A look into the personal development of a student

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First of all I would like to thank my teacher for the assignment. I think this is a perfect way to analyze one self. This paper seeks what is my aim and ambition. What do I want to do? By working with the assignment I will be able to understand myself and if anyone can know himself than it become easier for him to do any difficult job. Then he or she can reach the apex of the success. To prepare a personal development plan in my objective to become a leader in an organization is the main requirement of this assignment. After working with this assignment I will be able to find out my lacking and I will therefore have to make an action plan on how to correct my deficiencies and to improve on my weaknesses to take advantage of my strengths in attaining a target job that I want to have and quality of a person that I want to happen as a result.  

The goal of this plan is to be able to attain the position of Pricing analyst which requires the following: having strong analytical skills and ingenuity to provide logical solutions to nonstandard issues, having a strong mathematical aptitude as well as well developed communication skills (written and verbal), being computer literate (including working knowledge of Excel and Word) and   possessing the values of resourcefulness, organizational skills and ability to coordinate activities across company function. It further requires having demonstrated ability to work well under pressure to meet critical deadlines, having the ability to adapt to changing priorities and handle multiple tasks and having an exceptional attention to detail and problem solving skills.

Little Description about Myself

I am Samsudduha Rabbi, am from Bangladesh. My family is consisting of six members. My father Mr Abdur Razzak is a service holder and my mother Ms Sayera Begum is a house wife. I am the youngest son of my parents. My home town is Sreemangal in Moulvibazar district. My home town is surrounded by many tea gardens. I am a person who is optimistic not pessimistic. I like to think positively. I have got some weak points as well as I have got many strong points. There are many things I like to do, such as I like to sing I like to enjoy the nature and experience it.

SWOT analysis can be simply understood as the examination of a person or an organization's internal strengths and weaknesses, and its environments, opportunities, and threats. It is a general tool designed to be used in the preliminary stages of decision-making and as a precursor to strategic planning in various kinds of applications. An understanding of the external factors (comprised of threats and opportunities) coupled with an internal examination of strengths and weaknesses assists in forming a vision of the future.

The first step in a SWOT analysis is to make a worksheet by drawing a cross, creating four sectors¾one each for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. An outline of a worksheet is shown in Figure 1. The next step is to list specific items related to the person or organization, under the appropriate heading in the worksheet. It is best to limit the list to 10 or fewer points per heading and to avoid over-generalizations.

SWOT can be performed by the individual or in groups. Group techniques are particularly effective in providing structure, objectivity, clarity and focus to discussions about strategy, which might otherwise tend to wander or else be strongly influenced by politics and personalities. The SWOT should cover all of the following areas, each of which made a source of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities or threats:

Personal SWOT Analysis is necessary to prepare your Curriculum Vitae

Strengths

Internal positive aspects that are under control and upon which you may capitalize in planning

Work Experience

Education, including value-added features

Strong technical knowledge within your field (e.g. hardware, software, programming languages)

Specific transferable skills, e.g. communication, teamwork, leadership skills

Communication: Speaking effectively

Writing concisely

Listening attentively

Expressing ideas

Research and Planning: Creating ideas; Gathering information; Solving problems; Setting goals; Analyzing

Human Relations: Developing rapport

Being Sensitive

Listening

Conveying feelings

Providing support for others

Motivating

Sharing credit Organization, Management and Leadership: Initiating new ideas; Handling details

Coordinating tasks Work Survival: Being punctual

Enlisting help

Accepting responsibility

Setting and meeting deadlines

Organizing

Making decisions.

Managing time

Attending to detail

Meeting goals

Personal characteristics (e.g., strong work ethic, self-discipline, ability to work under pressure, creativity, optimism, or a high level of energy

Good contacts/successful networking

Interaction with professional organizations

Weaknesses

Internal negative aspects that are under your control and that you may plan to improve

Weak technical knowledge

Weak skills (leadership, interpersonal, communication, teamwork)

Weak job-hunting skills

Negative personal characteristics (e.g., poor work ethic, lack of discipline, lack of motivation, indecisiveness, shyness, too emotional

Lack of Work Experience

Low GPA, wrong major

Lack of goals, lack of self-knowledge, lack of specific job knowledge

Opportunities

Positive external conditions that you do not control but of which you can plan to take advantage

Positive trends in your field that will create more jobs (e.g., growth, globalization, technological advances)

Opportunities for advancement in your field

Opportunities for professional development in your field

Career path you've chosen provides unique opportunities

Geography

Strong network

Opportunities you could have in the field by enhancing your education

Field is particularly in need of your set of skills

Opportunities you could have through greater self-knowledge, more specific job goals

Threats

Negative external conditions that you do not control but the effect of which you may be able to lessen

Competitors who went to schools with better reputations.

Obstacles in your way (e.g., lack of the advanced education/training you need to take advantage of opportunities)

Limited advancement in your field, advancement is cut-throat and competitive

Limited professional development in your field, so it's hard to stay marketable

Companies are not hiring people with your major/degree

Negative trends in your field that diminish jobs (downsizing, obsolescence)

Competition from your cohort of college graduates

Competitors with superior skills, experience, knowledge

Competitors with better job-hunting skills than you

Literary Review on Professional Development

The starting point in defining key messages is a definition of professional development.

Professional development is the ability of a program to operate on its core beliefs and values (its reading culture) and use them to guide essential and inevitable program adaptations over time while maintaining improved outcomes.

Professional Development is a critical necessity in today's educational environment. Teachers are facing a quickly changing environment including new technology, new research about teaching and learning and new political pressures to perform. Teachers are being held accountable as never before for student achievement, particularly with No Child Left Behind legislation (2002). In addition, the legislation requires 'highly qualified teachers' (Bush, 2002). We reviewed the literature on three facets of Professional Development: elements of effective professional development, professional development supported by technology, and professional development particular to technology integration. We also studied the literature on Inspiration Software, graphic organizing software, relating to literacy, as this was a component of our treatment.

Effective Professional Development

In the review of literature on 'effective' professional development, it becomes apparent that there is little consensus on a definition of 'effective'. (Guskey, 2003) In some cases effective means what teachers like,(Salpeter, 2003); in others it means professional development that causes achievement gains in students,(Kent, 2004); while in yet others it connotes a change in teacher behaviors, (Wenglinsky, 2002). All three of these definitions seem to be shades of a similar concept. If teachers enjoy their staff development sessions, they are more likely to implement. Implementation changes teacher behavior, and if the implementations are done according to "best practices", student achievement is affected positively. Teacher preferences that were noted repeatedly in the literature were "just in time", hands on, collegial, time effective. (Salpeter, 2003;Barnett, 2004; Boudah, 2003) Teachers rate professional development as effective if they have time to practice and prepare for implementation, if the subject matter is relevant to their situation and if they feel they have support. (Kent, 2004; Salpeter, 2003; Lee, 2005; Barnett, 2004.)

Changes in teacher behaviors and resulting student achievement through professional development are summed up by Wenglinsky (2002): professional development seems to influence teachers' classroom practices strongly. The more professional development teachers received in hands-on learning, and indeed the more professional development they received regardless of topic, the more likely they are to engage in handsome learning activities. And the more professional development teachers received in working with special student populations, the less likely they are to engage in lower-order activities.

Regardless of how effectiveness has been defined, there are some common elements, which have emerged:

1. Time: Teachers need time to practice and plan; repeated exposure to the material enhances implementation. Professional Development needs to fit differing schedules.

2. Support: Implementation is more likely when participants can get help.

3. Collegiality: Implementation is more likely to be sustained with a community of learners who collaborate.

Technology in Professional Development

Carol Fine, in NCREL's Policy Briefs, states: "Technologies can support and broaden professional learning communities and help teachers make better use of their time. Teachers can access at their own pace and at their own place." When teachers leave a workshop, they should be able to access supplemental reinforcements. In the review of literature on providing professional development for effective technology use, research has shown the importance of current professional development emphasizing new methods of staff training. It is not enough to provide traditional sit-and-get or one-time workshops. Many teachers attend technology workshops and leave either frustrated or overwhelmed.

To help teachers incorporate technology in ways that support powerful instruction requires an array of professional development experiences quite different from traditional workshops and how-to training sessions. (David, 1996, pg. 238).

The office of Educational Research and Improvement, (1994), suggests that examples of these different experiences could be mentoring, on-going workshops, additional technical support and assistance, and structured observations.

Teachers need continued practice to become comfortable with technology. (Kent, 2004; Salpeter, 2003; Lee, 2005; Barnett, 2004.) Time is valuable. Allowing teachers the ability to access on-line support at their own leisure can help alleviate the stress and barriers for using technology. The literature review supports effective professional development programs that provide sufficient hands-on time and follow-up support for teachers to master new content and strategies. Teachers need additional time to practice and tryout new ideas and reflect on what they are learning. This can't possibly happen with traditional one-time workshops. On-line support allows the teachers to learn at their own pace. They can set their own schedule. Our study appears to be groundbreaking work in that it specifically studies the effect of on-line support. However, in a study of the South Windsor Public Schools (Kehrhahn, M. & Saylor, P., 003) key principles of current "best practices" in staff development were utilized. One-shot workshops with sporadic follow-up were redesigned to reflect the need for continuous training and ongoing technical support. They found that "successful" professional learning occurred by having teachers participate in the program design, by offering varying learning approaches, and by offering coaching at the participants' own paces. Their definition of successful appears to be, "causing changes in teacher behavior". With some extrapolation we feel it can be asserted that on-line support can offer the different learning approaches (tutorials, sample lesson plans, examples of student work, collaborative forums, etc.) and the coaching described in the previously reported study. Instead of reading "how to" manuals for new software/hardware, provide visuals like interactive video tutorial lessons. Once the teacher leaves a workshop, they tend to forget "how to" use the technology or even why they should. The development of supplemental website resources with "how to" video tutorials can reinforce traditional workshops, thus helping teachers become successful when integrating technology in the classroom. In addition, they can access actual lesson examples, student work, standards, etc.

Technology Integration

As a nation over the past five years, there has been a high value placed on integrating technology into the classroom setting. Gloria Bush, (2005), states: The value of integrating technology into class curriculum is emphasized in Title II-D of the No Child Left Behind Act, which calls for the combining of technology resources and systems with educator training and curriculum development to fulfill the primary goal of enhancing learning and increasing student achievement. A secondary goal of this federal initiative is to cross the digital divide by ensuring that all students are technologically literate by the end of eighth grade.

The literature available for review on how to integrate technology with curriculum appears to be limited, and deals primarily with how to use the internet at different levels. However, a few key issues arise in the literature that is available. For example, according to Holum, A. & Gahala, J., 2001,

1. Professional development must be on going

2. Faculty must have access to technology tools

3. Professional development should focus on how to use technology tools in ways that are relevant to the teacher with technology integration, especially; teachers do not absorb all of the critical information with a one-time workshop. Also, as they become more familiar with an application, teachers become more ready to expand its use. Therefore, to continue to expand the use of technology, they need to have opportunities available to them frequently, at just the right level. (Cook, C.J. & Fine, C., 1997) Teachers also need to see a link between the technology and the curriculum for which they are responsible (Byrom, E., 1998). Teachers need to begin with the curriculum and then see how technology can enhance teaching and student learning.

Carry out a personal audit, which will include an assessment of weaknesses, strengths of mine.

Carrying out a personal skills audit is an important step when you are planning a career change. I am serious about changing careers, and then I need to build up a detailed understanding of my strengths and talents. If I am clear on this, then I can assess career ideas with my skills and strengths in mind. Work, which allows me to do what I am a good at, will be more fulfilling for me and my employer is likely to be happier with the results my produce too! So what skills have me got?

There are a number of different ways I can carry out a personal skills audit. Here are couples for me to try.

Job Analysis

Many people go blank when I ask them about their skills. So sometimes it is easier to work backwards from what I have done to work out what I am a good at. This is where a job analysis can help.

Here's how to do it.

The first step is as follows:

Take a separate sheet of paper for each of the jobs me have done and write the job title at the top. Divide each sheet into two columns.

Use the first column to brainstorm all tasks each role involved. Include as much detail as I can. Don't just list the official duties but include everything I turned my hand to in that role.

Avoid broad terms like 'produced a monthly newsletter'. Break it down into the steps involved - wrote articles, canvassed team for ideas, selected pictures/photos, liaised with print room, etc. Don't worry about whether they are important or significant, just try to capture as much of what I did as possible.

Watch out for any negative self-talk here ('well, it was only' or 'I just did a little bit of…'). The purpose of brainstorming is to squeeze out as much information as possible. I can evaluate the activities later.

The second step is as follows:

The second step of my personal skills audit involves looking at these tasks to explore what skills I have developed. Make a list of the skills me needed to carry out all these tasks. Were I am showing an ability to deal with people? Was me using and analyzing information and data? Were I am coming up with ideas and being creative? Were I am using practical abilities such as repairing things?

If I am not sure what skills I was using, take a look at the checklist of personal skills I have created. I will find that it also helps if I brainstorm with a friend or my Career Change Buddy - two heads are always better than one.

The third Step is as follows:

Don't stop with work. Do additional sheets for other unpaid roles I play in my life - parent, sports club secretary, gardener, and the list could be quite long!

A personal skills audit of what I have done outside of work can be very revealing and help me to value the skills I have gained from all areas of your life. May I find that there are skills I have developed here that I just don't give myself credit for?

For example, may I have be the coach for a local football team - using skills like leadership, motivation, encouragement, training etc? If I am really enjoying this, but do not hold a management or team leadership role at work, this might suggest that this could be a new direction for me in my career. And I already have many of the skills my need!

Personal Skills Audit

An alternative strategy is just to sit myself down and make a list of what I know me a good at. This will come easier to some than to others.

Step One

Just start writing. I already know at least some of the things I am a good at. You'll find there are some skills me feel very confident with and others where I think me can do them 'a bit'. Don't be shy - this is not an exercise where you can be bashful. Be proud to list what I know myself do well.

Step Two

I will come up with some skills without any prompting, but there will be many more. As I mentioned above, if I am the kind of person that prefers working with a checklist, take a look at the list of personal skills I have created as a prompt.

Another source of ideas is job ads. Start scanning newspapers - for any kind of job - and see what kinds of skills come up regularly. Recruiters understand the importance of skills - this is why they list the ones they need in their job ads.

Step Three

I already mentioned brainstorming with your Career Change Buddy in the previous exercise. Don't stop there. Why not directly ask some of your friends and colleagues what they think are your main strengths and skills as they see them. Give them a bit of time to think about it and ask them to highlight what they think are your top 3 or 4 skills. It can be a real confidence booster to hear others reflect back what they value in you as a friend or colleague.

Step Four

When I have done my personal skills audit, take a look at what I suggest at the beginning of the personal skills checklist. A list is not enough. It is important that I rate my skills by level of ability and level of enjoyment

Develop a time and resources planning guide which will help me achieve, set goals and allow continuous personal and professional development.

Reams and live a life you love, those goals and resolutions are crucial. Goal setting and goal achievement are easier if you follow these six steps for effective and successful goal setting and resolution accomplishment.

Need to deeply desire the goal or resolution. Napoleon Hill, in his landmark book, Think and Grow RichHYPERLINK "http://erclk.about.com/?zi=3/bU2", had it right. "The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this constantly in mind. Weak desires bring weak results, just as a small amount of fire makes a small amount of heat." So, your first step in goal setting and achieving your dreams is that you've got to really, really want to achieve the goal.

Visualize achieving the goal. Lee Iacocca said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind." What will your achievement feel like? How will your life unfold differently as a result? If the goal is a thing, some gurus of goal setting recommend that you keep a picture of the item where you see and are reminded of it every day. If you can't picture yourself achieving the goal, chances are - you won't.

A plan for the path to follow to accomplish the goal. Create action steps to follow. Identify a critical path. The critical path defines the key accomplish-ments along the way, the most important steps that must happen for the goal to become a reality. Stephen Covey said, "All things are created twice. There's a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation of all things. You have to make sure that the blueprint, the first creation, is really what you want, that you've thought everything through. Then you put it into bricks and mortar. Each day you go to the construction shed and pull out the blueprint to get marching orders for the day. You begin with the end in mind." He's right.

Commit to achieving the goal by writing down the goal. Lee Iacocca said, "The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen." I agree completely. Write down the plan, the action steps and the critical path. Somehow, writing down the goal, the plan and a timeline sets events in motion that may not have happened otherwise. In my own life, it is as if I am making a deeper commitment to goal accomplishment. I can't fool myself later. The written objective really was the goal.

Establish times for checking your progress in your calendar system, whatever it is: a day planner, a PDA, a PDA phone or a hand written list. If you're not making progress or feel stymied, don't let your optimism keep you from accomplishing your goals. No matter how positively you are thinking, you need to assess your lack of progress. Adopt a pessimist's viewpoint; something will and probably is, going to go wrong. Take a look at all of the factors that are keeping you from accomplishing your goal and develop a plan to overcome them. Add these plan steps to your calendar system as part of your goal achievement plan.

Review your overall progress regularly. Make sure you are making progress. If you are not making progress, hire a coach, tap into the support of loved ones, analyze why the goal is not being met. Don't allow the goal to just fade away. Figure out what you need to do to accomplish it. Check the prior five steps starting with an assessment of how deeply you actually want to achieve the goal.

A brief description of management styles and analyze where I would fit in best

I was brought into a very interesting discussion today while talking about establishing talent management system with a friend who works for a leading multimedia advertising firm. For company like her employer normally have the following common traits in term of people: High turnover rate. People change their employers every 1~3 years. Very young workforce, the average age in the entire company is around 30 years old. Even some VP or SVP are 32~33 years old. It's all about ideas and creativity. The most critical competencies required in this industry are kind of untrained-able. I am from manufacturing background. When I talked about my talent management approach for my current employer, she feed backed to me that this is definitely not applicable in her industry. I am very interested to know your opinion on this. Is it possible that talent management is not suitable at all for fast pace, high turnover and creativity oriented companies? If there is an approach of talent management in such firm, what would it be?

Irrespectively that an organization may struggle for surviving in these times of economic turmoil and even could make layoffs in an attempt to reduce costs, only those organizations that consider that their human talent is their most valuable asset will have the competencies to survive of this crisis from a long term perspective.

In facing such a perspective, the goal of hiring, retaining, training and motivating the best professional talent available in the job market as is usual in companies that apply the best practices of Talent Management and employer brand management, makes sense in these times of economic recession, to encourage higher morale in the workforce and achieve a positive collective attitude built on positive-ness and courage to face the repercussions of the crisis, irrespectively from the fact that the job market could have a lot of qualified professionals looking for a job.

Employee job satisfaction yields to a better employee retention from the perspective of an average professional who is looking to work in a supportive workplace where he/she has real opportunities of excelling according to his/her skills, attitudes and competencies into a company that recognizes, rewards and celebrates his/her superior engagement, productivity and motivation.

An organization can be loved by their employees when this organization excels in developing Employer Brand Management practices to generate workplaces where an employee can feel pride and satisfaction for belonging to an organization where he/she is considered, respected and recognized. The Great Place to Work Institute has developed practices to improve five cultural dimensions (Credibility, Respect, Fairness, Pride and Camaraderie) to pursuit this purpose.

There are three main categories of leadership styles: autocratic, paternalistic and democratic.

Autocratic (or authoritarian) managers like to make all the important decisions and closely supervise and control workers. Managers do not trust workers and simply give orders (one-way communication) that they expect to be obeyed. This approach derives from the views of Taylor as to how to motivate workers and relates to McGregor's theory X view of workers. This approach has limitations (as highlighted by other motivational theorists such as Mayo and Herzberg) but it can be effective in certain situations. For example, when quick decisions are needed in a company (e.g. in a time of crises)

When controlling large numbers of low skilled workers.

Paternalistic managers give more attention to the social needs and views of their workers. Managers are interested in how happy workers feel and in many ways they act as a father figure (pater means father in Latin). They consult employees over issues and listen to their feedback or opinions. The manager will however make the actual decisions (in the best interests of the workers) as they believe the staffs still need direction and in this way it is still somewhat of an autocratic approach. The style is closely linked with Mayo's Human Relation view of motivation and also the social needs of Maslow.

A democratic style of management will put trust in employees and encourage them to make decisions. They will delegate to them the authority to do this (empowerment) and listen to their advice. This requires good two-way communication and often involves democratic discussion groups, which can offer useful suggestions and ideas. Managers must be willing to encourage leadership skills in subordinates.

Conclusion

Lastly it is easily said that brief history of own life, personal audit, analysis of myself, suitable position in an organization through qualities has been discussed. To prepare a personal development plan in my objective to become a leader in an organization is the main requirement of this assignment. After working with this assignment I will be able to find out my lacking and I will therefore have to make an action plan on how to correct my deficiencies and to improve on my weaknesses to take advantage of my strengths in attaining a target job that I want to have and quality of a person that I want to happen as a result.

 

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