Sample Essay Paper on Personal Development Planning

Personal Development Planning

Personal development planning has a singular goal at the end of the exercise – a personal development plan. This is an arrangement by a person to go past their abilities apparently acquired according to the level of their learning and understanding of life. It is an intentional endeavor on the part of the learner that is meant to seek a way of increasing the abilities of the individual to achieve increased capabilities with acquisition of particular expertise. Such expertise will take the development of interpersonal and technical knowledge, which are predetermined in the planning of personal development that will be captured in a personal development plan. A personal development plan is the primary channel that one who is concerned with individual and skilled professional development will resort to, the main parts of it taking the form of carrying out personal appraisal of strong points and weak points (Roberts 2014, p.18). A Personal Development Plan is a well thought-out and sustained course of action that is embarked upon by a person to offer insights into their individual learning, performance and sometimes accomplishment and to make arrangements for the individual’s quest for own learning and professional growth (Baker 2009, p.107)

A critical reflection while working in our family business: importing tires and tubes into Pakistan

We work with both foreign and domestic companies in the tire and tube market in Pakistan and we have created relationships with companies that want to have a footprint in the Pakistani tire and tube markets. We generally create an inter-firm connection, which is nurtured to form a team to find the best arrangement that is valuable for all parties involved. The team will largely be made up of people from the participating companies and would have two members or more, depending with the complexity of the order and the time needed to fulfill the business transactions. On most occasions, I have been a part of some of these teams and this has enabled me to achieve individual success and phenomenal growth in understanding the intricacies of both domestic and international business. The work environment is stimulating and with the team spirit, there have been opportunities that opened up my eyes for professional development.

With the goal of most projects that I have had the pleasure to be a part of, most required the working with partnering companies who had already placed orders with us, and I was to ensure deliveries occur as specified in Local Purchase Orders (LPOs). Occasionally, I have been able to ensure that our own orders are fulfilled with our international partners. Being a part of this process, I have had to ensure communication is made between companies and within the teams that we work in. occasionally, I have been required to offer leadership and make decisions on business to be undertaken.

The way the assignments are usually carried out guarantees that participation from different team members is as a rule included within the general structure to ensure accomplished objectives. In view of the fact that this is a give-and-take interdependence working relationship and one based on efforts of some members constantly changing and requiring improvement in their contribution, communication back and forth between the participating companies, to a large extent characterizes the work time of the team. Most likely delegation of tasks to additional staff would be necessary to track changes that might arise owing to suggested changes from our partners and move forward and work through the contract with stipulated goals supported with past results of a comparable task.

In case of any misunderstanding, the most adopted style of resolving any arising disagreement is joint effort. Team members stand for their respective parties that are vital to a transaction being right and so their input is given prominence. Since most are usually repeated tasks, I would normally propose that the team members implement various strategies that would fasten the process. For instance, as an alternative of waiting on team members to come up with all issues at the same time before we begin our part, we opt to move towards working at the same time to accept the joint task interdependence.

It is from these interactions and back office tasks like book keeping and office administrative works that I have had the opportunities to have a clear picture of the intricacies of business, both in the domestic (national) and international fronts. I have so desired to acquire technical skills and commensurate interpersonal skills that will put me on a path to becoming a business executive who might one day steer our family business to greater heights.

•What is your pathway choice and how it enables you to develop your employability skills?

Technical knowledge that equips an individual with certain capabilities is particularly attained through prescribed avenues, like formal schooling. Such avenues and options are essential in equipping the individual with the ability to undertake preordained responsibilities. Alternatively, interpersonal knowledge is aimed at making it possible for the learner in interpersonal relations and communication and is required to be of easy use in diverse surroundings and situations. Fascinatingly, it is with personal skills development that mostly interpersonal abilities are increased. Whereas a person may have an aptitude towards some abilities (inherent character traits), most abilities are acquired either through; formal schooling, by guidance, through occurrence, or some permutation of all the foregoing processes (Baker 2009, p.100). The creation of a personal development plan has been occasioned by the acknowledged truth that preceding educational curriculum has tended to lay prominence on technical know-how whilst placing insufficient significance on interpersonal knowledge.

Personal development planning is aimed at circumventing the pitfalls most formal learning has on learners, whose outcomes is of many individuals who are disadvantaged when it comes to interpersonal knowledge progress. Development of interpersonal knowledge, in particular for students, who wish to be holistic individuals, is still very much an area that will have need of self-development and personal planning (Rothstein and Burke 2010, p. 166).

The pathway choice I have made is to be a business executive with the ideal of rising up to be the chief executive officer of a multinational import-export conglomerate operating in the Middle East with its base in Pakistan. Towards this progressive end I will need to be in possession of particular skills that enhance my employability. A global business management course at Regents University London is the first step towards this objective.

Employability skills

  • Professional Attitudes
  • Initiative: ability to take action unprompted
  • Ethical sensitivity: appreciates ethical aspects of business
  • Professional behaviours
  • Self-management: ability to work in an efficient and structured manner
  • Critical analysis: ability to ‘deconstruct’ a problem or situation
  • Professional skills
  • Political sensitivity: appreciation of how organisations actually work
  • Problem solving: selection and use of appropriate methods to find solutions
  • Negotiating: influencing others during discussion to achieve mutually satisfactory resolution of contentious issues

•Brief description of one Regent’s academic example supported by reasons for the choice and fit with employability skills

With the need to have an international business outlook, the emphasis of employability at Regents university London has put me on the spot to not only be an active learner, but to also ensure that I acquire requisite technical skills that are to find a place in the real world. The Global Business Management has allowed me to be conversant with employability skills like research skills, writing skills and presentation skills among others.

•Brief description of one vocational example with an explanation of the choice and ways in which it demonstrates your employability skills

As has already been highlighted above, I have had the opportunity tow work within the family business at various capacities, but the most prominent roles has been to liaise with partners to ensure deliveries of placed orders both internal and external. The choice of this professional undertaking is to show my employability skills in team building, leadership, business communication, negotiations and conflict resolution among other tacit skills.

•What do you hope to learn about yourself out of this reflective review exercise?

The idea of the personal development planning has been required with the call for identifying for employability the personal skills a graduate would require at the job market. The school has had us, particularly in management, make certain that our knowledge and skills are known and updated in the course of our studies via various programs and personal development planning is one such venture. To accomplish the necessities/objectives of such an undertaking, one need to build up an action plan for one’s own individual professional development and, to realize them, one is by and large mandated to pursue a programme particular to the profession to which one seeks to become a part of (Baker 2009, p.99).

I seek to know my core competency areas with emphasis on the development of both technical and interpersonal skills that will without a doubt heighten y employability. Towards this key objective an audit and suggested area that I think will be crucial will be highlighted.

Certain skills when embarked upon to be improved will enable on e to be versatile as they can become functional in a range of circumstances. Some of them are analysis, creativity, communication, leadership, problem solving amid the other desirable business skill sets. In themselves, these are well thought-out to be ‘transferable skills’ as they will find application beyond the work place, not like the ‘work skills’ that are particular to a known perspective (Baker 2009, p.100), among them are the skills I undertake to nurture and grow.

Having taken note in the importance communication plays in business transactions, I have enormously earmarked the honing of my communication skills. Even though I consider it among my well-built parts of the skills I have, there is still an opportunity for more enhancement. Particularly, I am competent to comprehend communication through MS Word tools such as Word, PowerPoint presentation, and being perceptive to non-verbal communication and the significance, it holds in accentuating communication. Among the particular parts that I will embattle to work on are professionally prepared and documented communication and verbal communication.

Also being earmarked are self-management skills that have significance in organization and time management, decision making and, problem solving and planning. This I have given main concern to enable me increase my capacity to make a distinction among essential and high priority objectives. In addition, the skill to arrive at judgments without delay and with decisiveness will be refined. This should end up into my having the capacity to make arrangement better, and be also to put forward leadership and laid down objectives that are better understood so as to accomplish most sought after outcomes without difficulty.

Teamwork and interpersonal are skills that I comprehend but I will still need an importance being place on the little sphere that needs further growth and development. These are the abilities that will motivate those I am working with and be able to offer more leadership within teams through handing over responsibilities to others and coaching team mates I find are lacking in areas, I am stronger than they are.

Finally, leadership and management skills were also included for improvement. The most pertinent were target setting and communication of the same, motivation, delegation and coaching, planning and decision-making and problem solving.

STAR Plus approach

Students on order to gain higher level grades need to offer these deeper insights in systematically addressing the 4 areas. We can describe this as STAR Plus.

Situation-Describe briefly the context

I was given the opportunity to deliver tires and tubes to a local distributor in an adjacent town whom we had been working for a while now and had accompanied one of our managers to a prior delivery. This required the transportation with two big lorries, one with the tires and the other with the tubes. A few more parts as requested by another distributor who happens to be on the wayside were also included in the inventory to be transported.

Task– Describe objectives

Make deliveries of supplies, tires, tubes and accessories, to a distributor in a nearby town.

Action– Analyse skills /attributes and processes relative to some employability criteria / narrative

            The task required the coordination of the delivery with communication first to our business partners with our expected arrival times. Planning was required for the transportation that would take two hours of driving. Planning was necessary for the loading of parts to ensure minimum time will be spent offloading the accessories that we would leave by the wayside. Coordinating with the partners, to ensure we were quickly received and business transacted. Also, leadership to the team that I was going with, that included the two drivers, two handymen and an accountant.

Results-How did the outcomes impact on you, your performance and that of organisation? What did you learn? What would you do differently? What skills did it reinforce, or what other skills do you need to develop?

The delivery went on smoothly, being that it was a large consignment of goods that had a huge value. Also, it was my first time independently running a business transaction outside of our home town. The customer was satisfied, since I got the response from my father and I am sure the business relationship between our partners with our business will continue being cordial. My decision making skills were enhanced with a boost to my confidence to run a team, offer leadership and guidance and undertake a business transaction in a territory i considered foreign. I was able to negotiate with the larger distributor whose some of the goods had become damaged during the transportation to accept a discount on his payments rather than receiving new items, and this was a decision that was well taken back at our business.

The critical reflection side!

I had the pleasant feeling of being given responsibilities and trusted to deal with a major business partner. I was excited, although I maintained my cool and composure. Besides my emotional excitement, I was cognizant of the fact that i was entrusted with a relatively huge responsibility, even if it entailed the delivery of a consignment. The choice to offer a discount without consulting instead of replacing damaged goods was momentous under the circumstances.  Replacing goods had required more paperwork and deployment of additional resources, seeing that the supplies took a while before being replenished. Further, there would be no pending business with the distributor unless it was a new transaction. This was applauded back at our company and thus signified it was a right move.

The importance of the satiation was the ability to make a decision with financial impact to the business and have it accepted, leave alone being applauded. At stake was the decision making skills, negotiating with a business partner and reaching mutual agreements while solving a problem. It also tasked my critical thinking abilities. These are without doubt vital skills needed in business executives. The reactions I got and the way I interacted with others was satisfactory to me and left me happy. Changes might occur in the future with mire feedback as a result from more interactions.

What is my action plan and how will I execute?

From the vocational experiences and with the personal development planning, the particular skill sets that I envision for development are put in a table as shown below which happen to be the core areas, which I have considered that I lack.

The following are the necessary improvements:

Skill(s) Weaknesses
Organization and Time management – overlooking  the work that is not very urgent or does not need instant accomplishment
Decision making and problem solving – indecision and not being able to identify the appropriate timing to solve arising issues
Planning – inadequate knowledge on the skill of leadership
Target setting – Little knowledge of process starting with prioritizing objectives to reaching targets.
Interpersonal skills – becoming overtly emotional and I get excited rather quickly. -unable to converse for long
Written communications – should change from the use of colloquial to official language
Oral communications – I am not fluent and very coherent


Baker, M. J. 2009. ‘Personal professional development’, Marketing Review, 9, 2, pp. 99-113.

Roberts, J. 2014, ‘Landing the job: a guide to successful transition’, Nursing Management – UK, 21, 5, pp. 18-21

Rothstein, M. G., & Burke, R. J. 2010. Self-Management and Leadership Development. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Pub.