Personal development planning

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The Personal development planning (PDP) course that I have been undertaking for the past year appeals to me for many reasons. To begin with, it motivates me to put in more effort in the degree course in fire and rescue service management, where my main career interest lies. The course helps me in determining the most appropriate courses of action that I should take in order to develop myself personally and in terms of career.


I have accumulated immense interest both in this career line and elsewhere. First of all, I served in the army for three years in the United Arab Emirates. Secondly, I studied the English language at Folkestone in the UK for one and a half years. Thirdly, as a preamble to the current career pursuits, I attended a fire service college two years where I got basic fire safety training for three months.

All this experience has shaped my personal development in very many ways; I even thought that this is the best that I could develop myself in terms of individual capacity, but I was wrong. The personal development course is enabling me to unlock some potential that I never thought existed in me, especially on the academic front.

Although I already have a specific career path in mind, the greatest challenge is on how to juggle between family, work and academics. The PDP course is giving me insights for maintaining consistency in order to increase the chances of succeeding in all three areas. I have learned many things about how academics can facilitate a new approach in my chosen career path, especially because of the new understanding that I now have of theories.

The prevailing unpredictability in the job market has also been addressed in PDP. This unpredictability has far-reaching on my employability since it completely alters the perspectives I used to hold relating to the job market. The course prepares me to face the challenges in my career in a very big way. It has never been easier to make choices. All the guidelines are easy to follow and all topics that relate to personal development planning have been covered in a detailed, yet simple manner.

            Through the use of PDP skills, I can see the possibility of carrying out an accurate appraisal of my strengths and weaknesses, all by myself. I also have high hopes of being able to become a better scholar, professional and a social leader, all in one and in equal measure. Yet I also believe in the need and ability to exhibit different approaches to all these three aspects of my personal and professional life. However, this depends on whether I will continue with a course relating to personal development planning during my undergraduate course in this university.

             Success in academic life depends largely on the ability to plan time, identify strengths and weaknesses and develop the right attitude towards problem-solving. For me, the greatest weakness is poor research skills. I have a problem with getting information fast enough to get it ready within the set deadlines. I think PDP will enable me to develop the right attitude towards solving the problem. It was not until the introduction of this course that I fully acknowledged this to be a real problem that could jeopardize my future career goals. I do not see any relationship between the task of setting up priorities and cultivating the right attitude towards problem-solving although I am trying to read critically into my PDP notes in order to figure out this relationship.

            It is true that in the past one year, this personal development planning course has taught me how to be critical of every bit of academic arguments that flash across my mind, including the counsel of this course itself. It is difficult to explain this phenomenon inaccurate terms although it has a relationship with an entrenched capacity to be receptive to ideas and perspectives that keep changing by the day. This is the main reason why the sense o f motivation in academic work and social life is almost overwhelming me. although I now see opportunities in every area that I consider to be relevant in my career, the PDP guidelines offered to me caution me to verify these “opportunities” in order to rule out the presence of illusions.

            As an aspiring fire service rescue manager, I understand how my experience in the army may be of help in succeeding as an effective manager, this is not what PDP influences me to focus on; it influences me to focus on areas that lie beyond my current strengths, areas of potential fault lines that may make my current managerial strengths to overshadowed, thereby ruining my lifelong career ambitions. In this regard, the main potential fault line is on emotional management. I easily become very impatient, and the people who I will manage in the future may not like this. The majority, if not all of them, may never have worked in the army. They, therefore, may never have figured the situation where they are under the leadership of a former army general, who is always shouting orders and demanding instant results.

            At the University, it is difficult to focus on technical aspects in a course like fire service management because of the presence of so many theories that seem difficult to relate to practice. With time, the PDP course, it seems will give me the clues on how to relate to seemingly completely different concepts. I relate more with practice, therefore, in PDP terms, this is my strength. I do not relate very much with theoretical aspects, which I always perceive to be very confusing and difficult to conceptualize even with the help of class notes. This is a matter with a negative attitude and it is, therefore, a major weakness on which I am seeking improvement next year.

            Working in the army was an exciting experience although it somehow disoriented me from various forms of social attachment. This is why I had great difficulties in my first year in terms of maintaining social cohesion especially with people who neither knew about nor appreciated my military background. If I manage to juggle between PDP and my fire service management units for the remaining time this year and next year, my social outlook of the world will have changed for the better, meaning that I will be at par with, if not ahead of, other aspiring fire service managers in the job market.

            As I enter into my final year at the university, I am faced with new challenges. I do not think my research skills are the best, as far as the indications that I get in PDP classes are anything to go by. The main areas that I am yet to cover include research skills (specifically referencing, conversance with various sources of information and verification), assessment of performance, improvement in self-motivation and note-taking. These areas are arranged according to priority, with the most important elements being mentioned first. As far as the PDP professor is concerned, what matters most is ensuring that one has inculcated self-discipline, self-awareness and ability to adapt to any type of organizational behavior, as long as it is not contrary to one’s beliefs, moral values, and ideology.

            My views, perspectives and attitudes, I am very sure, have contributed to my inability to consult many sources, notably the fear of stumbling on theories of fire service that contradict lecture notes. I think that some attitudes can be too ingrained into someone’s personality to be shed off completely, although no such proposition has been made by any personal development planning scholar that my professor or I know of.

            As a way of making improvements, I consider it important to be seeking as much information as possible whenever I am doing assignments rather than relying solely on lecture notes. Where there is a scarcity of online reference materials, I have been trying to make personal notes from the notes taken in class then using them for reference purposes.

            Other areas that I will be focusing on include spoken communication, writing skills, information technology, revision techniques, and stress management. The implications of these areas in human development are more far-reaching than I had previously thought. If there is a need to focus on other areas, I will have sacrifice time spent on extracurricular activities in order to increase my chances of improving my academic performance, which recorded a slight dropped in the last academic year.

            In matters of writing skills, I will be paying attention to those forms of writing that are necessary for exam purposes. I will be postponing writing tasks that apply in the job market until immediately after the exam is over. For the sake of my future academic life, I will be focusing not only on the referencing system that applies here at the university but also all the others that that are used in different universities. Generally, this is an effort to be an all-round scholar who is also a versatile writer, army man, and fire service manager.


            I do not expect to have any difficulties in the coming year. If this happens, it means that I will not be ready to put into practice what other people have thought about my area of academic specialization. Likewise, it is interesting to note that the precision with which every theory attributes a specific life’s problem to certain human interpretations, causes, and interactions. The problem is always how these interpretations, causes, and interactions are defined. Rather than the disciplinary approach to these explanations, there is always a universal rational aspect that is subject to assessment by anyone, regardless of whether he is well versed with the discipline or not. This is the only understanding of theories that I find relevant for application in practical areas. Other than that, I consider theories as an important meeting point between scholars in attempts to discuss rather than solve practical problems.

            The best thing about PDP, according to Tamkin is the way in which the course explains the derivation processes that are conventionally used to create policies, legislations, and rules out of theories (35). The explanation given is very relevant for managers of institutions, businesses, and organizations. In fact, it seems to be the main reason why such professionals may find it necessary to stop working for a while and pursue further studies like the way I did. The only difference is that in my case, the discovery of PDP was purely incidental. The rationale behind disparities between theory and practice has been highlighted by many scholars, the majority of whom have been mentioned in different personal development planning topics.

In conclusion, I believe that personal development planning has been of help to me mainly by giving me motivation in studies as well as personal and professional development. Through the guidelines offered in PDP, I am able to understand my personal development status in terms of where I have come from, where I am, where I going and how to get there.

Works Cited

Tamkin, Penny, “Practical Applications for Personal Development Plans” Management Development Review, 9.7 (1996): 32 – 36.

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