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The assignment begins with an attempt to find out the theory and definitions of different aspects of professional development, the personal ability of myself, Fahad Saleem and my professional development plans for the future.
It has identified that professional development is mainly led by the individual and their desire to be successful but it also identifies that organisations and external pressures can influence one to develop.
I used a mixture of primary and secondary research method to complete this assignment. References have been provided where secondary means were used, such as web sites articles, blogs, news and case studies. Furthermore, for theoretical studies I used a variety of books but consulted our lecturer's notes for most of the questions.
Personal and career development
Identify, review and assess your own performance current management skills
In this section I will focus upon the assessment of my, Fahad Saleem's management skills. Several theories have been given by people but I would like to choose Mr Henri Fayol's classical theory to pinpoint my management skills. According to him a manager's work comprised of the following roles;
These five functions defined by Fayol have great importance and during my employment I have used them. I would assess my skills in relation to these functions as follows;
I always attempt to work within my environment in such a way that I can plan myself to move forward step by step. At the same time I always enjoy developing strategies to make things easier and clearer and then setting objectives and incorporating them into a plan to achieve the desired goal I want.
This was demonstrated when I started to work as a sales and marketing representative in a college where I initially planned how I would pursue Agents in the regions designated to me. I then organized formal and informal meetings with them by sending them introductory emails and contacting them over the phone and offering them to work with us.
As for my commanding skills are concerned, they have been praised well enough by my director but often criticised by some colleagues of mine. Within a small passage of time I have proved myself better and have gained good knowledge in my field and therefore have been advised by my manager to set the rules for my colleagues. Rules, that people don't always want to follow.
I strongly believe that my co-ordinating skills have always helped me progress. Being labelled as a "very good listener", I tend to solve almost all the problems through effective coordination. May it be with my colleagues, other administrative staff or even my manager.
My controlling skills have some room for improvement because I am usually relaxed and very friendly with everyone. These sometime results in giving a wrong impression to my colleagues, especially the ones I am mentoring because they take advantage of it by leaving tasks undone till the due date or at times not doing them as supposed to.
Conduct a self-assessment inventory
Conducting a self-assessment inventory helps one answer a question many people like me have during their early ages. What do I want to become in future?
I have to admit, there were times when I even asked people if there was some sort of test that could find out what I really want to be in future but since there is no magical way to find this out I was amazed to see how a combination of some self-assessment tools can help one make a decision.
I would describe my better personal traits and skills as:
Punctual and reliable - in the past twelve months I have never been absent or late for work unless there was a genuine reason.
Creative - I always tend to come up with a quick and possible solution at times of difficulties at work or college.
Positive attitude- I have a 'hands-on' attitude at work and always look for opportunities to better myself or the organisation.
Systematic and always have an attention to detail - Before starting any task, I always ensure it is approached in a systematic and sequential way. Whatever the task may be, I make sure that every possible angle is covered.
Thorough - I consider myself to be thorough in each task I undertake. At work I have worked extra hours at short notice and recently decided to do a fast track course at college to finish my undergraduate degree earlier.
Amicable - Both I and others consider me to be friendly, good natured, kind and humorous.
Target driven - Working at a fast paced sales and marketing environment, I am a target driven individual who enjoy meeting targets and have generated a decent revenue for my organisation in a short period of time.
I personally believe that I would like to improve my time management skills. They could be improved especially from a college perspective as I often leave assignments until the last days which always leave me panicking but luckily due to my other systematic and positive approach I always complete my tasks when I decide I have to do them.
Devise and maintain a current CV and/or portfolio of work
A Curriculum Vitae, (CV), is a standard form used in the application process for employment or academic positions. A CV consists of a record displaying the applicant's educational, employment and relevant experience gained which may be relevant to the position in which they are applying.
To further demonstrate my understanding of this area I have included a copy of my current CV in appendix 1.10.
Devise a Personal Development Plan
In this section of the report I will devise a personal development plan that can keep a record of which areas I wish to develop and identify what objectives I need to set to achieve my goals.
2.1) Evaluate learning and development with original aims and objectives set in the development plan
Ensuring I am giving enough time to my studies so that I can complete my degree within 2 years.
Rehearsing myself well for presentations
Improving my leadership skills so that I can re-evaluate myself in 6 months time and book a course as a team leader.
After finishing my degree, pursuing a career in top management level.
Balance my professional and home life and give equal time to each so that I can perform better in both.
2.2) Reset objectives in the light of evaluation and feedback
If gods forbid I fail in any exam, I will have to re-sit them during the next semester which will make it much more difficult for me to cope and hence resulting in extending the time duration of my degree completion. I will then finish my degree in 2 years and 3 months and will have to bear the re-sit fees as well.
Failure in exam would also result in the delay of getting a decent job. With all these new changes at UKBA, I find it difficult to get a "Post Study Work" permit in the coming future so it is very vital for me to finish my course as soon as possible and find myself a job in the related field.
If I cannot improve my leadership skills within the desired time, I will not be able to book my course as a team leader and will have to wait for another 6 months to re-apply. Making the total time to become a team leader, one year!
A year gap in becoming a team leader would mean I will not have enough experience to apply for a top management level once I complete my degree.
All in all, it is very important for me to complete everything within the time limit. Failure to which delay everything in my future and I will lack behind in the race with the actual world.
3) Interpersonal and Transferable Business Skills
3.1) Create or identify solutions to a range of work-based problems
The ability to solve problems has been considered as one of the most complex intellectual functions. At work, there are several problems faced by employees that affect their working behaviour. Some of the common work based problems are,
It is essential that time keeping is maintained at work. Failure to do so, it may result in excessive work pending or spending a lot of time on tasks that shouldn't normally take too long. Either way, it has a great impact on the employee's performance.
If the message is not being transferred by senior management to the lower level, the employees face difficulties in working at their best. Effective communication plays a vital role because this helps the staff know what they are supposed to do and not just try out their own things.
Leadership is a winning combination of personal traits and the ability to think and act as a leader. To become a leader, it needs more than just a motivation and therefore I will have to work on building following traits,
Make others feel important
Promote a vision
Criticize others in private:
Use powerful, positive language:
Although I consider myself to be a hardworking individual who always strives his best to achieve the desired goals; I, personally lack confidence in leadership. After thorough thinking the main reason I could come up for it is because I can't make people do things. When a task is given to me, I can easily complete it in the desired time but when I have to mentor others and assign tasks, I often cannot do my 100% on it.
3.2) Communicate in a variety of styles and appropriate manner at various levels
Initially, from a business perspective, communication was seen as one way process, downwards, where the top management would direct down to the staff but time has changed now and communication is now seen as two way process, it can be in many directions; upwards, downwards and sideways.
Communications in organizations ideally consists of three levels;
They are the top management and are the ones who are responsible for making all the decisions and then passing it to the middle level employees. They are also responsible for the financial performance of the corporation as a whole, for example corporate image and social responsibility.
The communication is usually done through team meetings, intranet, memos, etc.
Once the main decisions are made by the top management, it is now the role of the managers to imply them and bring it to use. At middle management communication is upward, when the managers give a feedback to the top management and horizontally, when they share and communicate within the same managers teams.
The communication is usually done through meetings, presentations, etc.
Top managers prepare the strategic plans. At the middle level the resources are supplied and facilities are arranged for the success of the strategies in context to the divisional units and finally the lower level, which is known as the functional level, is implementing those strategic plans. For this functional decisions are taken for various activities. Functional activities include various activities such as production, marketing, personnel management, financial management, office management, research and development etc.
3.3) Identify and evaluate a range of effective time management strategies
From a personal perspective, in my opinion, I need to manage my time better as college work is often left until the last moment or time I set aside is wasted. I will look at using some time management tools and techniques such as the use of Gantt for forward planning. When planning forward I will need to determine what is important, establish the key tasks, and decide which standard they need to be completed too. Most importantly I will attempt to identify any constraints upon my time and look at methods to remove or minimise them. From a work point of view my time management is normally very good as I am able to delegate myself tasks to ensure deadlines are met; but this is not possible from a college perspective.
4) Self-managed Learning
4.1) Apply an awareness of how people learn using research methods and resources
Learning is something that comes natural to every person and since there is no right or wrong way to learn any learning style can create and provide opportunities for sustainable development. There are many different models and because every individual is different these methods differ depending upon which methods suits or is favoured by that particular person.
Primary sources of learning:
This may include a variety of methods of learning. An individual can develop his/her skills on job doing the day to day tasks. Personal observations at work often helps in making one learn a lot from the surroundings and seeing how others are doing at work, they adopt the same methods and try not to do the mistakes others do. Alternatively, reading and practice have proved to be a very good source of learning as well. Once the process of observations, reading and practice has passed, the person starts to gain experiences and this is yet another life long way of learning new things where an individual experiments new ideas through his experiences and research.
Secondary sources of learning:
For more effective learning it is essential that secondary sources of learning are brought to proper use. As for starters, adequate training are a great source of learning because when you are trained to do something it is not very easy to forget because you work hard for it. At the same time, one cannot deny the importance of being mentored and coached; having a good mentor is like winning a lottery because they build your ground bases.
4.2) Suggest ways in which lifelong learning could be encouraged
With all the everyday advancements going on in this world at a rapid speed it is essential that lifelong learning is encouraged in every aspect of life. Over the past years the businesses have seen the growing importance of it and have therefore been working on it. There are various methods companies adapt to encourage this act.
Job Rotation: It is a natural phenomenon that employees lose their enthusiasm if they are asked to do the same thing every day. Hence it is important that employees are moved within the organisation through a range of jobs in order to increase interest and so encouraging lifelong learning.
Reward and recognition: To keep someone motivated it is vital that they are given credit for something they have done and may be rewarded occasionally. This gives the impression to them that what they have learned all this time have come to use and hence will keep them motivated.
Purpose: For lifelong learning it is important that you know the purpose to why you are learning? One can never learn until and unless they do not know in what way would it benefit them.
Job content should be changed: Introducing different varieties of tasks in one's job makes it more exciting and employees learn new things by doing something they have never done before. Along with that, they also make it challenging for them and they work on their.
From my work perspective, I personally have felt the importance of the above mentioned ways to lifelong learning. Just recently I was asked by my manager to work at the reception for couple of hours when our receptionist called in sick at the last minute. Even though it was not already planned, I liked the idea of working in a completely different environment for one whole day. I realized how difficult yet exciting it was to work in there and how it helped me in learning new things like working on the switchboards, taking calls, managing appointments and sending out posts, and trying to resolve their issues before transferring it to the desired person. It was a good experience and something I wouldn't mind doing again.
4.3) Use a range of research methods and sources
Organisations have the need to research the needs of customer requirements in order to develop their products and services; without research companies may encounter failings, loss of business or even bankruptcy.
For a company to make a decision proper planning has to be done and for this purpose collection of data plays a vital role. Through this the company can even get to know about the customer response before launching their products and services. However, some of the data collected may not be in simple form and would not be understood by a common individual therefore it is essential to apply a range of techniques and analyse the data in a way that everyone can understand them.
Said that, while presenting the information it is very important that both quantitative and quantitative checks are done and the techniques used are appropriate and effective.
There are a number of methods that can be used to conduct research, namely primary; through which organizations can find out what is lacking internally and then there are secondary methods; that help in finding out what the charges are in the market externally. To bring them into use, companies carry out a mixture of questionnaires, surveys, interviews, academic or literature reviews, case studies or experiments.
Personally, whilst conducting research for my studies I have used many academic books, utilised the search engine of Google and the internet, approached employees direct through questionnaires and spoken to various professionals to gain an insight of their first-hand experience.
A presentation combines both the verbal and visual skills of communication. Presentations are an important communication tool in the business environment and are used predominately by manager in meetings, conferences or training sessions. In the academic environment presentations are used on a daily basis to deliver effective lectures.
Presentations generally have three parts the introduction which focuses upon the overall message and what will be delivered in the session. The middle section delivers the main points, which is best kept simple to ensure the audience are not overloaded with information and the end section should be a summary to re-emphasises what you have covered.; quite simply the presentation follows the sequence of tell them what your going to tell them in your introduction, tell them about it in the middle, and then tell them what you've told them at the end!
I would consider myself to be good at preparing presentations through the use of Microsoft PowerPoint or on a projector but I could benefit from practising more in the delivery of presentations. I get nervous and lack confidence when standing in front of large groups.
This assignment in a nutshell has helped me in evaluating myself and the developments I have made over the past few months, since I started my job as a Sales and Marketing representative and enrolled at a HND course. After successfully completing this assignment, I can say that it has identified that developing yourself is a lifelong process and something that happens unintentionally in everyone's life.
The personal development plan and self-evaluation made me think of my own flaws and traits. It has also helped me in putting myself into tests and now I can work on my flaws and overcome them to achieve a better result.
I believe I will stay on my development and learning process for some time now as I plan to currently finish my undergraduate degree. Once I develop myself in this level, I will then re-evaluate myself and see where I am and look at what I can do to further develop myself.
Appendix no. 1.0
London, SW1 XXX
075 XX XXXXX
E-mail: [email protected]
Mr. Fahad Saleem
I am a well-motivated and energetic individual who possesses good interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively on all levels within an organisation. I can also participate effectively into teamwork and use own initiative when required. A flexible individual who enjoys the challenges of meeting deadlines and targets and I strongly believe that my success lies in the successful completion of my duties and responsibilities. With the drive and determination to succeed I look forward to new challenges always.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
At present - 2012 Williams College
BSc Accounting and Finance
Jan 2007 - 2008 Queen Mary University
Science and Engineering foundation programme
Sept 2003 - 2006 Marsons College
Completed my intermediate from Marson's College
June 2004 AEO
Completed and achieved a 6.0 band score in IELTS
Sept 2010 to Present Williams College
â€¢ Building relationships with clients;
â€¢ Developing a good understanding of agents, their industry, what they do and their work culture and environment;
â€¢ Drafting and placing adverts in a wide range of media (e.g., newspapers, websites, magazines);
â€¢ Identifying and approaching suitable students who need help and direction with their studies;
â€¢ Receiving and reviewing applications, managing interviews and short-listing students;
â€¢ Requesting references and checking the suitability of agent applicants before submitting their details to be approved from college management.
â€¢ Informing students about the progress of their applications.
â€¢ Offering advice to both agents and students on fees and promotions.
Nov 2008 to Sept 2010 Pizza Hut, Take-Away
Greeting customers and taking their orders on the phone and face to face.
Providing details of current and ongoing promotions within the store.
Ensuring a clean and healthy environment within the store.
Running end of day and helping the duty manager with closing the store.
Oct 2008 - Jan 2009 Vodafone, Oxford street
Sales Advisor (Pay as you Go)
Dealing with customer enquiries face to face.
Providing current and accurate information on various services and options.
Handling customer complaints in a professional manner to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Ensuring a clean and healthy environment within the store.
Oct 2007 - Jan2008 House Of Frasers
Sales Assistant(Christmas TEMP)
Met and greeted visitors and associates.
Dealt with customer enquiries and tried to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Worked in various departments such as, Lightning, House Hold, Men's wear and Women's wear.
Controlled flow of incoming and outgoing correspondence
Jan 2007 - Sep 2007 Threshers Group ( Bottoms up )
Dealt with customer enquiries over the telephone and face to face.
Provided current and accurate information on various services and options.
Handled customer complaints in a professional manner to ensure a satisfactory outcome.
Completed general administrative tasks such as word processing, filing, photocopying, facsimile and sorting the post
Feb 2006 - Nov 2006 The Dawn Group(News Paper)
Data Entry Typist
Good communication and advanced computer skills.
Worked with a team of over 50 employees.
Used a variety of software packages to produce correspondence and documentation, and maintain spreadsheets and databases.
Computer literate in the use of Windows 95, 98, 2000, and XP and windows 7, Microsoft Office, Paint, Coral Draw, Internet Explorer and Adobe Reader
Organised and diligent, multi-tasking and prioritising workloads
Problem solving and analytical abilities
Capable of achieving tight deadlines
Can speak and write in English and Urdu, both at an advanced level.
Typing speed of over 55wpm
I am very athletic and enjoy playing a range of sports including football, cricket and table tennis, and currently play for my local football team. I have developed greatly both personally and professionally in my previous employment. Other interests include computers, reading books, listening to music, going out with friends, socialising. Eventually I would like to travel.