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Personal Development

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I am undertaking a personal development planning (PDP) course in order to be able to determine the best actions that I should take in order to succeed in the degree course that I am currently pursuing. My main aim is to use the information gathered through PDP to plan my future career development process. Although I do not have a specific career path in mind right now, I am very optimistic that PDP will enable me to find one.

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In today’s world, career opportunities are becoming increasingly unpredictable such that one has to take full control of his future in terms of career choices in order to have higher chances of succeeding. For me, PDP is about both personal development as well as maintenance of a better understanding of the unpredictability of the job market in whichever career path that I choose in the near future.

Through PDP, I hope to be able to carry out a self-appraisal of my abilities and weaknesses both on the educational and personal front. Having identified the weaknesses and strengths, I hope to understand what I am up to better. I also hope to understand what I have going for me in a more succinct manner.

My current role and responsibilities have everything to do with triggering ambition, assessing the ambitions that I can achieve using my strengths, and working towards achieving these ambitions. Planning is what I have been lacking, something I believe I can rectify through following PDP guidelines.

The main reason why I am undertaking the current degree course is not merely to pursue a certain career direction; rather, I am undertaking the course in order to get exposure to everyday ideas and perspectives, which I believe will shape my future personal and professional life. With time, I intend to assess those areas where I get the greatest sense of motivation so that I can search for opportunities in those areas.

A proper evaluation of skills is appropriate for one to excel through the skills acquired in PDP. Throughout the year, I have been doing a skills audit with the aim of coming up with an accurate picture of my employability by considering my abilities as well as areas where I should make some improvements. For instance, I have noticed that I have difficulties maintaining self-motivation. I have also noticed weaknesses relating to the management of my personal, financial, social and professional life.

I am keen in identifying what I can do in order to be able to manage my finances well and avoid impulse spending while I am at university. On the social front, I consider my desire to dominate conversations to be a weakness may impede my professional development. In the latter case, I really doubt if I can bring about change independently. For this reason, I intend to adapt to this situation in the meantime while adhering to the advice given by professionals as well as the friends that I can trust. On the matter of finances, I believe that the ability to maintain financial discipline is in line with the principles of personal development as outlined in PDP guidelines.

In the past one year, I have realized that to be a competent practitioner, I need first of all to improve my organizational skills as they relate to my learning timetable in order to prevent the entrenchment of undesirable organizational behaviors that may find their way into the workplace. Additionally, I need to improve my information-seeking skills by widening the scope of the sources that I always consult. Some of these sources include library catalogs, catalogs, online databases, CD-ROMS, and the internet. I have no problem with doing this, my greatest weakness lies in verifying all this information for authenticity.

In order to make improvements to my information seeking skills, I have been trying hard to consult as many sources as possible in order to make comparisons. I have also come to appreciate the importance of being a good researcher and note-maker both during lectures and during study time. Verification of information is impossible if no records about the books are readily available whenever there is a need for clarifications. Another important research skill I am currently using relates to use of skimming, scanning and in-depth reading. I am employing each skill in different circumstances in order to be able to achieve all immediate study and research goals in a credible and accurate manner.

In the future, the PDP areas that I will be focusing on include writing skills, spoken communication, information technology, stress management, revision, and exam techniques. In all these areas, the main reference point will be various aspects of personal and professional development. Bullock & Jamieson (1998, p.64) advise that the best way of optimizing success through PDP is starting with high-priority areas before embarking on low-priority areas.

The highest priority areas relating to writing skills is the ability to differentiate various forms of writing such as reports, essays, questionnaires, brochures, memorandums, among many others. Secondly, knowing how to go about issues of referencing is also a priority area because plagiarism issues can lead to a drastic loss of marks or even cancellation of an exam. Once I have learned all these things, versatility in terms of writing styles in tune with the expectations of my audience becomes the next necessity. Afterward, I intend to learn how to improve on grammar, spelling, punctuation, meaning, syntax, and vocabulary.

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All the theories I am currently handling in various modules are very relevant since they are enlightening me on the areas that I need to improve on. Through these theories, I am able to conduct research, write essays while at the same time adhering to the ideal writing conventions, referencing styles as well as referring to only those sources of information that are most authentic.

It is important that I understand how various theories are articulated not just for the sake of examinations, but also for career development. This understanding helps me put my own personal development planning skills on the spotlight such that I am able to know what other people think about the same problems. When a theory seems difficult to understand I simply apply PDP skills in order to determine whether the problem has something to do with my conceptual capacity or with the author’s argument.

Through proper understanding of theories now understand not only why people do what they do, but what motivates them to do so. This translates in the ability to understand the rationale behind policies, rules, and legislation put in place in organizations, institutions, and businesses. This understanding is as important for personal development as it is in the attainment of life-long career goals. The relationship between theory and practice forms the basis of organization success.

What theories imply sometimes seems to be the complete opposite of what happens in practice. However, as Rughani (2001p. 212) indicates, with reference to PDP guidelines, the rationale for this becomes clear such that I can refer to my personal circumstances in order to comment on the validity of each theory that I encounter in each module.

Personal development planning (PDP) is a very important tool that enables me to identify personal strengths and weaknesses. This knowledge is crucial since it enables me to know where I stand in relation to my friends, my colleagues in the profession as well as in the entire society. Embarking on a PDP course has made it easier for me to critique the view of other scholars since I am well aware of my academic limitations and strengths.

In the course of my PDP lessons, whenever I am unable to handle my own personal development challenges, I can always ask for help from other people, something I believe makes me a better practitioner. Whenever some personal problems become insurmountable and adapting to them is the only viable solution, PDP has all the information on how to go about this scenario.

PDP skills are easily transferrable from a learning environment into the workplace since they depict the world’s reality as seen through an individual’s personal perspective. This is because the emphasis is always put on personal reflection on different learning experiences and skills leading to cognitive, practical and intercultural understanding and awareness. Through the acquisition of cognitive skills, I am able to use language creatively. Practical skills, on the other hand, are enabling me to work autonomously. I hope that PDP will provide me with a better intercultural understanding so that I can be transformed into a good community leader.

PDP not only gives me guidance in my studies, it also gives me incentives to pursue my academic goals. It makes me feel in touch with myself, my future career and my future as a participant in contemporary affairs in the community. For this reason, I am able to assess my academic progress in a manner very effective manner. This gives me the incentive to take charge of my academic responsibilities as well as to learn about the creative links that exist between various disciplines at the university.

References

Bullock, K, & Jamieson, I. 1998, ‘The Effectiveness of Personal Development Planning’

Curriculum Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1 pp. 63 – 77

Rughani, A, 2001, The GP’s Guide to Personal Development Plans, Radcliffe Medical Press Ltd, Cornwall.

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