Personal Reflection and Personal Development Plan
Creating a personal development plan involves more than simply contemplating what you want from your life and how to go about achieving it. If you want to create a personal development plan that helps you to achieve your goals, preparation is the key. To prepare, one must have a great deal of self-awareness. This includes clear understanding of personal values and ethics, analyzing personality characteristics, evaluation of learning styles and identifying strengths, weaknesses, motivators, opportunities and threats.
Preparing for this personal development plan has been a thought-provoking study encouraging self-evaluation, reflection and realization within the context of self-improvement in career education and relationships. I have analyzed my personality traits to understand how each correlates with my strengths, weaknesses and tendencies. I have learned that my own perceptions and actions may be motivated by feelings that influence me instinctively. Although many traits stem from my personality, that doesn’t mean I can’t develop and improve. I can learn how to use my strengths in better ways and turn weaknesses into strong suits.
I have learned through the Jungian Typology that my personality tendencies are moderately introverted, sensing and feeling, and distinctive judging (ISFJ). I have studied the key traits of this personality type and contemplated how it defines me in relationships, parenthood, career and the workplace. I am highly altruistic, supportive and traditional. I am motivated intrinsically and have excellent people-sensing skills. Consequently, my personality type is moderately introverted lending me to repress feelings and create more stress for myself.
I am moderately bashful; networking is not a natural for the purpose of advancing my career. Finally, I often overload myself with other people’s work or problems. Another key point of self awareness is the knowledge acquired about myself being a moderate internal locus of control. This will help me with personal development planning in terms understanding my natural tendencies and adapting to situations within and outside of my control. Other self assessments have enabled me to understand my learning style, become more aware of my productivity and stress levels, and how to recognize if I am experiencing burnout.
Awareness in all of these topics is crucial and each needs to be considered when staging an effective development plan. Becoming more self-aware and embracing my strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are the first steps to enhancing the quality of my life. Overall, I have potential I have not been using optimally and opportunities for development I have essentially been ignoring. I would like my personal development plan to be a compass; provide direction and help me stay focused on the developmental opportunities. I would also like this plan to be a gauge; a means to track progress and keep me motivated.
SWOT Analysis Strengths Weaknesses •I have excellent interpersonal skills and foster good relationships. •I positively influence others. •I am a patient, effective and creative in instructional design and training. •I have very strong values and work ethic. •I am caring, compassionate and sensitive to others. •I am altruistic, traditional and supportive. •I have excellent people-sensing skills. •I have exceptional communication skills. •I consistently give people respect, trust, compassion, stability and hope. •I Have not completed my college education.
•Sometimes distressed situations of others tend to make me be more lenient in my expectations. •My personality type is moderately introverted so I often repress feelings causing more stress. •I am moderately bashful; networking is not a natural for the purpose of advancing my career. •I often overload myself with other people’s work or problems. OpportunitiesThreats •I can complete my college degree with a high GPA. •I can better manage stress and be diligent in conveying my feelings. •I can learn and implement networking strategies. •I can be a positive influence and good role model for others.
•I can educate children or adults. •I can council children or adults. • I can use my strength of relationship building to create or lead groups/teams. •I can positively influence others, promote ideas and establish visions that can positively impact individuals, teams and work environment. •I can mediate conflict resolution, helping others work through problem situations. •I can model organizational values and coach others by leading by example. •I am more limited in many career developmental opportunities because I have not completed my college degree.
•I am at higher risk for stress because I repress feelings and do not manage stress well. •I am higher risk for burnout and productivity lulls because I overload myself by taking on the burden of other people’s work or problems. •I socialize well, but I do not network extensively to help me achieve my goals or advance my career. Completing the SWOT Analysis exercise helped me see a realistic picture of myself. The SWOT analysis has been very helpful for creating a personal development plan because it is based on self-actualization and brings focus to strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
I find it interesting to realize that performing a SWOT analysis for a career role of interest can help me identify if it is a good fit and how my strengths align with key strengths needed for a role. Further, pinpointing areas of development I would need to accomplish to be successful in roles of interest can help me design a career path to get where I desire to go within an organization. Another interesting observation from my SWOT analysis is that in some situations strength could be perceived as a weakness or a weakness as strength. For example, I listed I am altruistic, traditional and supportive in my strengths.
This may be perceived as a weakness in some situational leadership roles, yet significant strengths in other roles, for example, counseling or education. Pest Analysis FactorOpportunityThreat Political1. New and modified environmental regulations will continue to impact Caterpillar products and business. 2. Caterpillar has been approached by several other states with attractive incentives to change locations. 3. Caterpillar has been under fire by many environmental groups because products include earth stripping and moving machines, underground mining equipment, and diesel engines. 1.
Caterpillar can be EPA compliant in all countries as well as a leader in reduced gas emission from engines, machines and greenhouse gas emissions of the their factories. 2. Cat can continue to partake in social responsibilities and promote them in the media. For example, disaster relief, rescue missions and sustainable energy efforts such as building dams. 1. Strict government regulations increase cost of production. 2. If Caterpillar does not keep up to date on regulations globally, it could result in hefty penalties. Economic1. Significant revenue loss in the Mining Division. 2. Product Sales have flattened or decreased.
Significant infrastructure development in other countries such as Asia and India brings great growth opportunities for Caterpillar. 1. Establish and grow business in countries heavily immersed in infrastructure development. 2. Focus on growth of rental business will offset lost sales. 1. A stifled economy and lost revenue limits enablement for Caterpillar to invest in research and development. 2. Economic crisis with limited government spending on infrastructure in many countries. 3. Higher interest rates causing Caterpillar to lower company investment in capital. Socio-Cultural1.
Caterpillar is a world-wide organization; therefore the availability and cost labor is always a key factor in business strategy. 2. Development of infrastructure can bring prosperity to inaccessible regions. 3. Growing world population requires infrastructure changes and sustainability. 1. Having a strong global footprint allows Caterpillar to analyze labor and cost more effectively and utilize existing assets for strategic planning. 2. Caterpillar can establish strong relationships with partnering businesses in development of other countries, leading to strong partnerships and new business adventures. 1.
In already established regions with infrastructure in place, completion is stronger and could threaten growth and revenue for Caterpillar. Technological1. Caterpillar is focused on sustainability and green technologies. 2. There are large pushes for automated machinery to reduce operating costs and increase productivity. 3. Customer Push for fuel efficiency. 4. World-wide Business collaboration and Transformation platform using SAP for Finance, Sales to Delivery and Supply Chain. 1. Once SAP and processes are implemented globally, Caterpillar will realize significant operational improvements, cost reductions, and efficiencies.
Caterpillar has a successful recruiting team and fluent pipeline of talented engineers to lead the industry in innovation. 1. Technological efforts increase in production costs. 2. If Caterpillar does not embrace and lead in new technology that supports sustainability such as e-mobility, bio fuel, other power alternatives, it will lose the competitive edge dominance in its industry. Caterpillar has vast opportunities and threats politically, economically, socio-culturally and technologically around the world.
The PEST Analysis has helped me realize the opportunities Caterpillar embraces and the threats it faces, not just in the USA, but globally. I find it highly interesting that Caterpillar is a leading manufacturer of equipment and machines that are used in business operations that are heavily scrutinized by environmentalists. Caterpillar’s business growth depends on industries such as mining, forestry and fracking, yet still maintains a high socially responsible profile. To do this, Caterpillar has invested in new ventures such as solar power turbines, e-mobility and hybrid engines.
The organization has a rich history of infrastructure contributions in the USA and abroad, attesting to its vested interest in building a safe society and sustainable world. Lastly, Caterpillar equipment and volunteers have been monumental in disaster relief and recovery around the world. Recently, Caterpillar has gone through significant reorganization, downsizing and cost cutting efforts in reaction to the economy and significant revenue loss in mining division with a staggering decreased profit of $15 billion last year. This has displaced everyone in my department and threatens job security for employees on all levels of the organization. Additionally, new technology and automation of processes eliminate jobs every day and increase the demand for unique skill sets and deep expertise in technology and business acumen. In order to be valuable contributors and assets in the organization, teams, groups and individuals need to evolve with the business through continuous growth and development in a variety of skill sets including communication, interpersonal skills, problem solving, decision making, leadership and management skills. Caterpillar has been an evolving business for 85 years strong and shall continue to be for years to come.
This PEST Analysis has helped me understanding that Caterpillar is making strategic decisions everyday based on this analysis. I need to do the same. Personal Develop Plan GoalsAction StepsPotential ObstaclesPlan to Overcome Implement actions to reduce stress. 1. Join the YMCA and exercise 4 times a week. 2. Join Yoga classes one time a week. 3. At home, delegate tasks to others. 4. Implement schedules to keep organized and manage time better. Review with family for ongoing support. 1. Taking on too much to help others in the family, 2.
Making sure I allocate time to manage my stress will be difficult with long hours at work as well as school and family obligations. 3. Limited time with my toddler twins creates burden and regrets and can also contribute to stress and burnout. 1. Say no more often to family requests to do things for them. Often times these requests can be done themselves or by someone else. 2. Develop and maintain an exercise schedule and stick to it. Ensure than family also knows this routine and supports my plan. 3. Routinely allocate time with children each evening. Do homework after bedtime. Plan weekend activities with them.
Improve Networking skills. 1. Schedule informational interviews with managers and recruiters within my organization. 2. Schedule information interviews with resources outside my organization, with focus on areas of interest, such as education. 3. Join and participate in at least one social club available through work. 1. Bashful tendencies and personality traits that make it difficult to network for personal gain. 2. Lack of time to participate in social activities. 1. Identify the information I would like to gain from sessions. Develop a conversation guide with talking points and questions.
Preparation may ease anxieties. 2. Join a social club with people of similar interests and participate in lunch time activities more than the activities that occur outside of work. Improve self-confidence 1. Document achievements. 2. Focus on personal SWOT analysis. 3. Set and achieve small goals, followed by more challenging ones. 4. Incorporate useful tools. Purchase the Life Plan Workbook from Mind tools, a proven method to gain self confidence. 5. Continuously build the knowledge needed to succeed, including completing my undergraduate degree. 1. Negative self talk. 2. Surfacing doubts. 3. Giving up.
Seems too difficult or unattainable. 4. Worries about ability to accomplish educational goals. 1. Practice rational positive thinking, imagery and meditations to redirect negative self talk. 2. Journal doubts. Analyze if they due to genuine threats. If so, set or modify goals to manage. In not, redirect with positive thinking techniques. 3. Use the Life Plan Workbook and other tools. Focus on small goals and achievements. Practice positive thinking and remind self this goal is a journey and takes significant time and commitment. 4. Be cognizant of learning style and practice techniques proven to enhance learning.
I have many development opportunities that should help me personally, professionally and academically. However, the SWOT Analysis and PEST Analysis were vital in prioritizing the top three goals used for this personal development plan. My priorities are based on current circumstances, threats, and areas of development that may result in the most significant positive impacts in my life. Moreover, when considering action steps, potential obstacles and plans to overcome them, I gave careful thought to my learning style, personality traits, internal locus of control and other factors that may aid or impede accomplishing the goals.
Self improvement is important to me, but more than that, this plan is valuable because it can transform every aspect of my life. Managing stress is important for my physical and emotional health and will also improve relationships, focus and stamina. Taking steps to improve networking skills is an immediate need given my current circumstances. In light of a major reorganization eliminating my entire department, networking with managers, other business units and recruiters is crucial in order to identify opportunities to stay within the organization long before positions are posted on job boards.
Finally, improving self-confidence is going to be the most challenging goal of all. I was reluctant to add this goal because of the very reason for its existence; lack of self confidence. After all, it is documented as one of the most difficult goals to achieve. However, gaining self confidence is fundamental in improving in many other areas I have identified when preparing for developing this plan. Self confidence will help me manage stress better and improve essential workplace skills such as problem-solving, conflict resolution, decision making, networking, leadership and management skills.
Stress management and networking skills are goals I can achieve because they are ones I can prepare for more and realize immediate results. With immediate results, comes motivation and confidence to master and maintain those skills. I am not as sure about making big strides improving self-confidence. Perhaps this is because no precise step by step plan exists; it is a journey with many winding paths and no clear direction. However, many tools and resources are available to help stay focused on goals, realize achievements and keep me motivated with each confident step.