Sample Reflection Paper on personal growth and development
The evolution and journey through this module came with mixed feelings of incompetence and inadequacy. The process has seen the emergence of mixed patterns of doubt and insufficiency despite my strong and firm commitment to the module. Over the years, my commitment to personal growth and development has focused and paid attention to the development of employability in the job market, a feat that has seen me focus more personal attributes such as confidence, public speaking, strategic planning, and self-worth. Additionally, through personal initiatives and dedication, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery and assessment that helped bring the best in my career path. The paper chronicles and focuses on my thinking on my professional development paying greater attention to the growth and advance of my employability skills and engagement. My action plans and continued employability development through various personal attributes are also included. Although I have built strong and formidable attributes towards achieving my professional goals, I have taken up the initiative to focus and work on my weaknesses that have continued to downplay and draw me back.
Employability Skills Development
The job market offers the most challenging environment to the development of any employability abilities (El Mansour 39). Through and by observation and involvement in various job engagements it is clear that the job market is very dynamic. However, the knowledge has brought forth the urge and motivation to continuously be resilient in learning and adapting to new and available theories of personal development and growth. The professional development module has further contributed to a deeper and strong emphasis on inculcating professional work ethic, discipline, continued learning, and the desire to pursue and obtain a professional role in my career. Archer (16) emphasizes on the significance of continued learning and discipline in professional development.
Although the journey came with its own challenges, my resolve to overcome and surpass my goals gave me reasons to aim at achieving my career goals. A clear-cut understanding of the needs of the job market and self-employability has elevated my confidence and knowledge. Ju (205) emphasizes on the need to inculcate the best skills for development of high self-esteem to help enhance a confident personality in and within employment opportunities. Through the module, my lecturer sought to help me dispel the notion that professional development is and remains an area of the employed. My professor’s continued assessment and feedback on my class involvement and performance was also crucial. Through various continued assessment tests and assignments, my professor laid a strong foundation of acknowledging the importance of demonstrating my best skills for the job market. Attributes such as confidence formed the basis upon which my attitude towards inculcating positive and desirable employability skills rested and relied. My professor encouraged me to lead my fellow students and emphasized that taking on the mantle and leading the institution during the forum offered me the best environment to inculcate a positive attitude to my already acquired skills. My performance throughout the presentations gave me the opportunity to clearly define my goals of building a robust personality through well-crafted communication skills and group leadership. Rosenberg (19) emphasizes the benefits of inculcating the two attributes for the good of sharpening employability skills such as prior strategizing and planning. Even though my expectations were not fully met because of my doubts towards the initiative, it opened my eyes to make observations from a third party’s expectation, a feat that helped me outline and align my skills with an employer’s expectations. Hind et al (26) maintains that firsthand experience and engagement are important in building a robust career.
In other lecturer experiences, such as in our weekly discussions, I took my time to understand concepts from different perspectives, which enabled me to link my theoretical knowledge with practice. I improved on my employability attributes by putting more emphasis on theories, such as the “Gibbs reflective model” that helped me de-link and develop confident attitude towards exercises such as interviews, job evaluations, and leadership attributes within a given work environment (Rothwell 123). Through these exercises and involvement in the lectures, I resolved to improve and work on my attitude towards procrastination, a habit and attribute that contributed to my slow response to issues such as in the work environment. It additionally helped me formulate and strategize on every action, plan, and outline of work that I may find myself in within my career. Rothwell (160) emphasizes on the need to have a tactful plan towards leadership and teamwork. Even though major activities and involvement throughout the semester focused on professional development and on the development of employability skills and attributes, my involvement in outdoor activities and engagements gave me several opportunities to expand my knowledge on responding to general life experiences. Hind et al. (47) acknowledge the vital role played by developing a positive attitude in the job market and developing employability skills. These experiences further instilled the required skills of discipline, patience, and positive attitude towards the challenges in the job market. Through and by my outstanding performances, I have come to formulate strategic life changing plans to actively take the mantle of influencing major decisions in my career life and mostly in developing a likable and appealing character for potential and likely employers.
By use of simulations through “BIM-enabled Virtual Projects” Gledson (34) argue on the importance of designing a realistic and achievable work plan on the development of likable skills for any given job opportunity. Positive and critical responses from my professor laid a key role in influencing my laid-back attitude towards personal growth and development. My professor’s critical assessment and positive feedback on my personality attributes contributed immensely to development of interest in the course. My engagement with my professor on matters to do with inculcating the best attributes to employability further built a formidable resolve to pursuing my goals irrespective of the challenges and difficulties along the way.
My engagement at Benson and Co. offered me a grand opportunity for inner personal discovery on the best requirement in any given work related prospect. Often, new employees find engaging and relating with employers a tricky and challenging experience. The opportunity at Benson and Co offered me the chance to look deeply into the best and most valued attributes employers need and expect of employees. I took the chance to mirror not as an employee but as an employer in an attempt to getting the best employees and tapping into their best potential. By playing the role of an employer, I learnt to understand what employers look out for in employees in addition to analyzing their best skills and attributes as argued by Jackson (220). I also learnt the role of flexibility as an employer, a trait that makes an organization easily manageable (Iles et al. 22). This helped me formulate plans on building the best attributes for the job market and developing employability skills, such as teamwork, organizing and planning. However, through my analysis, I came to learn that my critical thinking abilities are wanting and below my expectation.
My future action plan will be entirely based on some of my best experiences both at Benson and Co and my professor’s assessment and general analysis. I will focus on building on some of the leadership theories to enhance positive attributes such as good communication skills, planning, and team work. During my next year, I will pay more attention to working with diverse groups of individuals, fellow students, professors, and potential employers in order to sharpen my employability skills mostly on critical thinking abilities, a key component of leadership and employability. El Mansour (39) argues that critical thinking plays a key role in decision making and leadership.
My personal development journey helped me realize some of the most important components and strategies best suited for the job market and for career growth in any field. I learnt best through observation, participation, and involvement. My weakness lies in critical thinking abilities, key in employability skills. I will however embark on a strategic plan to counter my weaknesses with tactful encounters that focus on working with people, handling challenging engagements and exposing myself to new experiences and opportunities. I do accept though the fact that through and by the module, I have come to acknowledge some of the most looked down attributes such as team work and critical thinking as maintained by de Guzman (200).
Archer, Will, and Jess Davison. Graduate Employability: What Do Employers Think and Want? The Council for Industry and Higher Education, 2008.
De Guzman, Allan B., and Kyoung Ok Choi. “The Relations of Employability Skills to Career Adaptability Among Technical School Students.” Journal of Vocational Behavior, vol. 82, no. 3, 2013, pp. 199-207.
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Gledson, Barry, and Susan Dawson. “Use of Simulation Through BIM-Enabled Virtual Projects to Enhance Learning and Soft Employability Skills in Architectural Technology Education.” International SEEDS Conference, 14-15 September 2016, Leeds, UK.
Hind, David W. G., and Stuart Moss. Employability Skills. Business Education Publishers Ltd., 2011.
Iles, Paul, Annette Forster, and Gordon Tinline. “The Changing Relationships Between Work Commitment, Personal Flexibility and Employability: An evaluation of a Field Experiment in Executive Development.” Journal of Managerial Psychology, vol. 11, no. 8, 1996, pp. 18-34.
Jackson, Denise. “Testing a Model of Undergraduate Competence in Employability Skills and Its Implications for Stakeholders.” Journal of Education and Work, vol. 27, no. 2, 2014, pp. 220-242.
Ju, Song, et al. “Employability Skills for Entry-Level Employees with and without Disabilities: A Comparison Between the Perspectives of Educators and Employers.” Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, vol. 40, no. 3, 2014, pp. 203-212.
Rosenberg, Stuart, Ronald Heimler, and Elsa-Sofia Morote. “Basic Employability Skills: A Triangular Design Approach.” Education + Training, vol. 54, no. 1, 2012, pp. 7-20.
Rothwell, Andrew, and Brandon Charleston. “International Volunteering: Employability, Leadership and More.” Education + Training, vol. 55, no. 2, 2013, pp. 159-173.