Individual Development Plan Essay
Individual Development Plan
Life is a never-ending learning experience. One of the most important lessons we can ever learn from comes from within. As we go through life, it is essential that we learn who we are, and have the ability to recognize and grow from our own personal strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what we are good at and what we are weak in is the only way we can truly grow as individuals. This knowledge helps us to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves in life. Through taking these personal inventory tests of my strengths and weaknesses, I have determined what I need to do not only to better understand who I am, but how to improve my life.
All my life, I’ve been known to be serious, dutiful, and reserved. My parents instilled a great deal of order and structure upon us so that if they happen to not be around we would know what to do. Coming from a family of four girls, me being the 2nd to the oldest, I had to be a good role model for my other sisters. While my parents worked, my older sister and I were responsible to watch the younger sisters, do choirs and then homework. Coming home from school, I always made sure that all these things expected of me is accomplished before I go out to play.
We used to live in a big apartment complex with maybe 150 units so there were many kids around the neighborhood to play with. Our most favorite activity is to ride our bikes around the complex, racing at times, but most of the time just riding, talking and joking around. I was always a little older than most of the kids, but they loved hanging around with me because I always took care of them and made sure that know one dared them into doing something they couldn’t do.
As a teenager, I was pretty down to earth. Being the responsible and thoughtful person that I am, I always try to do the appropriate thing at the appropriate time. I felt that each person should earn one’s keep and got a part time job to help the family out. More like so that I wouldn’t have to ask for money from my parents. They should only be responsible for the livelihood of the family. I often spent the money I made on practical things that I needed instead of fashion like most of my friends. A person should be responsible for their own destiny instead of being totally dependent on someone for survival.
At the age of sixteen, I started my first semester in college. This was the right path for me and the one that I’ve been planning for. My motivation to go and complete my college education, stemmed from the fact I will be the first person in my family tree to be educated and being able to accomplish a goal. Failure was not an option and was never able to understand why so many people decide to drop out.
Being a freshman, I really didn’t know what I wanted to study. I knew that majors such as liberal arts would not be something I would chose because I felt they are not practical. What will I learn from it and what job will I do using those skills? So I chose biology. Within two years, I discovered this was not for me either because science never posed concrete answers to questions. There are specific steps you need to take to acquire an answer but the answers can be different when controls are moved around or changed. Business management was my next choice because the concepts were practical and useful.
After taking all the self-assessment tests on personality styles, I’ve determined that the term ‘personality style’ generally means the ways in which one is most comfortable when reacting to different situations. I also discovered that while controversy surrounds the theories of personality style assessments, the practice of self-assessment with the intent of greater self-awareness can be helpful in maximizing my ability to understand what is really important to me and the traits which will impact my likeliness to succeed or fail at various careers. If we have a good understanding of our self we can make the most of natural strengths and build on skills in areas in which we are less confident.
In order to fully assess my strengths, I first determined the areas that I am most competent in. I generally consider myself to be a well organized individual. Everyday, I prioritize my daily activities by reviewing my never ending “to do” list. I am particularly strong and careful in keeping track of facts and details. At work, my job is to plan all the activities of the operations department and report on the activities of the engineering development to upper management. Therefore being systematic, thorough and sincere is important to accomplishing any task that I do.
Hardworking and dependable is how most people describe me. Given any assignment, I will get the job done or completed on schedule. When a shipment date has been committed to the customer, I will make sure that the order gets shipped to the right place at the right time. I will often take on extra responsibilities in order to maintain what I think is important.
Like the Lemuel Green case presented in class, my motivation is the feeling of existence within an organization. I need to feel that what I do is important to both the company and the people I work with. I consider myself a team player. I often provide assistance to fellow employees when they are in a bind. I am appreciated by my peers for always lending a helping hand when needed. I take pleasure in offering my skills, suggestions or perspective to my co-workers when I think it would be useful to them.
According to the five factor theory, I rank highest at being conscientious and lowest at being extraverted. In between are emotional stability, agreeableness and openness to experience. I think this is also right about my personality because I tend to be very aware of my surroundings which allows for flexibility when adapting to any type of environmental or situational change. I’m also emotionally stable, can easily be approached, and always open for different experiences. This is important because
Another method I used for assessing personality style is the widely known and recognized, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a test “derived from psychologist Carl Jung’s theory on psychological types” (Robbins, 2001). According to this test, I am an introvert, sensing, thinking, judgment or ISTJ. For each of the words or letters that I identify most strongly with, is an opposite trait that I have less association with. For example, I am definitely much more of an introvert than an extrovert, as evidenced in quiet and reserved personality. I am also more of a sensor that an intuitor, because intuitors love ideas, broad concepts and meanings, whereas sensors focus on facts and details. I consider myself more of a thinker than a feeler, because I value critical and logical thinking over doing what I feel is right. And lastly, I see myself as being more a judger than perceiver because like judgers, I believe truth wins out over tact.
Within each of my strengths lies a weakness. One of my most noticeable and possibly destructive weaknesses is overlooking the long-range implications of the actions I choose to take. I tend to get really excited about a task at hand and find myself half way through that I should have taken a step back, thought about it, and then take action. This can affect my performance and the ability to complete tasks efficiently and on schedule in this results-driven world.
As described earlier, I am able to work well within organizational structures, however there are a few things I need to work on in terms of team dynamics. I am not very personable. When meeting with teams or people, I often focus on the purpose at hand. I seldom take the time to know people and often run the danger of inappropriately passing judgment on them. Also in relation to working in teams is my tendency to expect everyone to be as logical and analytical as I am. This is an unreasonable expectation because people are different and I should look at it as an opportunity to learn new insights and ideas.
Another significant weakness for me is the inability to express myself creatively whether it is written or verbal. I have a realistic respect for facts and am extremely dependent on it when performing daily tasks. I don’t feel like I rebuff creativity, I tend not to pay much attention to it. When thinking or speaking I try to focus only on reaching my point. I usually a have a solid perception of the concepts or purpose but often run into problems when trying to build a framework that links all the parts together creatively.
Whether it is Myers-Briggs or the five factor model, these methodologies all showed me that I have several strengths, which I have used throughout my life. The fact that I’m realistic, systematic and organize enables me to work well within any organizational structure. I am very thorough, hard working, and careful with particulars and procedures. My practical judgment and valuing of procedure makes me consistent and conservative. I need to assemble all the necessary facts in order to support my evaluations and decisions.