Personal development plan Final sample essay

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Learning Outcome:

1. Be able to asses personal and professional skills required to achieve strategic goals.
2. Be able to conduct a skills audit to identify learning style.
3. Be able to implement a personal development plan.

This assignment is based on my personal development plan that helps bridging the gap between where I am now and where I want to be in a certain period of time successfully.

At first, let’s find out what a Personal development plan is. Actually it is a career plan that contains employee’s goals and used to measure their performances. In detail, it is the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement

A personal development plan is one of the most important tools for students and professionals who want to achieve success in different fields. It enables one to keep track of the changes required in their life and areas of weakness that require improvement. The plan provides a gauge for a person to see his or her development and progress and determine the skills required to achieve in the future. It aids in the achievement of goals for personal and professional development. This is because success requires planning and setting of goals. The goals set in the plan have to be clear and measurable.

The personal development plan for me is a chance to know myself better, I can realize what I want to achieve or where I want to go in the plan, in the short- or long-term, and also identifying the need for skills, knowledge or competence. It also helps me to define the appropriate development to meet those perceived needs. In this report, I am going to focusing on what my strengths are and where my Weaknesses are, also how to use my strengths in the field I will work into in the future, and how to develop my weaknesses to be my Strengths as well.

Chosen role

I would like to pursue a career as Stock Broker. A stock broker is commonly characterised as any competent and regulated professional who is involved in the buying and selling (trading) of shares or stocks. Also, a stock broker is an individual responsible for a business deal on a stock exchange. Usually, a negotiation is made between two authorised members of the exchange. For the purposes of convenience, an ordinary person is no longer needed to walk into the premises of any institution, for instance, the New York Stock Exchange, to enquire on the trade stock. This exchange is done through a broker. However, a stock broker is not just confined in such plain participation in a transaction as there are other stock broking opportunities such as execution-only, advisory dealing, and discretionary dealing, and other related services. Execution-only stock broker involves the implementation of the client’s instructions to buy or sell.

A stock broker who focuses on advisory dealing informs and gives important information to the client on which shares to buy and sell, but leaves the task of final decision-making to the jurisdiction of the investor. Meanwhile, a stock broker who is in-charge with discretionary dealing determines the client’s investment intentions and serves as the mainly involved person in all transactions and decision-making functions done on the client’s behalf. In general, stock brokers provide relevant and useful information on trading stocks, for instance on the cases of which stocks or mutual funds to be bought. To be a full-pledged stock broker, I must be involved in activities and related opportunities that will increase my competencies, particularly those that I need to be a successful stock broker. Of course, it is necessary to finish my studies first.

I will begin by providing assistance to a certified stock broker. This is my short term aspiration. By being an associate, I will have direct exposure to the business transactions that my employer deals with. Gaining experience is my key motivation. My medium aspiration is to get promoted or trusted with bigger responsibilities. For example, my employer will ask me to do things that are similar to his/her functions, allow me to decide on important things, expect me to be reliant to classified tasks, and the likes. After staying on this position for a significant period of time, I will try to evaluate myself if I am already capable of entering my long term aspiration – that is – being a stock broker. I will immediately take up the needed examinations and eligibility requirements.

Skills required for the chosen role

The chosen occupation entails the management functions including planning, organizing, directing/leading, coordinating and controlling. These functions are goal-directed, interrelated, and interdependent with each other. These are also needed in dealing with all elements of business – people, jobs or positions, technology, facilities and equipment, materials and supplies, information, and financial resources. Planning is very important. It is the most primary and basic process of formulating courses of action or organised behaviour ahead of particular time (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002). It appears to be foundational aspect to effective career management (Blustein 1997; De Voe 1998; Kaye 1997; Moses 1995; Orpen 1994; Shahnasarian 1994). While it is true that many people do not always plan their actions, it is important for an aspiring stock broker – like me, to plan. Organisations pay particular importance to the planning ability of every employee.

However, whether dealing with the context by which planning is occurring or whether on the individual or organisational level, the process takes place according to the prevailing attitudes, beliefs, and goals that are involved. On this case, the presence of definite course of actions and organised behaviour is important in stock broking. Brokers have deliberate goals that needed immediate response in the most time- and cost-effective ways possible. When a stock broker is affiliated to any stock broker firm, the firm’s objectives should reflect standards of success in financial and competitive performance, as well as acceptable levels of risk and rates of long-term growth (Roney 2004). The broker then is expected to present plans and interventions on the tasks and the resources to be utilised in achieving the predetermined goals. The lack of formal planning or poor planning process and ability can decrease individual as well as organisational performance (Baird et al. 1993).

According to most authors (Roney 2004; Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002; Matthews and Scott 1995), managerial strategic planning minimises the potential negative consequences of lack of formal planning or poor planning (i.e. uncertainty). The success of several organisations and people rely on the outstanding ability to plan, evaluate and materialise arrangement in connection to the achievement of goals. Organising is the ability of putting similar elements following one or more rules (Morgenstern 1998). Generally, it includes the specification and distribution of tasks to appropriate components (e.g. people, departments, etc). It is also the assignment of authority and allocation of resources. The practice of organising is crucial in developing inputs to planning, making planning decisions, and implementing strategy.

To be effective, however, comprehensive management function in the business must be done in a continuous pattern (Hornsby and Kuratko 2005; Roney 2004). Yet, it is argued that the organising process that is to be conducted within the firm or among the individual is dependent on the plans that must be implemented. On the case of a stock broker, organising includes the development of coordinated efforts and interventions especially in the performance of prescribed duties and eventual achievement of deliberate goals set ahead of time. This is highly needed to cope up with the soaring demand of clients and the industry itself. Directing or leading involves the execution of planned and organised activities and interventions for the achievement of predetermined goals (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002).

The task of directing or leading is also connected to other organisational factors such as the clients, the firm’s budget and assets, and all other firm’s resources (Roney 2004). Furthermore, it is encouraged to adapt participative approaches to directing/leading in order to elicit useful characteristics and elements that are useful for the individual’s and firm’s success level. Also, the development and execution of appropriate leadership style is a vital determinant of effective directing or leading process. In the stock broking industry, it is still fundamental to study the practicable directing or leading applications to be implemented in accordance to the achievement of individual’s and organisation’s most important motives. Coordinating is the regulation of all the various elements needed in the achievement of set goals. It is the integrating and establishing of linkages to diverse elements in order to accomplish harmonious operations and execution of plans (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002).

Coordinating includes the effective flow of communication. Communication is the link to successful execution of plans and achievement of objectives because it serves a number of fundamental functions (Brown 2001). Among these functions include the management of data and information, its flow, and so on. Surveys focusing on areas of improvement among corporations state that communication usually ranked as key element within the organization (Harris 1993). Eckhouse (1994) suggested that communication serves four major functions within a group or organization including control, motivation, emotional expression, and information. Communication is needed in a stock broker career because of the presence of constant meetings and appointments with different groups and types of people.

Controlling is the task of management in the course of providing positive controls on the efforts of various elements of the organisation such as people and financial resources (Witzel 2003). It has been demonstrated that the emphasis in successful management lies on the man, not on the work (Gilbreth 1914 cited in Witzel 2003). According to Gilbreth, the man’s mind is a controlling factor in efficiency, and has, by teaching, enabled the man to make the most of his powers. A stock broker must be able to control the future of every transaction so as to uphold the premeditated individual as well as organisational goals. Every action is planned, organised, directed, and coordinated towards a general consensus. The future of every business deal is reliant on the ability of the stock broker to minimise potential hazards and increase productivity. Thus, controlling and all the other management functions mentioned above are relatively important.


I recognised myself as someone who possesses the strength of the task of coordinating particularly on the case of communication. Petit, Goris and Vaught (1997) noted communication’s function is essential for cases like allowing employees to conduct meetings, make memos, provide feedback and share corporate-wide information. I believed that the previous exposures and experiences that I gained help me acquired this core competency. Good communication skill was gained from giving presentations at seminars, supplier and customer service transactions (e.g. issuing clear and concise instructions, advising and assisting customers, etc). I am also used at working on team projects particularly during my course.

This involved different roles, which have developed my impeccable negotiation and persuasion skills. Considering the significant role of communication in stock broking, coordinating is among the basic ingredients of my professional success. I also believed to the spill over effects of effective coordinating function like the development of teamwork and successful working relationship. Teamwork is also attributed to the positive effects upon the psychological health and well-being of organisations member (Carter and West 1999). Through effective communication, people are motivated to work in unity and towards the achievement of individual and organisational goals alike.


Firstly, it is in depth knowledge which I think I don’t have right now. I do have the knowledge of a stock broker but I am not a specialist. Secondly, I tend to be little autocratic sometimes. So, this kind of attitude reflects as my weakness in terms of directing or leading. Leadership is an important aspect of management. As stated by a few authors (e.g. Cohen and Brand 1993; Hyde 1992), management requires leader’s full participation and involvement instead of designating individual groups who will shoulder all the responsibilities. Furthermore, this also helps in creating a sense of commitment and loyalty (Hill 1991).

I presumed that I am the opposite of a favoured leader. I am autocratic which means I tend to be overly manipulative and domineering. I was engaged in an argument in my previous job placement out of my domineering attitude. This attitude hinders the development of harmonious relationship or esprit de corps among colleagues and most importantly on the part of potential clients. I recognised the need to learn a leadership style that will be instrumental on the achievement of my intended career role as well as the development of other important values useful in my future as stock broker and person as whole.


I have plenty of opportunities in this specific subject. In fact I have the world. The scope of learning here in United Kingdom is better than my home country. I am also active in this business right now and dealing with one of the biggest stock brokerage firm in Europe which I think that is one of the most learning experience I am having in this business ever.

The most common and important threats in this business are the uncertainties, competitors and future world situations.


We all know that fact that knowledge is power. So I think that I have to study more and more about the subject to gain more knowledge so that I can handle all the situations happens there in a stock exchange individually. While I recognise my limitation of being an autocratic leader, I learned to lessen my domineering attitude and improved my leadership style. ‘In the business point of view, good leadership proves to be quite beneficial as aids in effectively meeting job-related demands, creating higher-performing teams, fostering renewed loyalty and commitment, increasing motivational level, and reducing absenteeism and turnover of employees’ (Drucker 1995). From the last incident which I had in my last job with one of my subordinate, I considered having a reality check on my leadership skills – from autocratic to democratic or being friendlier.

I gradually changed from domineering to accommodating leader. By doing so, I am able to listen on other people’s voices and study the situation before giving my personal judgments. I should have been more lenient to the new employee. With this experience, I learned that autocratic attitude is not actually relevant particularly in working with teams because it hinders the development of teamwork among team mates. Thus, I needed to reconsider other leadership style as option. Now, I will take all the opportunities whatever comes to my way.

As my knowledge is growing day by day regarding this business, I think that I can make the best use of my opportunities. I hope, I can handle the threats as well. In this case, I should have proper knowledge about my competitors; I should be more analytical while predicting the future business situations. So, from the above discussion, it is clear that what a personal development plan is and how to develop it. SWOT analysis is a vital exercise for personal development plan. The examples given here in this assignment are based on my own life experiences and future plan.


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