Do Freelance Writers Need a Professional Development Plan?

Do Freelance Writers Need a Professional Development Plan?

Do freelancers need a professional development plan? The short answer is, yes! It’s always wise to have a plan for your career, whether you freelance or work for someone else. Freelance writers are no exception. A professional development plan can help you decide on your goals and establish a plan to achieve them.

Planning the next steps in your career doesn’t need to be difficult. This post will:

  1. Define what Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is
  2. Explain what professional development plans (PDPs) are
  3. Tell you why you should have a PDP
  4. Outline six simple steps for creating your PDP
  5. Provide you with an exciting opportunity for your CPD

What Is Continuing Professional Development?

In brief, CPD is the process of improving your professional skills or gaining new ones. While this is very important for freelancers, it’s not always the easiest because you don’t have access to the same kinds of training resources that you might while working for a larger business or corporation.

If you are motivated to work on your own professional development, the process doesn’t have to be difficult. CPD can be done in many different ways, for example:

  • Watching instructional videos
  • Studying books and other training materials
  • Being mentored (or shadowing) another professional
  • Receiving a qualification in your field
  • Enrolling in a formal training course

What Is a Professional Development Plan?

A PDP helps you define your professional development goals and come up with a strategy for accomplishing them.

Often, a PDP will take the form of a document that you create. You should start out by listing the knowledge and skills that you already possess. Then, you need to set yourself goals based on what you want to improve or what new skills or knowledge you want to acquire. Last, you need to come up with a plan for success.

Why Should You Set Professional Development Goals?

Adhering to CPD and coming up with a PDP can have a multitude of benefits. By setting realistic professional development goals, you can:

  • Be more efficient with your time
  • Make sure all your skills are up to date
  • Be more confident in taking on more difficult contracts
  • Provide proof that you and your freelance business are credible
  • Make sure you are challenged and motivated by your career
  • Have an opportunity to interact with other freelancers and professionals

How to Create a Professional Development Plan

PDPs are vital to any professional, especially if you want to be a successful freelance writer. Thankfully, creating an easy-to-follow PDP doesn’t have to be difficult if you follow these simple steps.

1. Assess Yourself

Start by writing out all the skills you have and then assessing which ones could use some improvement. It’s important to start the process by thoroughly defining your starting point. Then, you can begin to define what hopes and goals you have for your professional development.

Evaluating yourself can be a difficult task. To help jump-start the process, the Big Five, Sixteen Personalities, or DISC personality tests can help.

2. Set Your Goals

Now that you have found out where you are, you can decide where you want to be. It is important to set long-, mid-, and short-term goals. In general, you should start by setting one long-term goal, deciding the steps it will take to accomplish that goal, and then organizing it all into the mid- and short-term steps.

From your self-assessment, you should know what knowledge or skills you want to enhance or attain to make you a better freelance writer so when you are setting your goals, you can take your desired learning outcomes into consideration.

Examples of CPD goals might include:

Some people can become frustrated when they set goals but never get close to achieving them. It is important that your goals are reasonable. Using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals can help in this process.

4. Come Up With a Strategy

Now that you know what professional areas you want to focus on developing, you need to decide how you’re going to do it. An obvious choice is to train in skills you believe you are missing, but you also want to consider working on areas where you feel you need improvement.

For example, using AI in writing is becoming more and more popular. Some people are keen on using this new tool, while others believe it could ultimately replace freelance writers. Learning how to use, or deal with, the emergence of AI could be part of your professional development goals that you will need to come up with a strategy for.

Finding courses, textbooks, or knowledgeable instructors and mentors are all effective ways to accomplish your goals.

5. Create a Reasonable Timeline and Track Your Progress

Creating a timeline and setting reasonable deadlines are important to staying on track. When you set your goals, you need to decide how long they will reasonably take to accomplish (e.g., a week, a month, a year).

Remember to track short-, mid-, and long-term goals when creating your timeline. Your timeline doesn’t need to be rigid; if you miss a deadline, that’s okay. Just remember to keep track and update things when necessary.

6. Rinse and Repeat

So, what do you do when you’ve met all your goals? Well, it is important to consider the C in CPD – it stands for continuing. Your professional development should be ongoing. That way you will continue to be challenged and improve as a freelance writer. Once your goals have been met, go back to step one of this plan, reassess yourself, and then come up with a new PDP.

Becoming a Freelance Writer

If you want to become a freelance writer or already are one and want to improve your skills, we have good news for you.

Our Becoming A Freelance Writer course will teach you everything you need to know about getting started as a freelance writer. Best of all, it is CPD accredited and will keep your skills up-to-date and competitive.

Don’t delay; start your free trial today!

Start your journey

Start your journey

Start your journey

Kick-start a flexible new career

Our Courses

Time for a change?

Sign up for a Knowadays free trial – it’s your first step towards a new career.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Join 5,000+ Learners Advancing Their Career With Guaranteed Work 🚀 Save 15% On Our Bundle Today! 👉Buy Now
+ +