a stellar resume to showcase your skills and experience is a vital step before seeking any new position. A free online resume tool can help you put together a professional-looking resume quickly and easily. You can choose from an extensive library of professionally designed templates and add your own copy, photos, colors, and images. This may help increase your chances of success when applying for a job.

Starting a Business  

If starting a business is part of your professional development plan, it’s important to research different business structures, such as sole proprietorship and limited liability company (LLC). One advantage to forming an LLC is the benefit of limited liability. Plus, you enjoy tax advantages and less paperwork compared to other business entities. You can save money in lawyer fees by Filing yourself or using an online formation service, though you should check the rules and regulations for forming an LLC in your state first.

Whether you’re looking for a promotion within your current organization or launching a business venture of your own, having a well-crafted professional development plan can help you get there faster. By assessing current skills and knowledge, exploring educational opportunities, documenting roles taken and progress made, and updating your resume, you are better equipped with the resources necessary for achieving your career goals. No matter what challenges come up along the way, you will have everything you need to succeed.

Originally Published on

Michael Levitt Chief Burnout Officer

Michael D. Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of The Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout consulting firm. He is a Keynote speaker on The Great Resignation, Quiet Quitting and Burnout. He is the host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of his latest book BURNOUT PROOF.