Personal Development Plan sample essay

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1. Introduction

The aim of this assessment is to build a Personal Development Plan and evaluate my current skills and knowledge. The primary objective of PDP is to improve my knowledge and plan my educational development according to my background and personal experience so far.

2. What is PDP

According to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in UK (QAA 2004) defined PDP as: ‘a structured and supported process undertaken by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance and/or achievement and to plan for their personal, educational and career development. The primary objective for PDP is to improve the capacity of individuals to understand what and how they are learning, and to review, plan and take responsibility for their own learning.’

2.1 The benefits of PDP

The theoretical benefits of PDP can be summarizes as follow according to Quality Assurance Agency (QAA 2009):  plan, integrate and take responsibility for their personal development, identifying learning opportunities  recognise, value and evidence their learning and development both inside and outside the curriculum  be more effective in monitoring and reviewing their own progress  evaluate and recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and identify ways in which perceived weaknesses might be improved and strengths enhanced Page | ii

3. Skill Audit

The personal development plan for me is a chance to know myself better. Using the SWOT and SKA analysis in my PDP report will help me realize what I want to achieve, my short term and long term aspirations. I am going to focus on what my strengths and weaknesses are and how to use my strengths to develop my weaknesses to become strengths. After completing my postgraduate degree in Informatics and Communications I started teaching computers in a private institute and a local college. Working in the field of education help me to improve my leadership skills and become more responsible as a person. After almost 5 years of teaching I decided to change my career direction in accounting field and that helps me to improve my skills in other areas.

I become more adaptable and able to work as a team member and improved time management as I have to meet deadlines in my current job. When I become a member of the company I work for, I start thinking that an undergraduate degree alone is not enough in today’s competitive environment with so many graduates competing for the same job. I study the different master courses around in local universities and I decided to make the application for the MA in Management from University of Wolverhampton and got accepted. I believe that the combination gained in undergraduate degree and the valuable business knowledge and management skills I will be able to gain from this postgraduate degree will help me improve my career expectations. With the assistant of SWOT and SKA analysis I will understand better my strengths and weaknesses and based on my knowledge so far I will try to improve the most I can.

3.1 SWOT analysis

SWOT analysis is one of the most popular strategic planning tools used to evaluate the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats involved in any situation that needs a decision. According to Cowan (2000), a SWOT analysis may be used by individuals to recognize their strengths and weaknesses and ultimately their opportunities and threats. Based on this, below is a summary of my personal SWOT analysis.

3.2 SKA model

The ingredients of SKA came from Vinke’s (2002) definition of the competency as “the ability of an individual to select and use the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are necessary for effective behaviour in a specific professional, social or learning situation.” 3.2.1 What are skills, knowledge and attitude?

 According to Winterton (et al., 2005) Knowledge is sometimes viewed as if it was a concrete manifestation of abstract intelligence, but it is actually the result of an interaction between intelligence and situation. Proctor and Dutta (1995) define skills as goal-directed, well-organized behaviour that is acquired through practice and performed with economy of effort. Attitude can be defined as a “learned tendency to act in a consistent way to a particular object or situation” (Fishbein). Attitudes have affective, cognitive and behavioural intention components.


Know how
Know why
Know what
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3.3 My SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS Patient Sense of humour Outgoing and competitive Friendly and approachable Hardworking and committed Responsible High technological skills Leadership skills Good presentation skills WEAKNESSES Sensitivity Perfectionist Poor time management Poor organisational skills in personal life Team work OPPORTUNITIES New challenges Wider career prospects Starting a new business – self employment Show off the skills i have learned throughout the Master course THREATS No management experience Competition – other students graduating with the same degree globally


Working as a teacher help me improve my leadership skills and my ability to encourage and motivate my students to pass their exams and gain good grades. Moreover, I become more responsible and patient as a person because of my work. Also according to my working experience I demonstrated good presentation skills as I had made lots of lectures to small audience.


My weaknesses I believe are part of my character. I would call myself perfectionist, as I spend much time to make everything perfect and I stuck in details so I lose valuable time. As I had many things to do at the same time I lost my time control and is difficult to control and combined my personal and professional life. Before i enrol to this Master’s Degree program i wasn’t sure if i could handle to study and work together, as i am not the most organise person. Starting lessons help me manage my time and realise that if we want something very much we can achieve the best of it.


After completing my Master Degree I strongly believe I will be able to approach new challenges in my career and in my life. Based on the knowledge I gained from the course I will be able to use my managerial skills, marketing, business and strategic planning to build my own business and be my own boss.


Upon completion of my MA degree I will be theoretical capable to use my knowledge and skills I learned from my master degree, hence I won’t be full able to use it in practise as I have no managerial experience yet. Another negative aspect is the competition that grows from the fact that other students graduating with the same degree globally.

4. Setting my goals

According to Denis Watley Quotation ‘The reason most people never reach their goals is that they don’t define them, or ever seriously consider them as believable or achievable. Winners can tell you where they are going, what they plan to do along the way, and who will be sharing the adventure with them.’ Some goals are short term and others are long term. Some goals are easy and others are difficult. The whole point is our goals to be effective. Effective goals are set in a SMART way. A goal is SMART if it’s Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time related.

4.2 Short term and Long term goals

Master Degree is very demanding course and i have to study very hard to achieve my short term goal, which is to finish my studies and gain high grades in my assignments. I will spend more time on reading articles and make research on field of management. On the issue of time management I am planning to make a daily schedule to make sure I am not behind the time and at the same time I will improve my organizational skills as well. Also my team working skills have improved, because of the group activities and assignments we have in classroom. My long term goal is to cultivate skills that will develop and improve my experience in business and management world so I could fulfil my dream to make my own business in few years.

5. Conclusion

In the end of this assignment, I feel that I have identified my strengths so I have to focus on them and develop them even more. My personal SWOT analysis helps me evaluate and recognize my strengths and weaknesses. By knowing my strengths I can focus my efforts on the things I am good at and by understanding my weaknesses I can realize what I have to avoid and what I have to improve. To conclude, by the end of my Master in Management course I hope to be prepared for the difficulties of continuing professional and personal development.

Chapman, A. (2007). SWOT analysis. Retrieved 25 March 2012, from Cowan, J. (2005) Reflections-Wise and Otherwise- Learning as Much from what went wrong as what went well. Seda Seminar: London. D. Vinke, Industrial design at TU/e: the student as a junior employee, Interim report, retrieved 25 March 2012 from the website:
ployee.doc Denis Waitley quotes (American motivational Speaker and Author of self-help books. b.1933), 1 April 2012 Fishbein, M. and Ajzan,I., Belief Attitude Intention and Behavior: and Introduction to Theory and Research, Addison-Wesley, Reading, Ma. Meyer, Paul J (2003). “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail? Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals”. Attitude Is Everything: If You Want to Succeed Above and Beyond. Meyer Resource Group, Incorporated, The. ISBN 9780898113044 Proctor, R.W. and Dutta, A. (1995) Skill Acquisition and Human Performance, London: Sage. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 2009, Publications: Personal development planning: guidance for institutional policy and practice in higher education (Second edition), accessed 30 March 2012 Page | x

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), 2011, Publications: A toolkit for enhancing personal development planning strategy, policy and practice in higher education institutions (Second edition), accessed 30 March 2012 The Higher Education Academy at

Winterton, J., Delamare-Le Deist, F. and Stringfellow, E. (2005) Typology of knowledge, skills and competences: clarification of the concept and prototype (Thessaloniki: CEDEFOP).