While I was working on my 101+ goal list (insert link) and my level 10 life plan (insert link), I realized that I should probably be figuring out a professional development plan, in addition to a personal development plan that could help me achieve some of those goals—in addition to being able to transition into an industry position faster.
Well, there is one little problem—I’ve never really done one before. True in graduate school, there were the annual review/appraisal (that is sort of a development plan), but for us it was something that we filled out, and usually just went around and got our committee members to sign off on (there wasn’t a lot that went into it).
So how am I going to go about designing a professional development plan (and one that can help me transition into an industry position)? I’ve come to the conclusion that there are several stages to getting an professional (or even personal) development plan done, and the first stage is brainstorming how you want it to look. So here is my brainstorming ideas for my professional development plan.
There are two lists that I can already slowly start making: a list of my strengths (skills, techniques, and such), and a list of my weaknesses (things that I know that I need to work on—say reading more scientific literature), and then there is still a whole of information that I still need to collect.
The information that I still need to collect:
I need to determine the top three positions that I would like to potentially transition into. This way I’m not just shooting in the dark. Also if I do decide to do R&D I need to list the top thirty companies (small to mid-size) plus one or two larger companies that I could see myself working at.
Positions that I’m still interested in (but back in no particular order):
R&D scientist (potentially working up to R&D project manager)
Health Economics & Outcome Research
Market Research Analyst
Technology Transfer Officer
Then I will need to look for patterns in the qualifications that employers say they’re looking for. Then make a list of the most frequently referenced requirements, comparing them to my strengths & then choosing a few areas to target in my development plan.
I will also start looking into the culture of the company(ies) that I’m interested in so that when I start trying to strike up informational interviews, I will know a bit about the company as well.
Renew several of my professional organization memberships.
Se what types of workshops, seminars, or online courses are offered by different professional organizations that I belong to.
Identify areas of knowledge & skills that are cutting edge in your field
Include at one technology related objective in your plan
1) Compile all the information you’ve collected including:
2) Upgrade your skills
Seminars, workshops, tutorials, online courses
3) Plan a career trajectory timeline
In addition I have to decide: do I want to take online classes or seminars? Are there any professional association meeting or development workshops that I can attend? And finally decide how much time you want to invest.
So I’ve brainstormed how I’m going to do my professional development plan; now I’ll set some deadlines:
By the end of June I will have (1) renewed several memberships into different professional organizations; (2) Picked my top three choices (or maybe four choices) for positions; and if R&D is still on the list—I will also be halfway through making my list of companies; and then (3) I will generated at least three word cloud documents highlight the requirements for different positions. Finally I will also have my list of my strengths & weaknesses drawn up as well.