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Professional Development Plan: Take Control of your Career

Guest Blog by Courtney Rosenfeld

Taking control of your career is an important step in achieving success, and that goes double for authors! Whether you’re writing solo or working on a team, a professional development plan can help you define and reach your goals, update your resume to match your achievements, and even start your own business. Today, Baker and Goodman share some tips and tricks on how to create a successful professional development plan.

Define Targeted Goals

The first step in creating a professional development plan is to define your goals. What do you want to achieve? What skills do you need to develop? What are the steps that will get you there? Having clear and achievable goals will help keep you motivated and focused on reaching them.

Determine Skills Needed

Once authors have identified their goals, it’s time to determine what skills are needed to reach them. Do research on different areas that interest you and make sure that the skills are transferable among industries so that they are applicable no matter where life takes you. Consider taking courses or attending seminars to gain more knowledge in the area of interest.

Create a Plan to Achieve the Goals

Creating a professional development plan to take control of your career is a great way to stay on track for achieving your long-term goals. Creating a plan is essential when it comes to achieving success. Hyatt (2022) from Full Focus notes, that writing down all the steps needed to reach your goal will help keep track of progress and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Each milestone along the way will motivate you to continue your journey. The plan can also serve as a reminder of why achieving each goal is important.

Document Progress

Step one to success is to document your progress. You may want to convert a Word file to a PDF. The PDF format is a versatile and secure format for sharing and storing documents, ensuring easy compatibility between computers and devices.

Connect with a Mentor

Having someone who has been through what you are experiencing can be invaluable when trying to reach career goals. Krbechek and Tagle (2022) point out that connecting with a mentor can provide invaluable insight into different areas such as interview techniques and networking strategies that might prove beneficial when trying to reach the milestones on your career journey. Additionally, having someone who has already achieved similar goals could motivate you when progress seems slow, when resources are scarce, or you encountered other challenges along the way.

Start a New Business

Starting your own business provides opportunities not only financially but also professionally. However, before taking steps to become independent, it is important to consider forming a limited liability company. This structure protects your assets and offers tax benefit options. You should also have a plan for both business operations and a marketing strategy laid out ahead of time to ensure a smooth transition into the entrepreneurial world.

Part of your marketing strategy should detail how you will utilize content marketing. Creative and engaging content will drive people to your website and social media channels with a presence that is effective and results in growth and audience loyalty. To learn more about how to develop a solid content marketing strategy, visit Cornerstone Content.


Sometimes projects require funding, so you’ll need to plan on that as well. If you need to take out a loan to put wheels in motion, it is a smart move to spruce up your credit by paying down bad debt and avoid taking on any new credit cards. A good credit score (740 and higher) is key to getting favorable rates on whatever type of loan you request of a lender.

Go Back to School

If starting your own business sounds a bit overwhelming, consider going back to school to obtain the foundational knowledge you need. In fact, you can earn a degree that will give you an advantage over the competition. Thanks to the flexibility of online learning, you can proceed at your own pace without needing to step away from other responsibilities.

Authors must be committed to their goal to create a professional development plan and deliver on that plan. The rewards are worth it. Defining achievable goals, determining what skills need developing, going back to school, connecting with a mentor, and documenting your progress are all best practices.

You may even decide to start your own business like Baker and Goodman did. If you have any questions, feel free to email them at


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