You have the responsibility for determining your career goals and future professional and leadership direction. This guide to creating a Professional Development Plan was developed in conjunction with the National Park Service, Career Academy for Natural Resources E-learning course Introduction to the Career Academy for Natural Resources, but the workbook may be done on its own.
A professional development plan is a roadmap to help you take charge of your career progress and develop the seven essential natural resource and additional leadership competencies. Working with your supervisor and others, you can identify the competencies and developmental activities that will help you accomplish the important work the National Park Service (NPS) requires of you and build skills for your future.
Creating a professional development plan is your responsibility. The plan looks at your career over a long time-period. It is dynamic and will change as you progress. Update it to reflect your growth, celebrate your accomplishments and address new challenges or opportunities.
This workbook uses a series of questions and worksheets to guide you through the process of creating and implementing a professional development plan. In the first activity, you reflect on what aspects of your job you like best and least. Next, you identify colleagues, mentors, supervisors, and co-workers who can help you create a collaborative learning environment. You also explore the natural resource competencies to identify skills that you need to develop for your current job and to prepare you for your next job.
These exercises prepare you to think about your career goals and create your professional development plan. You and your supervisor will review the plan, and identify and prioritize actions that will help you with your professional development. Be sure to revisit the plan regularly to review your progress, celebrate successes and identify new developmental opportunities as you continue to move forward in your career as a Natural Resource Professional.