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My academic and professional career paths have many turns, which I want to mention here. I was in Army services for 3 years (200-2006). I left the job and went to UK to study English for 1 and a half years i.e. in 2007. When I came back from UK, I joined a degree program at Blackburn College, United Arab Emirate, and hopefully, I will successfully complete the course by next year. I also joined Fire Service College for 3 months (April-July, 2008), which was basically about fire safety.

As my career paths have taken several U turns, I now want to make my life more meaningful and at the same time, successful. When I was in Army, I learned about discipline in life, but soon I realized that I want to do something different in life. I also realized that since English has become a universal language for communication, especially in the professional world, I decided to join an English learning course in UK. I finished it successfully and came back to my place to complete my degree course.

My aim in life is to become a successful in both personal and professional world. Since no one is perfect in this world and so am I. But I want to change my way strategy, attitude towards my goal and to get rid of my weaknesses. As far as aspirations are concerned, I want a peaceful life. I need money, power, leadership and security in life. And to hone up my skills, I have joined Personal Development Planning (PDP) program. I hope this program will help develop my personal and professional skills in the best possible manner.

Professionally, PDP can benefit me in many ways, which I have mentioned below:

  • It will help make my ideas clearer in the professional front.
  • I will be able to build confidence in making career choices
  • I will be able to build greater confidence, skills, qualities and attributes
  • I will be in a better position to compete for jobs
  • I will have better problem solving and planning skills
  • I will be developing positive attitudes and approaches for a successful professional life

In today’s competitive world, organizations hiring policies have changed a lot. Now, employers hire best employees for their organizations. They expect employees to have several skills including understanding of their own performance, adaptation skills to meet project workload, stressful situations, etc. They expect employees to respond positively, and stick themselves to the commitment they have signed for. PDP will help develop these skills in me and I really want to become a successful professional.

However, personal world is as important as professional world. I do lack many characteristics, which I should have. The second objective of undertaking PDP course is to make my personal life better than before.

Personally, PDP course can help me in understanding myself better. It will help reach me in a better position so that I could meet all my aspirations, whatsoever. I will be able to better understand my needs and the ways to meet the same. In addition, I will be able to develop positive and forward-looking approaches in life.

Strengths and weaknesses are complementary to each other. No one is perfectly correct or at the same time, incorrect. However, it is important how I understand my strengths and weaknesses. If I posses skills, am I able to use them at the proper time and place? How I perceive my weaknesses and my approach towards minimizing them in future are some of the most important aspects that I am realizing now after my PDP enrollment program.

While going through the PDP program, I learned about skill audits, a process of self-evaluation, knowing one’s skills and how to present well on others, and to develop confidence and skills to identify weaknesses and learn to set priorities for developing new skills.

After completing several questionnaires in the skill audits section, I am now able to distinguish my strengths and weaknesses clearly. Some of the questionnaires, which really helped judge my abilities and weaknesses were: about my qualification, practical working experience, language skills, communication skills (oral and written), what personal qualities I possess, which type of job would suit me best, job preferences in various sectors, etc.

All the questionnaires that I came through were very important for a person to understand his or her strengths and weaknesses. For example, communication skill is very important for a professional to explain ideas and thoughts to others, to convince about the project or discussion. Both oral and written communication is vital for success in the professional world.

In addition, I also learned the importance of body language awareness. I learnt how factors such as eye contact, facial expression, postures and gestures, appearance and grooming and orientation and proximity play important roles when you talk to others, especially while facing a job interview, project presentation or discussion. I also learnt about perception – how we perceive others, how others perceive us. Our self-image or self-esteem has a great impact on the way we communicate with others.

Self audits or self-assessment really helped me a lot. In the past, I had so many misconceptions about myself. As I started working out questionnaires, I realized that I do possess skills. I realized my weaknesses well and the main benefit that I got through this task is that I feel more confident and I can better present myself in front of others that I had not done before. I can utilize my strengths in the right direction and at the same time, I can hide my weaknesses so that no one could take advantage of the same.

Being a graduate student, my first priority to is to complete my degree course successfully and then step into the professional world. However, since my degree will be completing by next year, I am fully prepared to take every challenge that come in my way. PDP has great impact on my academic and personal world. As far as academics is concerned, when I read by degree books, I think about the practical aspect of it – it is not just I mug up the lesson to get good marks, I learn the lesson in a more pragmatic way and I enjoy reading them, which I had never experienced before.

The program has helped me develop my communication and interpersonal skills. Now I plan first and then execute them in the best possible manner. I plan for success and while planning; I keep several factors in my mind including specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound, and flexible. In addition, I set priorities between urgent and important. Above all, I learned time management skills, which are very crucial for success in life.

However, PDP also helped realize barriers that could come in my career pathways and how to tackle with them.

Success in life depends on various factors but if one is not aware of oneself then it is not possible for him or her to gain success in life. PDP aims to realize that inner self in you. It helps create opportunities in a structured way. It helps answer some tough questions, which you had never dared to answer such as what do you really want to achieve in life, what kind of personality you want to see in yourself, are you aware of your goals and ambitions in life, are you taking the right decision to reach where you want to be, are you doing enough to reach your goal or wait for the destiny to come – these questions can only be answered through PDP program and thankfully, I have these answers with me.

Personal development planning (PDP) is a kind of program that happens over time. It is not a few days or hours program. The real benefit of PDP can be fetched only if you think pragmatically and in a structured way. It helps only when you truly realize the real meaning of success. You should have the right information to make good choices. You should be able to trust people to share your reflections. You should have the opportunities to experiment and test your skills in various areas so that you could better understand your abilities and limits.

Finally, I would like to say that personal development planning is something that is a must for everyone who strives for success. When I joined the program, I was reluctant initially, but as the program progressed, I thought that for the second time I took the right decision in my life (first time when I joined English Learning course in UK). PDP has really changed my overall thinking process and it seems as if I can win in any area of my life whether personal or professional. Since I can better manage my time, I devote quality time for my academic result and in the meantime, I am preparing myself for the professional world. If I had not joined PDP course, I would always regret in my life.

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