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Personal and Professional Development

Introduction To Personal Development

In this era of fierce competition the business organization seeks the candidates with the optimum level of skills and efficiency in order to enhance the profitability of the organization. To establish the prominent position in the market place, individual enhances their capabilities and knowledge by examining the current and projected need in upgrading the knowledge and experience. Personal and professional development refers to the continuous process of acquisition of knowledge and abilities in a systematic planned and comprehensive way by figuring out the requirement in enhancement of professionalism, developing the plan for it and implementing (Berghman and Vloeberghs, 2003). In this report I have outlined myself learning process. This report throws light on the approaches adopted for the self-learning process and its benefits and the ways in which the life long process can be encouraged. Further, after identifying the current competencies and the needs, the development plan is prepared. The report also explains the work based problems arises in the organization and the effective strategies to manage it.

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1.1 Approaches to self-managed learning

Self-managed learning refers to the initiative taken by an individual to increase the quality and standard of the skills possessed, identify the learning opportunities, develop a plan and take it under process. Self-managed learning is the process adopted in the planned way with the set of activities to execute it. Fundamentally there are two types of approaches for self managed learning:

1. Learning through Research:

Self-initiation of learning process: This refers to the realization of the utility of the self-managed learning process and initiative taken to achieve it (Line, 2002).

Goal setting: The clear and precise goal is set in the professional and personal aspects.

Aims and requirements: Various techniques are adopted to identify the requirements such as the learning style, the method which enables the acquisition of skills better and the evaluation criteria.

Personal orientation achievement goal: With the self-analysis the current skills are assessed and the required needs are identified and accordingly steps are adopted.

Self-reflection: After process the above methods the crucial step is evaluating the targets achieved and the skills acquired (Agha, 2001).

2. Learning through external sources:

Research: The method to acquire the inclusive knowledge and skills. Research enabled me to gather the thorough basics and information in different fields.
Mentoring/coaching/Interviews: Mentoring and coaching from the expertise enabled me to understand me in the better way and improve in the areas I am lagging behind to attain the professionalism.
Seminars/Conferences: Attending seminars and conferences gave me exposure to increase my experience with specialists and expertise in the fields (Robinson and Carrington, 2002).
Virtual platform and Internet: In the era of Globalization, virtual platform and internet became the indispensable part of learning process.

1.2 Learning and development method and ways in which lifelong learning is encouraged.

Every individual possess the different ways to learn and process the information. To identify my learning style I have used the VARK model. VARK model states that an individual grasp the information through 4 sensory modalities Visual, auditory, read/write and kinesthetic. It is completely subjective in nature (Learning method, 2009). Different persons have different ways to learn. This helps in realizing that with the help of questionnaire having 40 questions.

  1. Analyzing the above score it can be inferred that I have the tendency to process the information in the better way through the Visual and kinesthetic means.
  2. Visual method states the tendency to acquire knowledge and skills by seeing through the visuals such as the presentation, diagrams and videos (Currant, 2002).
  3. Kinesthetic method refers to the processing the information through the experience.

Learning is the continuous process. It is the pursuit of knowledge for the profession and personal motives. Undergoing various processes, lifelong learning is the process of personal development, competitiveness, employability and the other attributes such as the self-sustainability, active citizenship and the ability to change. It can be encouraged in the following ways:

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Self-directed learning: In order to accumulate the knowledge for the longer period the self-directed learning is initiated (Koprowska, 2010).

Academic knowledge: The fundamental area where an individual acquire knowledge and skills. It builds the foundation of the skills possessed by the persons.

Further education: To enhance the academic knowledge and experiences, the higher studies proved to be beneficial to the great extent. Such as the Credit accumulation and transfer scheme is used to facilitate the students to higher institutions.

Recognition of prior learning: This is known as the development in the personality by learning from the surrounding the society in which a person lives. The dynamic and progressed society molds an individuals' personality in the active and resourceful way (Berghman and Vloeberghs, 2003).

Employment: On the job training is encouraged in all the organization to improve the efficiency of the employees through training programs, development sessions, and apprenticeships.

Through the above methods the life long learning process is encouraged from the early time to the old age.

1.3 Benefits of self-managed learning

The planned and systematic way of self-managed learning trickles down the positive impacts on an individual and the organization by benefiting them in various aspects.

Benefits for an individual:

The flexibility in the process adopted for the self-managed learning make it compatible for all the individuals with different backgrounds and the abilities. The process includes different types of learning styles and strategies so an individual adopt it as per the suitability. Hence, this process is proved beneficial almost for all (Beausaert and et.al, 2013.).

Including various components such as identifying the learning styles, current skills, future requirements, the optimum development plan, the specified time frames and the methods to resolve the issues makes it the perfect tool to upgrade the personality of an individual in the 360 degree coverage.
For an organization

By promoting the self-managed learning, the organization gets the employees with the optimum level of efficiency and skills who significantly contribute in the profitability of the company (Pratt and Kaplan, 2004).

In saves the cost incurred in the training of employees. With the minimal expense and not to intimate training methods employees are made compatible with the functioning and work standard of organization.


2.1 Own current skills and competencies against professional standards and organizational objectives

From the above analysis the following inferences are made:

  • My strengths are the strong interpersonal skills such as the decision making which helps me to deal with different situations.
  • Below average communication skills and leadership qualities are my weakness that hinders my growth. Also, I need to improve the presentation skills.

Acknowledged strengths include:

  • Efficiency in hiring the suitable applicants to increase the productivity and profitability of organisation.

Selected Contributions and results:

  • Introduced the new system for the rigorous recruitment in the organisation which brought paradigm shift in the selection process.

Education and Professional development

  • Resonance College, GLPD il ed, Associate degree in Human resource, August 2015.
  • Worked as a Human resource assistant manager in Iconics and brothers, London

2.2 Own development needs and the activities required to meet them

The development needs in the professional and personal context in identified by skills auditing using the appropriate self-assessment tools.

Comparing the current needs and competencies against the professional standard I have realized that my verbal and written communication does not match with the benchmark set by the professionals in the field. Hence, for that purpose I need to enhance my abilities to have stronger bond with the customers and the business linkages.

Leadership skill is one of the important attribute of the manager to hold the employees as a team and seek better results from them. I am lacking in this quality of a manager. It is required to be improved using certain methods.

Also, I need to improve my presentation skills to communicate effectively.

Also Read: Professional Skills Portfolio

2.3 The development opportunities required to meet both the current and future needs that you have identified above

Development opportunities are identified by using the SWOT analysis menthod.

Strengths: I have the strong foundation of the technical and professional knowledge. With the good command over the formal knowledge my proficiency in the field is very high which will enable be to pursue my career in the field. I also possess the good interpersonal skills such as decision making.

Weakness: I lack in good leadership qualities that command the team and make them achieve the goal as a team. Further, I need to upgrade my communication and presentation skills.

Opportunities: Working in the retail sector as a HR manger brings lots of career opportunities to pursue the career in the effective manner.

Threats: The competition is very tough in the dynamic market trend. The organizations demand high proficiency in the skills that threatens existence in the market place as an individual.

In order to meet the current and future needs in the up-liftment of the skills and knowledge the following are the development opportunities:

Future Needs

Leadership Qualities: The most important attribute in the management is the leadership quality. It encourages the efficiency of the employees in the significant way (Merryl, 2013). To enhance this attribute certain models can be adopted such as the four framework approach or the situation leadership model. Along with this adopting different leadership styles at different situations brings positive results.

Communication skills: Communication skills can be enhanced by undergoing the professional courses. With the help of this person is able to adopt various styles of communication to address the employees of different levels of designations (Gibbons, 2003).

Current Needs

Presentation skills: The presentation skills need to be skills-full, impact-full and precise to make the content understandable.

Interpersonal skills: The interpersonal skills such as the decision making play the key role in the profitability of the organization (Calnan and Rowe, 2006). It can be improved by more interaction. I possess the good interpersonal skills so to make it more effective more interaction is needed.

Technical and professional knowledge: I am the holder of Associate degree in human resource management. My knowledge in this can be enriched with the proficiency in the advanced courses in the same field.


3.1 Short term objectives and long term objectives, together with the processes and activities required to implement your development plan

In order to achieve the decided learning targets and undergo the process to imbibe the development I have set some shot and long term objectives.

  1. To bring the direction of change in the personal and professional dimensions to match up the organizational standards (Gibbons, 2003).
  2. Need to improve the proficiency in the communication skills in the oral and written manner in the span of 1 month.
  3. To improve the presentation skills in the period of 1 month to make the documents prepared presentable in every context.
  4. Technical knowledge: To enhance the technical knowledge in the time duration of 1 month (Cardno, 2005).
  5. Undergo the process of improvement by adopting the cycles of activity which inculcates the process such as the monitoring, reflecting and planning.
  6. Preparing the performance appraisals technique to evaluate the learning process and its accomplishments.

3.2 Documentation of the planned activities.

To improve my proficiency in the communication skills I shall be joining the advanced course for the verbal and written communication.
To enhance the efficiency in the presentation skills and make it more impact-full, I shall be using the virtual platform. By using the software with better user interface and options the presentation can be made easy to understand and precise.

  • To imbibe the leadership qualities in me, I shall be using various leadership models and techniques. Along with this by undergoing the counseling and the mentoring from the expertise, the flaws in my leadership skills can be removed (Dale, 2009).
  • Efficient time management brings lucrative results to an individual as well as the organization. To enhance that I shall be using time management strategies such as using the electronic planning tool, prioritizing the task assigned, avoiding the delays and procrastination.

3.3 Own learning against the targets set

After identifying the learning needs, preparing the personal development plans, implementing the strategies made I have evaluated my learning by comparing it against the targets set. The following are the interpretation:

  1. I have attained the advanced technical knowledge undergoing the professional courses in the human resources' management (Merryl, 2013).
  2. My presentation skills are improved up-to the great extent, with the use of better techniques and methods the presentation is made more understandable.
  3. I am still lagging in certain qualities such as the communication skills and time management skills.

I have realized that identifying my learning style through VARK model lacked precision due to limited number of question in the questionnaire. Hence, due to that intensity of learning got slowed in some areas such as in time management and communication skills. It requires further improvements through different methods.


4.1 Work based problem and the solutions

I am aspiring to work as the HR manager in the retail sector. The HR department is engulfed with the number or duties and responsibilities. To implement these works efficiently the senior management assigns the work to the subordinates and supervises them. The prerequisite of the efficiency and preciseness in the work is the team work done by the employees. Work done with the perfect coordination and involvement always gives positive results (Bello, 2008). At the same place one the major work based problem the management encounters is the ineffective team management in the organization. The components of the problems are:

  1. Absence of trust towards the senior management.
  2. The increase in the conflicts and disputes between the employees.
  3. Lack of commitment towards work and organization.
  4. Inattention towards achieving the goals and targets assigned by the leader.
  5. Avoidance of the accountability towards the work assigned to perform.

The mentioned problem, ineffective team management by the leaders and managers in the organization can be resolved by adopting the GRPI team building modals. It significantly helps in addressing the issues (Ottewill, 2002). The acronym GRPI stands for Goals, Roles, processes and interpersonal relationships.

Goals: Setting the clearly stated goal by explaining the purposes, needs, goals, project scopes and the desired outcomes. It connects the employees with the organization in the better way.

Roles: By assigning the employees their roles and responsibilities and making them responsible towards the authority (Bennett, 2006).

Processes: By adopting the certain factors such as identifying the critical success factors, monitoring and making plans to complete in the scheduled time.
Interpersonal Relationships: Improving the interpersonal relationships by encouraging the mutual participation, trust and coordination.

4.2 Communication in various styles.

In an organization the employees are required to communicate with the official at different levels. For that different methods and ways are adopted.
Management: This the senior most section of the organization. The employees are required to report the happening at the subordinate level to this level. The communication method adopted is in formal style (Koprowska, 2010). To save the time of the officials the documents are presented in the precise and effective way such as in the form of presentation and in verbal speech.

Operation: This level includes the formal and informal communication both. At this level the coordination is done in the form of written documents and the verbal way.
Subordinates: The subordinate level communication is done in the informal way. This is executed in the verbal manner. The supervision of the higher management is done through the apprenticeships, training programs, development sessions and seminars through verbal communication (Fulmer, Stumpf and Bleak, 2009).

4.3 Use effective time management strategies

To complete the work in the scheduled time and in the effective manner, these strategies prove helpful in the significant way. The following working planning and methodology is used.

Planning: With the proper planning, the work can be executed in the effective manner. Using the tools such as the electronic planner make the work easier and in the systematic manner (Bello, 2008).
Prioritizing: There are slew of work to be accomplished in the scheduled time. By prioritizing the works and tasks as per the importance and the targeted time frames the work can be completed at the right time and in the effective manner.
Avoiding delays: Procrastination is the biggest obstacle which hinders the smooth functioning. When the clutter of work is collected, the quality of work decreases (Nutley, 2008). Hence, by completing the tasks and work on time or moreover before the given time frame increases the efficiency.


The development plans prepared for the acquisition of the skills and knowledge brings the lucrative results for an individual and the organization. Self-managed learning is processed in the very planned and systematic manner. After identifying the learning style through the VARK model I have prepared the plan and activities to process that accordingly. Using the SWOT analysis I have identified my strengths, weakness, threats and opportunities. Further, the effective development plan prepared with the help of expertise and specialists has enriched me on personal and professional grounds.


  • Agha, S. S., 2001. Professional development: specialization or hybridization. Library Review.
  • Bennett, B., 2006. Personal development plans: evidence from research on their use. Development and Learning in Organizations
  • Currant, B., 2002. Self-Managed Learning in Action: Putting SML into Practice. Industrial and Commercial Training.
  • Dale, M., 2009. Developing Management Skills: Techniques for Improving Learning & Performance. Kogan page publishers.
  • Fulmer, M. R., Stumpf, A. S. and Bleak, J., 2009. The strategic development of high potential leaders, Strategy & Leadership.
  • Gibbons, M., 2003. The Self-Directed Learning Handbook. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Koprowska, J., 2010. Communication and Interpersonal Skills in Social Work. 3rd ed. SAGE.
  • Line, M., 2002. How do managers learn to manage? Library Management.
  • Merryl, H., 2013. Self-directed Learning: Critical Practice. Routledge.
  • Nutley, T., 2008. The Little Book of Personal Development. 2nd ed. Lulu.
  • Ottewill, R., 2002. Student self‐managed learning – cause for concern. On the Horizon..
  • Pratt, K. and Kaplan, A. 2004. Professional sustainability in facility management. Journal of Facilities Management.
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