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Every individual aspires to have a suitable job that will contribute to their career development. The development of individuals in any field requires them to develop a plan that will guide in achieving their goals and objectives in their careers (Management for the Rest of Us, 2008). A personal development plan also referred as an individual development plan is guiding policy of an individual that includes statements of aspiration, strengths, competencies, education and training and stages to show how individual goals will be achieved. A personal development plan can thus be defined as structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect on their own learning, performance and planning of their personal, educational and career development (Self Improvement Mentor, 2008). The personal development plan are nowadays very common individuals as they take the prime responsibility for development of their own competence to guide them and present to employing organizations for consideration in the available vacancies. In fact in the UK young professionals highly regard themselves to be responsible for their own personal and professional development. This is all as a result of introduction of personal development planning in many organizations and universities.
The importance of personal development plan (PDP) in helping individual to achieve their career goals has inspired me to develop my own PDP (Locke and Latham, 1990). The views of futurists and radical thinkers consider that the concepts of qualifications and professions may become obsolete are not to be underestimated. People should thus build their own personal portfolios of learning and development and access more learning in open ways especially through the internet. Qualifications are viewed as if they will become incidental markers to those who need them but PDP are a prerequisite in an individual's career development course.
My name is Adel Alhawshni. I dream of becoming a manager in one of the companies in Saudi Arabia. I am currently studying my Msc. in management in the university of Hertford shire where I previously did my National English Foundation course before proceeding for a pre-sasscinal course in the university of East Anglia. I am also a graduate of Qassim University in Saudi Arabia with specialization in Arabic language which has provided me with strong foundation for my future. In fact I have taught Arabic in an elementary school for two years immediately after graduating from Qassim University where my communication skills were developed tremendously. At the same time I also studied some short programs about using the computers and my computing skills were thus improved. In addition to my academic interests, I also have other interests such as travelling to historical sites, attending parties with friends and family, and reading tourism materials. I like spending my spare time with family and friends, browsing in the internet, playing football and doing exercises. My dreams are still in course and believe that I will make a good manger just like my father who manages his farm and nine employees. I hope to improve my social skills just like my mother a house wife who frequently hosts friends at home. My God be with me in all my endeavors to fulfill dreams in career development.
Theories of personal development
Human beings are not merely shaped by past events but are also are also influenced by their future. Human nature is constantly developing, growing and moving toward a complete level of development (Self Improvement Mentor, 2008). Our present personality is shaped is shaped by who we are and what we have been and also what we aspire go be in the future. This is Jung's theory of personal development. It's based on the assumption that human beings tend to move towards realization of al their capabilities. The role of the dreams or plans is not only to prospect and prepare people for the future experience but also but also to play a compensatory role in individual to bring a balance between career and social development (Corey 2008)
Corey (2008) psychoanalytic theory has overtime continued to evolve. While Freud emphasized on intrapsychic conflicts pressurizing individuals to achieve basic needs subsequent writers have incorporated cultural and social influences in the society in personal development debates. According to this theory individuals hide many truths about themselves by using defense mechanisms and are driven by wishes, fears and by past events, the central figure of this theory is thus ego. Most of this is inherent in children and adolescents. Psychoanalytic theory has undergone reformation such that several schools have emerged from it. These includes: objects relations theory, self psychology and the interpersonal and relations theory schools. All these schools share a common assumptions that ` human beings are highly affected by experiences with others that happen during development and that emotional conflicts and psychological symptoms have a great deal to do with these experiences'
Objects relation theory
Early interactions between infant and caretakers are the foundation of attitudes towards the self and others. The infants develop characteristics interactional pattern, defenses and strengths this implies that this theory is based on the idea that young children and individuals assimilate relationships between himself and important objects in the environment (Greenberg and Mitchell, 1983). Problems of early objects relations produce troubled adult relationships and wide range of maladaptive personality characteristics. The child thus develops his identification and ego as he interacts with other objects outside home care and as result the learnt skills are later applied in his interaction with others even in adult age. The people who surround individuals at early ages should therefore be conscious of their actions and language they use because they shape the behavior such children in adult age. This explains why kids even though have hereditary traits some times take the traits of those people whom they spend most of the time with especially caretakers. The environment in to which an individual grows is crucial in the development of a Child's understanding of relationships (De Young 2003).
Personal construct theory
This theory was created by George Kelly (2002), he affirmed that psychology as science attempted to put in order the facts of human experience so that good predictions about what will happen in future can be made. According to the theory people develop constructs as internal ideas of reality or use their experiences to understand their environment. This can be based on observations or experiences. A construct is defined as feature that distinguishes one object from other objects. All constructs in peoples mind form a system that differentiates people in their particular constructs as well as in the way they are arranged (Kelly 2002).
While psychoanalytic theory emphasizes on dreams and wishes, the objects relation theory emphasizes on individuals experiences for future developments, this theory Argues that individuals relies heavily on internal constructs (Eysenck, 2004). These constructs are inherent in an individual and they guide individuals on actions to take in certain circumstances. For instance, an individual can inherently predict how an approaching person is likely to act (Grit, 2001). According to Kelly (2002) constructs are applied to anything that we put our attention in including ourselves and also strongly influence what we fix our attention in to. Individual are able to construe reality through their constructs. Determining individuals systems of constructs goes along way towards understanding them especially in beliefs that represent unchangeable beliefs (Cottrell, 2003). The personal construct theory also argues that an individual can not be separated from emotions such as threat, fear, guilt and anxiety. It's out of these emotions that individuals are so concerned to develop their own PDPs so as to help them to overcome the fears associated with career development (Lester 2009).
These theories are very important in explaining personal development. However, I tend to believe that the environment in to which individuals live contribute more in development of personal traits. The objects relations theory seems to have carried more weight. As it is said at times personal traits are passed on from generation to generation and from the immediate environment (Goldstein, 2009). The influence of my father as a farm manager and my mother's social characteristic tend to influence me in my dreams in the career development.
As a result of my ambitions to become a manager in one of the companies in Saudi Arabia I have undertaken several tests to determine my personality. These have provided me with external independent challenges to my development. These tests include leadership and personality tests. The personality tests help me to build greater self-undesatding and they are based on theories of C.G. Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers. Understanding personality preference can be useful in many areas such as career counseling, team building, personal development, improving relationships among others. The MMDI personality tests I undertaken are designed to make self judgments rather than for other people to make judgments about individuals. The test showed that I need to work my ability to think rather than being guided by feelings, judgment also need to improved as contrasted to perception. According to the test I am also an extrovert which as a manger may not be healthy when handling the secrets of my company. My personality scores shows that as an ESF I need to work hard to fulfill the team so that everyone in a team feels valued and that their need are met. According to Beardwell and Claydon (2009) Social organization needs to be improved for an individual to make a good manager and I look forward to improve my social skills.
The leadership test showed that I have the potential to use various forms of leadership according to the contextual demands. Leaders' require great flexibility in leadership such that they have ability to respond diligently in all leadership styles. The leadership tests and report allow me to take responsibility to consider what I have learned about my leadership qualities and the type of leadership philosophy I hold and the way to improve my leadership styles. The natural qualities of leadership can be improved by training and all leadership styles are related such that attempt to improve one leads to improving others. The leadership tests outlined eight main styles of leadership which include: participative, executive, action- oriented, change-oriented, goal-oriented, visionary and ideological. The test also situates one in the leadership radar to determine the rates of each style of leadership.
The Matiogi reports show that I need to be friendly and increase my verbal and communication skills. The report also shows that I work best in predictable environments with set standards. I haves strengths in performing to an acceptable work pattern, satisfaction with the job. Loyalty to my employer, calm and composure, good at stabilizing events, good at criticizing performance, checks accuracy and work best in controlled circumstances. However aspiring to be a manager I have several limitations that I need to work on for instance I like maintaining the status quo, I lack ability to prioritize, I hold grudges, I am reluctant to accept responsibility as result I think I need to work in my leadership, communication skills, finish my degree and work hard o appointed a manager. These are the challenges that I need to work on to fulfill my dreams of becoming a company manger. As psychoanalytic theory suggests dreaming of the future will help me to achieve my goals (Matiogi report).
If an individual doesn't know the destiny he/she might end up going somewhere else (Henderson, 2008). It's because of this reason that one should prepare an action plan as guide to destiny. The following SMART action plan will guide me towards achieving my dreams of becoming a manager in a company in Saudi Arabia.
Degree to be awarded Msc. management
I should pass all examinations and assignments in my second year and final exams for the degree course.
This increases my chances of being appointed as manager also helpful to tackle managerial issues.
By the June 2012 should be able to graduate.
Be able to provide leadership in all situations.
Play leading roles in group discussions, organizing mentorship activities attending leadership workshops.
This prepares me for future leadership roles as a manager in a company.
My leadership roles in groups and mentorship activities should be manifest themselves by the end of the year 2011.
Fluency in public speaking, good presentation skills, excellent written English.
Making group work presentations in class, participating in mentoring events, reading one report writing book a week.
Relevant in addressing the staff under me and my seniors in the company as well in preparing written summaries for all parties in the company.
By the end of the year 2012 I should be able to address large groups of people and have excellent writing skills.
Ability to delegate in all management roles, attended management workshops
Read books on effective management, attend management training workshops
My future management job require management skills in motivating employees, persuading them to take more duties as well as in delegating
This should start immediately and continue in future
Since I have developed my career development plan it now my responsibility to work as per own set goals until I achieve my dreams. The lessons I have learnt since I was a child up to date will be applied and learn more in then process of my career development until I am appointed a manager in accompany based in Saudi Arabia will work hard to finish my Msc in management degree, improve my leadership skills, social skills and communication skills because its difficult to make a good manger without these attributes.