Professional Development Plan

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Professional Development Plan

Word count: 2,443

Table of Content

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Personal expected career

2.1 Career objectives and career paths

2.2 Necessary skills and why

3.0 Personal reflection and gap analysis

4.0 Action plan to fill the gap-SMART objectives

5.0 Conclusion

6.0 Reference

1.0 Introduction

Career planning can be regarded as one person’s real purpose of work, designing big picture objectives and smaller goals, making the most of resources and then following a flexible timeline (Greenhaus et al., 2010). Indeed, it is a lifelong process, involving choosing an occupation, obtaining a job, developing in the job and possibly changing careers, and finally retiring. There is no denying the fact that a career plan helps individuals to determine their interests and skills, what kind of career best suits the person and what skills and training this individual requires for the chosen career. And hence, an effective career plan could be considered as one of the most useful ways to determine what individuals are after and to go about securing it.

The purpose of this report is to critically evaluate the skills and experience requested to ensure the success of my career choice, in relation to my existing skills and experiences, as well as providing an integrated explanation of how I will fill the gap based on the SMART action plan. Specifically speaking, related career objectives and career paths, necessary skills and its importance and personal reflection and gap analysis, along with action plan will be respectively discussed in one part. Finally, the conclusions are drawn.

2.0 Personal expected career

2.1 Career objectives and career paths

Career objectives can be viewed as brief statements of interest which are put forward by a job applicant related with certain positions (Jenner, 2000). As a matter of fact, explicit career objectives play a vital role in making a feasible career plan, since it is the cornerstone of the plan. In other words, the function of ensuring a career objective is to make individuals plan their career and find out what they can go professionally.

Financial management is used to describe a function with an organization which means the effective and efficient management of funds in such a manner as to achieve the targets of the company (Brigham, 2010). Without a doubt, it is important to the success of the company.

In light of my condition, since my major is Account management and I am interested in financial management, I try to become a manager who is in charge of finance, regarded as financial manager in famous multinational companies, such as Wal-Mart and Haier Group and so on, or famous state-owned enterprise after I finish my work and return my home. To accomplish this objective, I make this career development plan for five years from a basic position to the financial manager in Haier Group.

Specifically speaking, after I graduate I will become an accountant in the financial department in organizations just like CR Vanguard for two years in order to solid my knowledge in this aspect and improve my skills. As a matter of fact, this position stresses the research and analytical skill, along with enhancing mathematical skill. Specifically speaking, as an accountant, I can apply what I learn into practice. What should be mentioned is that I can know the application of the fund in the organization, comprehensively, continuously, and systematically, which plays an important role in ensuring the normal operation based on limited budget. And this is really important and required as a financial manager.

Secondly, I will take a post of the assistant of the financial manager in the organization, such as Haier Group or China Mobile Limited, the famous company as well for the next two years. Actually, via this position, I will become familiar with the daily business decision making process and the accomplishment process which are well achieved by the financial manager, since I will be asked to join in the meeting with the management team. At that time, I will have a better understanding of what the financial manager needs to do, including asset management, budget, financial, tax, internal control and other relevant aspects, because at this position, my key responsibility is to help the manager to carry out his plan, which means that I can learn from this process.

Finally, with four years’ efforts, I will take the position as the financial manager in the successful companies in China, just like CR Vanguard. In fact, from the basic position to enhance the basic skill and through the assistant position to clearly understand the requirements and responsibilities, along with obligations, of a financial manager, I can be competent for the job.

In light of above comprehensive analysis, three key different levels of jobs in the area of financial management are designed and corresponding skills can be improved via these positions. Actually, they are my ideals jobs, and there are necessary skills which I need to master. What I should do is to know what kinds of skills are required and realize my gap and to find solutions to cover it.

2.2 Necessary skills and why

It can not be denied that to be a successful financial manager in the organization, there are several necessary skills, which can be improved gradually during the career path, shown as below:

First of all, it means the research and analytical skill, owing to its significance in the financial aspect, which can be enhanced from the position of accountant. As a matter of fact, an accountant is responsible for increasing the economic effectiveness and the analytical skill contributes a lot (Cottrell, 2003). To be specific, an accountant with research and analytic skill is able to find out what the problem is and make the operation more ideally. Furthermore, a financial manager should have such kind of skill to investigate the root of the problem and work towards a solution in a company.

Secondly, it refers to the mathematical skill. Mastering this skill, a financial manager can easily and effectively sees the problems related with finance and find a feasible or effective way to resolve the problem, such as Present-Value Interest factors of Annuity and Present Value Interest Factor and etc. As a matter of fact, this can be considered as one key basic skill of being a good financial manager. To some extent, good mathematical skills are viewed as good sensitivity of figures.

Thirdly, the communication and interpersonal skill is referred. There is no exaggeration to point out that in the management position, this skill is important because it can effectively make the staffs understand the information conveyed by the management and consequently the staffs in the financial department can work as a united team (Anon, 2010). Moreover, a financial manager should have the ability to bread down complicated financial information into ordinary language, no matter whether it is written communication or verbal communication. Actually, the manager of financial department in an organization has to interact with staffs and management in different aspects of the business, which requests interpersonal skills. So effective communication and interpersonal skill can help to save the time and energy of the financial manager.

Fourthly, the leadership skill is emphasized, since a financial manager should oversee the accounting or finance department of a company. Without a doubt, this skill plays an important role in directing the activities of the staffs and as working on a team to deal with financial problems or issues in the company (Mumford et al., 2000). In a nutshell, the financial manager should have this ability to relate to other staffs, whether overseeing their assignments or working side by side on certain projects.

Finally, the business skill should be paid more attention to, which refers to, in economic affairs or business performance, the business professional skills and level (Neely, 2007). There is no doubt that, as a financial manager, the business knowledge is required, since he needs to apply his professional business knowledge to reasonably arrange the fund of the organization. With this skill, the fund and asset of the organization can be taken full advantage of by the financial management.

Besides the above skills mentioned, there are other relevant requested skills, such as the negotiation skill, having business knowledge to discuss with other powerful rivals or partnerships to obtain the competitiveness; ICT skill, especially under the digital era; and critical thinking skill, which is to comprehensively consider the problem and find an effective way, and so on.

3. 0 Personalreflection and gap analysis

With the purpose of successfully accomplishing my career objectives, which can be viewed as a big challenge of me, it is necessary and essential for me to take my personal condition into good consideration, based on the necessary skills as a financial manager in the famous organization, such as CR Vanguard, and as a result I can improve myself.

In light of this, I have carried out an aptitude test and implemented an analysis of various requested skills into four levels and the score of 4 shows me that I am competent and the score of 1 means that I should spend time in enhancing this aspect. In the meanwhile, score of 3 and 2 are in the middle level, which can be well shown in the following table 1.

Table 1 the reflection of personal employability condition


Circle correct rating

Evidence and examples

Research and analytical skill/critical thinking skill

1 2 3 4

I get used to focus on one aspect rather than concentrating on the whole, just like trying to reduce the expense when helping my friend to manage his online shop, without paying attention to reasonably allocate the budget.

Mathematical skill

1 2 3 4

I am good at mathematics aspect since I have good sensitivity on figures. During the process of running the online store of my friend, I can easily see the problems according to the income and expenses.

Communication and interpersonal skill

1 2 3 4

I am the great communicator with powerful self-belief and easily catch the main points when communicating, so that I can well convey the information to others. Additionally, I do well in actively listen to others so that I can have a good relationship with others.

Leadership skill

1 2 3 4

When I worked as a sales team leader in the Black Silk Company in China, I like asking and giving orders to my team members, ignoring their opinions and views most of the time.

Business skill

1 2 3 4

I am not sensitive to the business knowledge, because I can not well assess the benefit caused by the capital investment or make an integrate fund allocation plan when I was the sales team leader of Black Silk Company.

Negotiation skill

1 2 3 4

Owing to good communication and interpersonal skill I have, I can well negotiate with others, such as persuading the supplier to provide certain discounts for my friend’s online shop.

ICT knowledge

1 2 3 4

I am able to master them well, because of frequent use of computer and internet.

In light of this table, in order to become a good financial manager in the CR Vanguard, I should cover the gaps, which means that I need to improve my research and analytical skill, business skill and leadership skill based on detailed action plan in the future.

4.0 Action plan to fill the gap-SMART objectives

SMART could be viewed as an effective tool to guarantee that the objectives can be achieved, which refers to specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound (). In light of above analysis, I should enhance certain skills according to relevant actions in the future.

Firstly, I will enhance my research and analytical skill, which can be viewed as critical thinking skill in the next two years and thus as for nearly 80% cases, I am able to comprehensively consider related aspects. With the purpose of achieving this target, I will reference to relevant books to know how to quickly and effectively improve this skill, just like theory of Dana and Pitts’s (1993)Critical Thinking Skills. What’s more, I will join in some courses related with the analysis of the finance aspects, to learn the ways to research and analyze the useful aspects and then find a feasible solution. And consequently, if I can thinks of issues from diversified perspectives in most instances (80%), it can be concluded that this approach is proper.

Secondly, my leadership skill should be improved based on relevant important theories, just like Hersey & Blanchard’s (1993) Situational Leadership Theory, where four types of leadership styles exist, including telling, selling, participating and delegating, shown in the following figure 2. And as far as I am concerned, it can be easily recognized that my leadership style belongs to telling style, which is not good at the present time. And hence, I should change my leadership style to participating style, so that I can listen to others’ opinions and win their respect. And this is really significant for the financial manager in the department. So, if I can use this participating leadership skill at least 75% instances, instead of, just giving orders to others, this method is useful.

Figure 2 four types of leadership styles (Source: Hersey & Blanchard, 1993)

Last but not the least, I will do my utmost to improve my knowledge of business based on referencing to relevant books, which may refer to Two Dimensions to Business Knowledge (Prusak and Matson, 2006), shown in the following figure 3 and do more practice, just like being a seller in the small organizations, like Renrenle Supermarket, and as a result I can accomplish my measurable objective that I am able to know more consumer information and put forward feasible and useful actions in advance in most instances (70%). And at that time, it shows that this method works.

Figure 3 Two dimensions of business knowledge (Source: Prusak and Matson, 2006)

5.0 Conclusion

In light of analysis above, here comes to relevant conclusions.

First of all, I make up my mind to do my utmost to be a financial manager in famous organizations in China, such as Haier Group, CR Vanguard, which is my future career objective. And in order to well accomplish this objective, I will take two diversified posts to expand my knowledge and improve my skills which are requested by the position, a financial manager.

Secondly, in regard to the necessary skills of being a financial manager, they refer to research and analytical skill, mathematical skill, leadership skill and business skill and so forth. Actually, they play important roles in ensuring the success of the organization.

Thirdly, after considering my personal condition, I am aware of my gap of being a financial manager, which means that I should spend time in enhancing my research and analytical skill, leadership skill and business skill. With the purpose of covering this gap, there is an effective SMART plan designed to enhance these skills.

6.0 Reference

Anon (2010) Communication skills mode, Available from:, Accessed at [04/26/11]

Brigham, E., F., 2010, Financial management theory and practice, New York: International Business Press.

Cottrell, S. (2003) Skills for Success: The Personal Development Planning Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cross, K, F. and Lynch, R. L. (1988) ‘The ‘SMART’ way to define and sustain success’. National Productivity Review, 9 (16), pp302-315

Dana, N. F., & Pitts, J. H. (1993). The use of metaphor and reflective coaching in the exploration of principal thinking: A case study of principal change. Educational Administration Quarterly, 29, 323–338.

Greenhaus, J., H., and Callanan, G., A., &Godshalk V.M. (2010) Career Management 4th ed., Thousand Oaks : Sage

Hersey, P. and Blanchard, H. K. (1993) Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources, 6th edn. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs

Jenner S. (2000) The Graduate Career Handbook, London :Prentice Hall

Mumford, M. D. Zaccaro, S. J. Connelly, M. S. (2000) ‘Leadership skills: Conclusions and future directions.’ The Leadership Quarterly, 11(1), pp. 155-170.

Neely, A. (2007), Business Performance Measurement: Unifying Theories and Integrating Practice, 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press.

Prusak, L. and Matson, E., 2006, Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning: A Reader, Oxford University Press