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Where I Am Now
Drawing on your assessment that you completed last month, identify specific items to work on within the six areas of focus. This can either be a short-term task (such as increasing your LinkedIn connections) or a long-term goal (such as finishing your bachelor’s degree). In the “Where I Am Now” box, write down your current status. For example, “Nine hours short of bachelor’s degree in business.”
Be as specific as you can. Instead of listing “Need better computer skills,” for where you are now, be specific. Do you need to improve your typing skills? Word processing? Excel? Coding? HTML programming? This will help you as you set your goal and also help you decide what resources will help you reach your goal.
Answer this question: What actions are needed to meet my goal? The answer will help you identify the resources required to get you from “here” to “there.”
Depending on your goal, there are a wide variety of resources that can help bridge the gap. For example, if you want to learn a new language, you could take an in-person class, work with a tutor, take an online course, use an app, or learn by immersion. The choice is up to you.
When considering which resources to incorporate into your professional development plan (PDP), use this list for inspiration:
- In-Person Class (Academic Programs)
- College or University Degree
- Online Course (Including Udemy, Lynda, etc.)
- Certification Program
- Membership Site
- Professional Networks (Joining an Association)
- Learning Through Practice (Portfolio Development)
- Research Activities
- Professional Activities
When considering the right resources to bridge the gap from where you are to where you want to be, consider your learning style (do you prefer in-person training versus an online course? Self-study program or learning with others?), your timeline (could you improve your language skills faster with an online app that you can start using today versus waiting to enroll in a six-week class that starts next month?), and your budget.
Sometimes the resource will simply be your time. For example, if you want to build your online network, committing to spending five minutes per day on LinkedIn — asking for (and accepting) LinkedIn connection requests — will help you do this.
For your Social/Relationships area of focus, this may mean establishing or growing your online presence. For example, setting up a LinkedIn profile, or growing your number of LinkedIn contacts. Or increasing the number of Facebook friends you have. Or having a certain number of “real life” get-togethers with friends each month.
Remember, the resources you choose are up to you! Next month, we will focus on the final step –SETTING AND IMPLEMENTING YOUR GOALS!