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How to Go After Your Dreams with a Professional Development Plan

Written by Julia Morris,

A professional development plan is a pathway to documenting where you would like to be career-wise five, 10, or 15 years down the line - or whatever your timeline might be. Here's how to create a plan of action if you don't want to stay where you are currently.

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Where are you currently, and how did you get here?

Often, it is through self-reflection that we realize we aren't satisfied with our current position in life. It is at this point that we begin to analyze what we've been doing up until this point and whether it has been conducive to our goals or not. This process of self-analysis is usually the first step in drawing up a Professional Development Plan and letting this form the basis of all our actions going forward.

Where do you want to be?

Detailing where you would like to be in the short, medium to long term will give you something concrete to work towards; this is where the next step comes in. Now, this may take some time to think up. However, it will be worthwhile to take your time during this phase because you'll want to be completely sure of where you're heading if you want to have any hopes of getting there realistically.

What is your strategy?

The next step will be strategizing all the possible ways you could go about achieving your goals. Since life is unpredictable, and we can never bank that our plans will unfold exactly as we want them to, it's always good to have a few backup plans on standby. Strategizing is also about thinking tactically about how to achieve your goals according to a preset timeline and what you'll need to get to you over the finish line - whether that be through upskilling or furthering your education.

Taking the next step

The next thing to do would be to put the pedal to the metal and start implementing what you've set out to do. If this means creating a business, check out your options for business structures that will allow you to achieve your dreams quickly and easily. With an S Corp, you can benefit from certain tax perks that you wouldn't be able to get otherwise, such as qualifying for pass-through taxation, getting to save through self-employment taxes, and even getting the opportunity to claim specific losses as tax deductions. Using a formation service to help you iron out the registration details can save you money. Just search for 'S Corp North Carolina formation services' to find a formation service that will meet your requirements.

Tracking your progress

Once you've initiated action, it becomes more about tracking your progress to ensure you stay on the path to success. This may involve documenting your progress with tangible records, such as PDFs, that you can refer back to regularly. Suppose you have a large, complex file that you need to break up into smaller, more user-friendly PDFs. A PDF splitter allows you to split pages, rename them, save and download them into easy-to-reference PDFs when needed.

Achieving your goals will come down to two things - planning for bigger and better (like starting your own business) and then going for your dreams with all you've got to give yourself a shot at hitting the big time.

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