Success in any profession requires extensive planning in order to achieve a cutting edge competitive advantage over other people. To achieve success, a person should start with personal development where the right attitudes and behaviors are enhanced to create a successful career path. Personal development increases one’s self-awareness, esteem and the ability to conduct a self-assessment. Consequently, a person who is able to conduct self-assessment can identify his strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. After identifying the strengths, a person can maintain them while striving to turn weaknesses into strengths. The next level of planning involves career development. This includes building competencies in one’s chosen career path by understanding the concepts and courses in education that leads to the career. Enhancing career development plans leads to building career skills that are vital for successful performance of duties in the workplace. Therefore, personal development, career development and the development of professional skills are vital ingredients for success in building a successful career.
When I started the degree program, I had low self-esteem that denied me the opportunity to have a sense of direction. I felt inadequate in many aspects because I believed other people were better than me. However, through self awareness and enhancement of self esteem, I am able to identify my strengths, weaknesses and opportunities in my life. One weakness I harbored for a long time is the inability to communicate and defend my opinion. This is a very essential element in leadership, because once a decision is made, a leader has to explain and defend the decision, sometimes amid opposition and resistance. I dealt with the weakness through group participation and discussion. During a group discussion where each member was given a chance to participate, I realized that other people who were weaker than me had more confidence. My participation in this discussion paved the way for me to continue pursuing avenues that allowed me to enhance communication skills. Consequently, I gained confidence in by abilities to defend my decisions, while acknowledging other people’s points of view. Currently, I am able to make decisions objectively and accept criticism without losing my confidence or self-esteem. As a result of the increased confidence in my abilities, I willingly accept responsibilities, because they challenge and enhance my learning experiences.
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Through self development and awareness lessons, I have been able to conduct a self-assessment to evaluate my skills and capabilities. Self assessment has helped me to identify my capabilities and, thus, be able to set realistic goals. The strengths identified during self assessment helps me to set challenging goals and design metrics to measure performance. Weaknesses help me to craft strategies that help minimize their negative effects and convert them into strengths. Therefore, to advance my personal development, I create action plans that define timelines and activities that I must undertake to develop my capabilities progressively.
In assignment one, I identified some weakness and strengths and created an action plan to eliminate the weaknesses. When I reflect on the action plan, and the level of achievement, I become pleased that the strategy is working well.
The first weakness was a lack of clear goals. To turn this weakness into strength, I created a strategy where I would write down all the goals for each day and then follow the plan for the entire day. Then, at the end of each day, the plan would be evaluated to ensure that the goals were achieved. Any shortfall in the plan was to be achieved through a corrective measure the following day. The action plan for this weakness is one of the best I have ever made. First of all, it is based on daily activities that culminate in the achievement of a long term goal. The overall goal is to gain a capability that will enable me to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely goals. This capability is crucial to my career prospects because its success depends on the properly formulated goals. Since I plan to become a manager in a multinational organization where goals drive the success of the organization, it is essential to posses this ability. There is no better way of developing and testing my efficiency in this field than through experimentation. The plan is a success because it has become a routine to plan my days’ activities and follow it. The process has become a part of me, and I feel that my life got a sense of direction. The success of this plan does not mean that the process has been easy. Sometimes my own plans may restrict my actions because a failure to achieve one objective would drive me back to the drawing board. However, through perseverance, which is a part of my strengths, I am enjoying the outcomes of the action plan.
Carelessness was my second weakness that limited my performance. The action to get rid of this weakness was to write down all the details related to any decision before making it. Through this process, I have avoided overlooking details in the decision making process. Consequently, I learnt to make quality decisions that would advance my personal development. Although the action has been successful so far, there is room for improvement.
The third weakness that the action plan sought to address was inattentiveness. I identified this weakness through self awareness and decide to involve others to help me overcome it. My friends have been helpful in every setting and have been bringing me back to focus when I drift. Their constant reminders when I drifted, increased my attention because I wanted to avoid bothering them. Consequently, I have increased my concentration span which is crucial for a manager. A manager who is attentive can identify problems at an early stage and take preventive measures before the problems escalate.
My fourth weakness was agitation, which made me easily irritable. Through the help of a counselor, I have become conscious of this problem and look out for signs of agitation every time I interact with other people. I hope that by the end of six months I shall no longer have this problem. Eliminating this weakness is crucial to me as an easily agitated manager is likely to make irrational decisions. Since I long to be a rational manager who makes decisions objectively, it is essential to eliminate this weakness before joining my career path.
Laziness was the final weakness in my development plan. I have made remarkable progress in limiting this weakness through accepting extra responsibilities from lecturers. Hard work is a highly valued virtue in the management profession I plan to enter. As such, limiting laziness and becoming a hardworking person is a positive gesture towards realizing my personal development goals.
My career development path has been challenging and fulfilling almost equally. However, I am grateful because the wide course coverage has enlarged my career paths. The study of finance has provided me with knowledge and information that is required in the finance management department of any organization. The study of business finance affects every department in an organization (Cinnamon & Larsen 2010, p. 64). Even those departments that are not related to finances have to make their operating budgets and forecast their revenue and profits. Therefore, I committed my effort to the finance departments like any other unit, although I knew I wanted to become a marketing manager in a multinational organization. Since I developed self awareness, I have aimed high in my professional development. Therefore, I look forward to becoming a marketing manager at the corporate level of an organization. One of the areas covered in class that I found useful to help me achieve this dream is the study of the global business environment. The global business environment exposed me to the dynamics that influence business performance at the international level. The knowledge on how various cultures in the world respond to marketing strategies prepared me as a marketing manager to design campaigns keeping cultural differences in mind (Morrison 2011, p. 87). In addition, I learned through the course that working in a multicultural organization can either benefit or ruin an organization. This information is crucial to my career because it has presented me with a chance to search ways to utilize the positive effects and reduce the negative consequences. I have learned the importance of business information systems and their role in the achievement of an organization’s strategy. Business information systems are crucial for a manager because they facilitate decision making and dissemination of information (Bramowicz 2006, p. 76). Business process and integrations are crucial areas that have enhanced my career development. The knowledge about how each business process is linked to each other is crucial to a manager, while decision making depend on such knowledge (Burlton 2001, p. 43). A decision affecting one department may have an indirect effect on other departments, thus it is important to understand this relationship.
Through interaction with various professionals in the field of management, I have realized that there is a high competition for management positions in many multinational organizations. To ensure that I meet the competence threshold, I utilize every opportunity to enhance my career. I have formed a habit of updating my Curriculum Vitae each time I achieve something new. I plan to develop my career prospects by taking learning opportunities in the organizations for which I will work. Various organizations provide opportunities for employees to develop their goals through training (Kinicki & Kreitner 2003, p. 43). Such opportunities increase the chances of promotions to the next level of management in the hierarchy. Since my career prospect is to work at the corporate level, learning through the ranks is crucial to understanding the overall organizational dynamics.
This is an essential skill in the current business environment. Globalization has connected the world and opened new opportunities for businesses. As such, organizations continuously explore foreign markets to achieve their goals. Operating in the international market requires employees with cross cultural competencies as cultural differences influence customers’ response to products and promotional strategies. One such competence is the ability to learn different languages over a short period. Such a skill is essential because customers relate well with organizations that make an effort to understand them. Another skill required is the ability to adapt and appreciate diversity. Employees abile to work in organizations with cultural diversity have a competitive edge over those who lack this competence (Krafft 2007, p. 72). Since my career goal is to become a part of the marketing department at the corporate level, I have started developing such skills through my interaction with students from various backgrounds and trying to learn about their cultures and language.
Communication skills are sought in every organization because they help to build up the relationship between people (Greene & Burleson 2003, p. 45). When strategies of an organization are crafted, they are passed on to the employees for implementation through the process of communication. Any change in policies and strategies within an organization is passed on to the employees through communication. Communication form is the link between policy makers and those who implement them. For my career goals, communication is a vital skill, because marketing involves communication with customers about the availability of products and services. In addition, communication provides customers with information regarding the quality of products and their value to the customer. Therefore, communication skills are sought after by employers, because they create a good relationship with customers and other associates and consequently create business opportunities. I have learned and improved my communication skills through class presentations and group discussions. I feel ready and competent with regard to communication skills.
Team Management Skills
Organizations around the world struggle to create and maintain cohesion in teams, because teamwork yields creativity and increase performance through collaboration. Forming a team is difficult due to personal differences and competition among members of a group. The success of teams depends on efficient team management strategies of the team managers and leaders. To manage the teams successfully, a manager must have a combination of skills that prevent personal conflicts and encourage collaboration (Howard & Miller 2004, p. 23). One such skill is the ability to communicate the importance of the team to the organizational goals. Appreciating the contribution of teams when they achieve success and consequent reward systems are crucial for team management. I have learned team management strategies within the school organization during my studies. During group discussions, every member was given a chance to moderate the group discussion to harness team management strategies. As a marketing manager, I will be working with different teams to accomplish the organizational goals. Successful team management will dictate the success of my management and eventually my career success. Therefore, I need these skills to succeed.
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Problem Solving Skills
In the current business environment, various aspects such as changing customer tastes and preferences have created problems for organizations (Krafft 2007, p. 23). In fact, organizations exist to solve their customers’ problems. Therefore, problem solving skills are vital to a manager, because they can determine the success or failure of an organization (McIntosh and Meacham 2002, p. 123). Through various group discussions and personal initiatives, I have learned how to solve problems by examining all the alternatives objectively and come up with the best solution. These skills will help me in my career as a marketing manager when faced with various problems.
Organizational skills are vital for a manager’s duty because they are the core of the management functions. Organizational skills involve time management and coordination that help achieve a predetermined objective (Kinicki & Kreitner 2003, p. 57). As a marketing manager, I need these skills to meet the deadlines and ensure that all the activities related to my work are accomplished. I have developed organizational skills, especially during my development plan and its implementation.
From my reflection on personal analysis and career plan, I have ascertained that I have tremendous progress in personal development, career development and developing professional skills. Although I have made this progress, there is still room for improvement as any career development is a lifelong process. In my quest to become a marketing manager in a multinational organization, I have developed skills that will enhance my duty performance.