A personal development plan is one of the most effective tools for students and professionals who want to achieve excellence in their respective fields. It utilizes the concept of reflection to enable one keep track of the steps they have made to acquire skills and knowledge. It enables one to keep track of the changes required in their life and the weak spots requiring improvement. The plan provides a gauge for a person to see their progress, and determine the skills to be achieved in the future. It aids in the achievement of personal and professional development goals. This is because success requires planning and goal setting. The goals set in the plan have to be clear and measurable.
Review of the initial PDP
According to my initial PDP, communication and social skills acquisition was the main goal for the semester. I had planned to communicate more with my instructors in the areas of my weaknesses. The utilization of the instructors’ office hours and the taking of extra time to get in touch with them enabled deeper understanding of the concepts taught in class. This was the main change that I had to make. During this semester, I have been able to increase the amount of time spent with instructors on learning after classes and ensured that I go over everything I learned in class. If there was a point or an idea that needed clarification, I have been leaving it to myself to talk to the teacher in order to understand the concept before the next class.
Social development was also a significant part of my PDP; I discovered that I lack soft skills in relation to other people. The importance of these skills in the work place is significant, and I required developing them in order to avoid the skill mismatch in the workplace (Zenger and Folkman, 2009, p. 137). The improvement of interaction with other people was one of the main goals of my PDP. During this semester, I have changed how I relate with people by leaving more time for the interaction with them. I was able to achieve this by seeking an elective post as a representative in one of the professional clubs at the school. Acquiring this leadership position was important for my development of leadership skills. The acquisition of this post has also helped me develop communication skills since I had to communicate the needs and issues of the club members to the club leaders. It has also made me a good listener and a more focused person due to having other responsibilities besides schoolwork.
I also intended to improve my social interactions inside and outside the campus. One effective way that I chose to achieve this goal was getting involved in extra-curricular activities. Choosing a sport or a club was not easy because I am not too athletic. However, I knew the importance of this and thus decided to join the badminton team and have become an active and competent badminton player over time. Having an extra-curricular activity and a social group outside of classroom has enabled me to deal with stress more effectively. It has also allowed me to relax actively and to live a more productive life. Joining the badminton team has proved to be helpful and beneficial in many ways.
On the issue of time management, I planned a weekly schedule of the things I would be doing every week in order to make sure that I was not falling behind on time. The weekly schedules have been effective but I have had problems achieving some of the overall goals set for the semester. The time schedule has been a difficult one to follow due to overcrowding and poor execution. Some of the milestones that had to be achieved by the end of the semester such as reading inspirational books have not been completed. The schedule made for the reading of inspirational literature has been too overcrowded, and I have only achieved half of what I had planned. According to Zenger and Folkman (2009), Inspirational literature is very important for motivation (p. 24). My inability to finish the reading plan is bothering and discouraging. This highlights a time management problem that I have to take into account in the next personal development plan.
A reflection on my performance
My academic performance during the semester has been at par with other semesters. There has not been any considerable difference in my performance, which is not satisfactory. I intended to improve my GPA performance every semester in order to graduate with honors. Therefore, more needs to be done and dedicating more time to studying is necessary. According to my PDP, I required to achieve an average of 70% in all the tests and assignments before the end of the semester. The more time spent consulting the lecturers and instructors has only had a marginal effect on my performance. This implies that more time should be spent on doing so in order to achieve the desired results. One of my instructors said that what I needed was more practice as opposed to theory. Changes in the amount of practice required have not been implemented effectively since the results have not been satisfactory.
Gaining hands-on experience in the field has been an important factor and determinant of success. I intended to work part time during my free time to gain experience and practice in the field to aid the theory learned in class. This step has only been partially achieved because I could not secure employment in my field of specialization. The job I acquired was in car sales, which is not what I consider perfect for the practicing of the skills learned in my course of study. I actually spent more time than the experience I gained was worth. Yet in my next PDP I will surely include more time for finding suitable work to ensure that experience is gained in the perfect field and the perfect job.
Overall, I have learned that I have potential I have not been utilizing. Previously, I could not find time to engage in other activities besides class work, yet I did not perform exceptionally well. I have discovered that I can live a more holistic life without compromising the time spent on studies. Planning has enabled me to visualize what needs to be achieved and decide how to achieve it. I learned that my poor performance in school has been the result of little or no practice. It has also shown me that personal skills are important, and they are not as difficult to learn as I thought earlier.
PDP for the next four semesters
My current performance level is average and needs to be improved by the end of the semester to ensure that I graduate with honors. Therefore, more time will have to be spent on activities that improve the amount of knowledge gained during class time and outside of class. Practice is also required; therefore, the time spent practicing the learned skills will have to be increased over the next four semesters. My academic performance is the most important aspect of my studies, thus more time will be dedicated to it alongside the inclusion of other activities such as sports. I will keep a record of the activities that I am involved in concerning work experience, personal character development, and other life experiences. The main aim of the plan will be to achieve the knowledge and skills that will match the market requirements (Fry, 2009, p. 120).
The plan will also integrate academic development with personal development. Personal learning activities such as spending more time in the library conducting research on some important aspects of my professional field will also be considered. This means that I will require dedicating more time to find work that is in line with my field. This learning experience will be aimed at learning from other people and encompassing the learned ideas and methods into my skill set (Niven, 2006, p. 295). Developmental changes are necessary to ensure improvements in the overall well-being of my career prospects. I will undertake more involvement in social activities and situations to develop confidence. The goal is to attend at least one social event every two weeks. In addition, acquisition of leadership and interpersonal skills will be given proper attention since these skills are what the professional world requires.
Establishment of learning habits will become a major part of the plan since life is all about continuous learning (Fry, 2009, p. 124). Motivational literature will form a significant part of my learning culture and habits. I will improve my time management skills to ensure that I read two or more motivational books every month. In order to improve my employment prospects and recognize the weak points I need to work on, I will ask one teacher to become my mentor. I will then make sure that I meet with the teacher at least once a semester. During these meetings with the teacher, I will ask for feedback on my career prospects in the field and the type of skills I need to work on. I will also ensure that the teacher gets a chance to criticize my efforts and improvements, and suggest areas for improvement.
Another important aspect of life that has to be included in the development plan is the achievement of financial goals. This is one of my main weaknesses and it was not included in the previous PDP. The goal is to achieve financial freedom and independence by the end of the four semesters. This will be achieved by ensuring that I obtain the habit of saving money. I will save half of the money that I earn during holidays. Doing so I aim to save at least $ 5,000 every year. These savings will be used to cover living expenses upon completion of my course of study until I get a permanent job. This goal will be achieved by ensuring that I change my spending habits to only spend on the necessary things. Avoidance of unnecessary and non-value adding activities will be the main weapon against excessive expenditures.
The personal development plan is very important in enabling the tracking of developmental changes that are necessary for the achievement of set goals. Planning is very important since it provides a medium for a person to set goals and decide how they will have to be achieved. My personal development plan will…
Practically every person needs to coordinate his/her actions and ways of development. In such a situation a personal development plan turns to be of a paramount importance since it provides ample opportunities to plan and clearly define main goals a person is willing to meet, the ways and strategies of their achievement. At the same time, a personal development plan is also essential since it helps to focus an individualâs attention on certain flaws he/she has to overcome which may refer not only to his/her professional activities but to his/her personal characteristics as well.
In such a way, it is possible to treat a personal development plan as an essential issue of personal development in large sense of this notion. What is meant here is the fact that a personal development plan provides personal and professional growth and it is very important that this growth is not spontaneous but clearly defined, structured and planned. This way of self-coordination is particularly important for professionals working in the field of health, education, or any other field which may affect dramatically large amount of people. In this respect, a personal development plan is extremely important for me as a mental health nurse.
The necessity of the plan
Obviously, a personal development plan is important and it is even necessary for a professional like working in the field of mental health. There are several reasons that make this plan really essential.
First of all, a personal development plan is necessary for the professional growth. It is not a secret that nowadays technologies and science progress rapidly. This is why I cannot remain in rearguard of the contemporary mental health science. Obviously, in such a situation I need a plan that could provide gradual and stable acquisition of new knowledge, stimulated my researches and, what is more, that would challenge me to meet new goals that I should clearly define in my plan. This plan will keep me competent and I can be sure that I will never stop my progress. Otherwise, I cannot see any reasons to continue my work in this field.
Course requirements and basic goals
Taking into consideration the importance of a personal development plan, it is now possible to dwell upon the basic requirements that my plan should meet in order to be really efficient and produce a positive impact on my professional growth.
Firstly, the creation of the plan implies the identification of the basic needs both personal and professional that fully corresponds to contemporary demands of mental health and social policy. In this respect, it is necessary to develop punctuality at university and clinical placement that can increase the efficiency of work. In fact, punctuality will help develop my self-discipline and my colleagues and patients will treat me as a reliable professional.
Secondly, it is very important to develop teamwork skills since positive results in mental health treatment may be achieved only when the work of all members of a team is coordinated and the ambiance is really healthy. In this respect, it should be pointed that it is necessary to establish good relations with colleagues in order to be able to cooperate and help them as well as receive their help in return that is actually one of the demands of the Code of Conduct and Professional Standard of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
By the way, this Code also demands a particular attention to patients and what is more important, on realizing my plan I should learn to be absolutely tolerant to all patients and treat them without paying attention to stereotypes, their health problems, or whatever else can be a cause for moral discomfort of these people. This is particularly important in the contemporary society since the problem of equality is getting to be really important in Britain which society is getting to be more and diverse and tolerance becomes one of the key notions of the social life and anti-discriminating policy is the current official and dominant policy in the UK.
Finally, I should develop my interpersonal skills in order to be able to have therapeutically relationship with patients and what is more it will help me to better understand how I should behave with different patients. In other words, it will help me to find individual approach to each patient which meets his/her needs. At the same time, it will improve my relations with colleagues and will make me aware of professional boundaries not only with my colleagues but with other professionals, including those working in social sphere. The latter is particularly important in the context of the current trends of cooperation between professional working in social and health services which should work for benefits of patients. In this respect, the Code of Conduct of Nursing and Midwife Council.
The planâs benefits
Naturally, the creation and of course realization of the personal development plan brings certain benefits. First of all, it helps me to organize my work and stimulate me to self-organization. It means that I will have clear goals and plan of actions that I cannot ignore. Otherwise, I will fail.
Furthermore, I believe that in the result of the realization of the plan I will achieve great results and become a well qualified and respectable professional since in the public I would be a person who knows what he/she wants to achieve. Consequently I will have chances for new career opportunities and probably in the future I will view my work as a mental health nurse only as the initial stage of my career as a respectable professional and scientist working in the mental health field. In such a way, this plan will help to realize my ambitions.
At the present moment, I am working as a mental health nurse but I do not think that I am a poor professional quite on the on the contrary I do not tend to underestimate my skills and abilities. At the same time, I realize that I lack experience in the area I work in and my colleagues recognize this fact and sometimes it seems as if they are a bit prejudiced but, on the other hand, I constantly feel their support and I believe in the future they will help to realize my personal development plan. Their support will be important to me, especially in the acquisition of new experience.
Also, I know what I really want to achieve in my work and I am really motivated to do my best and achieve possibly better results that helps me to realize my plan. Moreover, I think I can critically evaluate my work and I always pay attention to criticism of my colleagues that may be treated as one of weakness since I am probably a bit more sensitive to public opinion than I should have been.
Anyway, I know that the way to positive results, new achievements, and my professional growth can face certain threats such as the possibility of some mistakes that can prevent me from fulfilling of the basic points of my plan but these mistakes do not mean failure but, instead, I view them as very important but negative experience that I will never have anymore.
The ways to meet basic goals
Naturally, it is necessary to meet the goals in order to make my personal development plan efficient. In this respect, it is necessary to start with the planning of every day work. It means that regularly I should spend some time on search and analysis of new information related to mental health at large and my work of a mental health nurse in particular. To do this I will also need to get used to a carefully scheduled work that will contribute to the improvement of some of my personal qualities such as accuracy, punctuality, patience, etc. At the same time, I obviously cannot improve my professional and personal characteristics without assistance and support of my colleague which can also help me to enlarge my knowledge and acquire new experience.
Furthermore, I have to use more modern technological devices and means of telecommunication. This is why I will need to use IT, Internet and other means of telecommunication which may be also a very important source of essential information as well as they contribute to my communication with other professionals who probably face the same problem that I do or who have already overcome them.
Finally, I need to properly evaluate the progress I will have made due to my personal development plan that will keep my motivation up. To do this, I will need to carefully develop the stages of my plan and record them thoroughly. For instance, one of my goal is to develop IT skills, consequently, in short terms I should learn to work how some program works. I take it as my short term objective and record when it is met and than find another goal in the same area. As a result, in the course of time, I will be able to look through my records are realize the progress I have already made. At the same time, if I make a mistake somewhere or I am not successful enough than I will have a chance to make certain improvements and have new goals to meet. Consequently, the desirable circle of constant motivation and development of new goals on meeting the old ones will be completed and my stable personal and professional development will be guaranteed. In this respect, I should say that currently I am aware of the importance of the equal opportunity policy in the UK as the basis of my work in the field of mental health service, and I realize the necessity to apply the basic principles of this policy to all patients and to treat people in respect to the Code of Conduct of Nursing and Midwife Council as any real professional must do. Anyway, the service users should not be stereotyped because of their mental illness.
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