A professional development strategy is really just a promise you make to yourself to do your
best in your career. Whether you are fresh out of college or stuck at the center of the corporate
ladder, a professional development plan can help you move forward and enjoy the career you
want. Here, we take a look at five things that should be a part of your personal blueprint.

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1. A Routinely Revised Resume

Even if you work for yourself or have no intentions of leaving your current company anytime soon, having a resume can, in the words of A Better Resume Service, Inc., give you a fresh perspective on your employment potential. You can look at your resume to decide if you’re underemployed or if you think you deserve greater compensation for your skills, knowledge, and efforts. Your resume can also work to help you make better decisions about whether or not you want to jump into the world of entrepreneurship (more on that below) if you’ve yet to do so.


2. Entrepreneurship

While not everyone is meant to own their own business, the fact that you’re developing a professional development strategy is one good sign that self-employment may be right for you. As an entrepreneur, you take control of your finances, and your successes and failures are completely up to you. One smart tip here: an LLC in Illinois can protect your family from the latter. As an LLC, which does not involve a great deal of paperwork, you separate your personal accounts and assets from those of your business. There are subtle nuances to LLCs between states, so make sure you understand the limits of these protections before you move forward.


3. Marketing Materials

Your marketing materials are what help set you apart from the competition. If you are a
complete newbie to marketing, start with a logo. According to digital marketing firm Column
Five, you’ll want to pay careful attention to the logo design process. Make sure that you fully
understand what your logo is and is not, and take the time to plan out a branding strategy before
you get started. One of the best first places to put your logo is on a business card. These are
much more visible than emails or text messages, and an interesting and memorable design
you can use a template for this as long as you can swap out images, fonts, text, and other
elements – will help you stand out from the sea of competitors.


4. Education

To continue climbing the corporate ladder, you have to be both experienced and educated.
Even if you don’t have a graduate degree, there are plenty of certifications that will look great on
a resume and help you build vital skills. Risk management, business leadership, management,
and analysis are all smart endorsements to pursue.


5. Professional Network

There is not a single person in a top position that got there on their own. ExpertiseTV even
points out that famous names like Larry Page and Warren Buffett all had mentors that helped
push them onto their paths. Make a point to include building a professional network in your
development strategy. This could be connecting with people at trade shows, golf tournaments,
or even online. Importantly, don’t overlook people that may not seem like a great fit because you
never know what successes they have lurking around the corner.

Your professional development strategy should be based on your own personal goals. But the
points listed above, from starting a business to simply having business cards on hand, can help
you get from Point A through all of the milestones that point you toward success.
If you’re looking for a resume, give us a call at 800.730.3244, and let’s talk.


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