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Personal Development

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I am currently pursuing this personal development planning course so as to have the ability to determine which actions I should take in order to register success in my degree course. I am keen to fulfill my main aim, which is to use all the information gathered in PDP in order to plan how my career and personal life should progress. Even if I am without any specific path to follow in terms of career, PDP keeps my hopes of finding the best path very high.

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The career opportunities that exist today have become very unpredictable, meaning that one is forced to make unprecedented changes at some time in life in order to create room for these changes so as to succeed at the professional front. PDP, for me is not just about professional issues; it is also about a holistic, personal approach to development. It is about getting a proper understanding of the job market as well as being able to chart out a career path in the stormiest of job environments.

With the help offered by PDP, my greatest hope is to continue carrying out a personal assessment of the abilities that make me a success in some areas and the weaknesses that make me a failure in other areas. More importantly, I am interested in finding out strengths and weaknesses that I never knew about before.

By triggering ambition I hope to make the best use of my strengths in order to do things that my friends and I never thought I could do before. The PDP guidelines offered are efficient enough to give me the capacity to rectify on areas where I find myself planning my personal development issues poorly.

I am undertaking my current degree largely to get exposure to the perspectives and ideas that comes ones way during university, as opposed to the pursuit of a certain clearly defined career direction. I believe that I should let my future personal development shape up on its own, now that I have a PDP course to help me along the way. Therefore I should not seem to be procrastinating crucial life decisions.

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Excellence through skills is a valued tenet that I have come to associate with PDP. In the course of the year, I have been able to perform a skill audit in order to end up with an accurate picture of my abilities, weaknesses and ultimately, employability. For this reason, I am in a position to garner self-motivation in a very unique way. I am also able to make improvements that I never considered necessary only a short while ago. In the whole picture, I can already see the changes that this is bringing about in my financial, personal, professional and social life.

Matters of financial discipline take precedence for someone like me who likes to spend a lot when money is in plenty today only to complain of its scarcity some moments later. This issue, though seemingly trivial is a good training ground, according to PDP, for future management. Additionally, my dormancy during social interactions is also a weakness that I perhaps would never have discovered if it were not for PDP. The measures that I put in place in order to deal with these two issues are not very clear for not although I believe the guidelines on personal development planning learning materials are a good reference point.

The PDP program has brought about many changes in my academic life here at the university during this past year. One of the things that I have learned is that in order to become a competent practitioner, I must work on bettering my organizational skills in order to make the best use of the limited time that I have. This, I believe, will prevent future back of unstudied academic work that makes it very difficult for me to revise for assessment tests and exams at the end of the academic year.

Positive behavior relating to research skills easily finds their place in the job environment. When this behavior leads to excellent academic performance, it is sure to transform me into a better practitioner as well. In this case, the best research skills to embrace are those that expose me to issues like library cataloging, verification of the information contained in research materials and proper use of the internet for research purposes.

When consulting my research sources, I have been trying very hard to make comparisons in order to find fault lines or areas of congruence with accepted academic research practices. That way, I find myself appreciating the importance of becoming a good researcher both at school and in the workplace. Being a good note-taker during classes is part of being a good researcher and information seeker especially in the modern era when information is the greatest source of empowerment. Other than verification, the other research skills I have come to know about include scanning and skimming. These skills are very helpful when I have to handle voluminous research materials and I have to gather small bits of information from each one of them.

The areas of PDP that interest me in the future include spoken communication, writing skills, stress management, information technology, and examination revision techniques. In each of these areas, I will be keen on how best to apply these skills to issues of personal as well as professional advancement. This is particularly because I agree with the advice given by Bullock & Jamieson (1998, p.65), who advises that in order to optimize success through personal development plans, one should chart out high-priority areas and let them always take precedence over low-precedence areas.

For me, the highest priority lies in getting writing skills in order to be able to write essays and reports. Once I have acquired these skills, I can concentrate on issues of referencing. Like the majority of other students in my class, I have a big problem understanding plagiarism. I always find myself plagiarizing because of using the wrong referencing methods. This is a high-priority area since I always risk facing the exam cancellation penalty that applies in all cases of intentional and unintentional plagiarism. Later on I may polish up the rough edges that the language tutor says exists in my English, in areas of meaning, vocabulary, punctuation, syntax, and grammar, especially the use of commas.

All disciplines in the university, I have come to realize, require the use of this or that theory. PDP skills can apply very well in the interpretation of all theories, whether they are in my disciplines or those of others. In fact, the skills enable me to draw many creative similarities between theories that explain different phenomena. Against this backdrop, I find it easy to reflect on my personal development in order to see how far I have come academically and socially, where I am, and more importantly, where I will be in a few years to come.

The incongruity that I now perceive between theory and practice, I have realized, are important in every practitioner’s appreciation of his profession. This is because such incongruity motivates an individual to understand the motivations behind the creation of laws, policies, and regulations. It also exemplifies the imperfect nature of human thought.

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Sometimes, theories appear to indicate the exact opposite of what goes on in the real world. However, Rughani (2001p. 211) observes that through the use of PDP guidelines, the rationale for every theory that is credible becomes clear. The implication here is that every theory is credible as long as I can use it to reflect on my personal circumstances and end up giving valid comments on it. This is a skill that I hope will enable me to critique all the theories that I handle in different modules throughout my university life.

The process of identifying personal strengths and weaknesses becomes very easy when all tenets of Personal development planning (PDP) are adhered to. This understanding is very important since it orientates me to the new nature university relationships with my colleagues, professors and generally, the entire university community. Critiquing the views of renowned scholars has been a great source of fascination for me. I doubt I would have been able to do this without consulting the PDP factsheets every now and then in order to become more and more aware of my academic strengths and weaknesses. 

As far as PDP is concerned, I am now heading towards a future that will require me to transfer the skills acquired during my academic life from a learning situation, to an income-generating, career-building scenario, something that, I appreciate, is not going to be very easy. It will be difficult because, unlike in the case of other students I know of, I have never had to juggle between work and schooling.

Meanwhile, I am doing the best I can for now by drawing on my past experiences, reflecting on the present academic challenges and opportunities and thinking of how I might use every bit of skill that I get to develop personally, socially and professionally.

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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