Create a Job Skills Development Plan
Creating a job skills development plan is a useful strategy for achieving professional growth. The ideal plan identifies long-term goals and outlines a detailed approach for developing job skills. A professional development plan may be created by a supervisor who works closely with his employee. Career counselors use job skills development plans to help clients achieve their career aspirations. New college graduates and career seekers can develop their own plans. Use these steps to create a job skills development plan.
- Outline your goals. Think about where you see yourself professionally in 3 to 5 years. Your goal may be to earn a promotion, start your own company, switch to a different career or work fewer hours. Be specific about your long-term goals, including all details about the type of job you ultimately want and the activities of your day-to-day life.
- Assess your current situation. Determine how far you are from reaching your ultimate goal. If you want to become the manager of your own store, for example, think about the steps and skills necessary for achieving your goal. An increase in product knowledge, greater skill in employee management or stronger sales abilities are examples of necessary competencies.
- Acknowledge your strengths and highly developed skills. Strong computer skills, analytical ability and marketing knowledge are examples of strengths. List all of your highly developed skills, even if you do not utilize them in your current work situation. Review your work history and recall feedback from past supervisors and co-workers to help you develop this list.
- Identify your weaknesses. Write down areas in need of improvement. Write them as positive statements, such as, "develop organizational skills" or "gain knowledge of XYZ software application."
- Speak to your supervisor, co-workers and others who are familiar with your work habits. Ask them to identify skills that you can further develop to help you reach your professional goals.
- Create an action plan for developing your skills. Review your list of weaknesses and identify the areas that are critical components of achieving your long-term goals. If your goal is to manage a team, for example, and you find it difficult to deal with conflicts and stress, focus on strengthening this skill. Find an employee management class that teaches techniques in conflict resolution.
- Determine if you prefer self-directed study, hands-on practice or a traditional classroom environment for developing skills.
- Assign a time line for the development of each skill. Be realistic. Some skills require extensive study and practice before they become strengths. Consult with your supervisor, guidance counselor, co-workers and others who may have insights about a reasonable time line for developing each skill.
- Check in with yourself regularly to assess your progress. Ask others whose observations you trust for feedback on your skills development progress. Stay focused on your goals by posting reminders on your calendar or on post-it notes. Display inspiring images on your desk or refrigerator, such as a picture of your ideal career life or symbols of the prosperity your new skills will bring.