Many of us have participated in some form of professional development. Whether it be an orientation video for work, a certification course or an implicit bias training, professional development is key to having a successful career. Indeed defines personal development goals as “objectives you set to improve your character, skills and capabilities.”
So how do we go about creating these goals for ourselves?
The Education Service Center of Lake Erie West laid out a framework to properly set what they call IPDP (Individual Professional Development Plan) goals. While the document was created for educators, this method for setting professional development goals can be applied to all professions. According to this framework, you should state an action, an area of focus, and your rationale for that action.
Start with an area of focus. What do you want to accomplish? Let’s say you would like to get better at video editing. Your area of focus might be proficiency at a specific editing software. Be specific about your goal to know exactly what you are working toward.
What is the action you will take to achieve that goal? For video editing, this might be “I will learn Adobe Premiere” or “I will take an online course in video editing.” Dictating an action helps you commit to it.
Finally, add your “because” statement. Why do you want to achieve this goal? For video editing this may be, “because I would like to be promoted to a senior marketing position.” Think through your purpose for putting effort into this new skill.
Overall, the statement should look something like, “I will take a course in video editing through LinkedIn Learning in order to become a senior content creator.” The specificity of this goal statement is helpful because it gives you the what, how and why.
With this framework, setting specific professional development goals will become clearer and easier to achieve.