Absolute beginner’s professional development routine

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This routine is for people who have never considered professional development, and maybe find the whole idea a little overwhelming or intimidating.

We will pick a very simple activity from each category, spread out over two weeks. If any items feel too light or too intense, feel free to increase the intensity or skip the item. Take note of when you do this, so you can begin to tailor a routine to fit your needs. Staying committed and challenging yourself over time will build stamina and memory both physically and mentally. 

Stream 1: internal

  1. Goal setting
  2. Reflection
  3. Self-care

Stream 2: external

  1. Outreach
  2. Network nurturing
  3. Content creation

Stream 3: learning

  1. Learning

Your schedule

Start on a Sunday.

🏁 First Sunday 15mins: Set a goal

Set a goal for the next two weeks. Follow the SMART framework for goal setting:

  • S for Specific
  • M for Measurable
  • A for Achievable
  • R for Relevant
  • T for Time-bound (in this case, your due date is two weeks from now)
💖 First Monday or Tuesday • 15mins: plan some self-care

Reserve some time in your schedule for personal time. At least four hours over the remainder of the week. Be mindful about this time. It is important to recognize it as self-care and not simply relaxing. It also needs to be prioritized—it is not free time!

🔗 First Wednesday or Thursday • 15mins: network nurture

Share your goal and self-care plan (as much detail as you’re comfortable with) with your Professional Development network. This simple act signals to others that you’re doing your routine, and may be the push they need to keep at it. Similarly, you may need the reminder to do it yourself.

This also counts as content creation!

🧠 First Friday or Saturday • 60mins: learn something new

Google something relevant to your career, and explore what resources or information is out there. If you’re at a loss for what to learn, CCA offers a general professional development curriculum based around Leadership, Culture and Storytelling.

🤔 Second Sunday • 30mins: reflect

Take stock of the past week. Consider the following:

  • What happened?
  • What did you do, who did you speak with, what did you learn?
  • To what extent did you commit to your self-care routine?
  • Reflect on the progress you’ve made toward achieving your two-week goal

Jot this down somewhere safe—it can be a quick list, or a journal entry. If you’re feeling extra motivated, share this reflection with your ProDev network.

📣 Second Monday or Tuesday • 30mins: plan some outreach and self-care

Like last week, reserve some time in your schedule for personal time.

Also, brainstorm around people that you think would make for good professional connections. Poke around social media, especially LinkedIn or Twitter if you use those platforms. Make a list along with reasons why they could be a potential connection.

Once you have a list, drop some likes on these folks’ social media content if they have any. We will work up to actual outreach in more advanced routines. For now, you only want to start getting on their radar.

🔗 Second Wednesday or Thursday • 15mins: network nurture

Same as last week: update your network on how things are going. Ask for help if you need it. Offer help to others if you can.

🧠 Second Friday or Saturday • 60mins: learn something new

Same as last week! 

Bricks: Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels
Schedule: Photo by energepic.com from Pexels

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