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...The content you are pushing out is really impressive. This is really admirable. There are people like me, years behind you, that you are inspiring whether you know it or not.
— - Organization Development Consultant

Self-Development Planning for Career

Sarah A. Scala, M. Ed & OD, ACC
Reading Time: 2 Minutes

With it being back to school season, it is a great time of the year to look at your own development plan! As a lifelong learner, professional in the Learning and coaching fields, and an entrepreneur, I have found it to be critical to invest both time and money into my continued development and learning. When it comes to keeping engaged and your skills sharp, finding ways to think about what and how you want to learn next is important.  Each New Year's Day I write myself a personal development plan.   

Development Areas on my 2018 List Include

  • Reading or listening to 50 to 100 books on diverse topics that interest me. I keep a list of books in a Google Docs spreadsheet, so that as books are recommended on podcasts, articles, or in other books, or suggested from friends or colleagues, I have a way to keep track of these possibilities. This also allows me to check off these books as I read them so that I don't read or request them multiple times. My local library has been incredibly helpful with this! Sometimes I check out physical books through inter-library loan if they're not available, other times I check out ebooks or audiobooks through apps like Overdrive and Hoopla for free. I also read professional magazines and blogs.
  • Continuing Education Credits. In order to keep some of my credentials current, especially as an ICF Certified Coach, I need to participate in a number of hours of continuing education.  I participate in workshops and webinars for free, other times I pay for learning courses through the Gestalt international Study Center and Cape Cod Institute.
  • Professional Association Membership and Networking events have helped me keep my learning sharp and allows me to meet new people and make new friends. I am involved in:
    • A Coaching Community of Practice group in Boston that I meet with in-person monthly
    • A Strengths Based Leadership book group via monthly conference calls
    • HR Leadership Forum membership for events and workshops
    • The Granite State learning and OD Round Table which supports New Hampshire and Vermont HR Leaders (I’m the founder and chair of this group)
    • Venture Cafe (Cambridge, MA): Speaker and member where I participate in entrepreneurial workshops
    • Mentoring: I meet with SCORE and Peer mentors regularly to continue my learning
  • Volunteer in my community by providing speaking engagements and mentoring pro bono
  • Mindfulness - meditating each morning and journaling each day

For fun outside of work to keep my learning sharp, I have been taking swimming lessons to improve my freestyle stroke for triathlons and I joined a Chess club. 

As a solo-preneur, it is important that I keep myself engaged and healthy because if something happens to me I cannot run my business. For this reason daily exercise, healthy eating, mindfulness, and continuous learning are all baked into my development plan.

What do you do to ensure your continuous learning and personal development?

Please share in the comments. If you have specific questions, ask me. I'm happy to help.  

I have a great template I use for Goal Setting! Sign up for our Newsletter to get a FREE copy of my Purposeful Life Template for your development planning and overall goal setting.

Learn more about our approach to coaching and goal setting in our recent Blogs and Case Studies:

Questions? Let’s connect. I would love to hear your success stories. Please send them to: hello@sarahscala.com or visit www.sarahscala.com

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