Learning and Development Plan Essay Example

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The learning and development plan is an important program as it is designed in a manner that enables students to take into account their career in a well-organized and planned way. This plan can be regarded as a foundation as it will dictate the path that a student will take in his or her long life career as a student. In this regards, the learning and development plan will be developed by first performing a self-reflection, which will further direct the action to be taken, the impact that the action will have on professional development, and a declaration which acts as a tool of effectiveness evaluation.

In the reflection stage of the approach, the main issue is to evaluate one’s current status. This is important as it is informative of personal strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. Having this information at hand a person is in a position to know of the areas to maximize on, develop, and the suitable career paths. Primarily, this may involve focusing on areas such as expectations, changes, responsibilities, surrounding and the existing knowledge gap. The Act section requires that one engages in some activities that will foster professional development. These may include technical reading, attending workshops, registering for professional, relevant courses, discussing with experts and peers. Thirdly, there is a need to assess the impact of the activities that one has been engaging in with the aim of improving oneself. The assessment is critical as it acts as a basis for measuring outcome satisfaction and effectiveness of the action. Lastly, declaration of the learning and development plan is critical as it ensures that one considers and adheres to the developed plan. As such, taking into consideration of the above approach this paper offers a comprehensive learning and development plan in the field of accounting.

Evaluation of Personal Current Status

Skill Set

Through my educational and non-academic life, I have developed a set of skills that I am conversant with, and I do perfectly. One of the skills is the knowledge of accounting. This knowledge has enabled me to develop strong bookkeeping proficiency. For instance, the awareness of the accounting theory makes one aware of the methodologies and assumptions in the evaluation and application of principles of financial reporting. Secondly, I am an effective communicator. This is an important skill for accountants as there is need to communicate on a regular basis with colleagues, clients, and other stakeholders. It is also noteworthy that accounting also involves frequently explanation of cash flow issues within an organization. Organization is another skill that am proficient in. With the wide range of accounts that an individual is supposed to manage within an organization, it is evident that this is an important skill. Fourthly, I am innovative. I am aware of the fact that there exist a number of modern electronic systems that can be used in financial management. In this regard, I have the ability to customize this electronic system so that it may meet the accounting needs of an organization. As such, I have the ability to custom make the systems to be used in not-for-profit, industry-specific, managerial, and inventory accounting.

Important Personal Values

One of the most important values that I cherish is integrity. I hold the view that integrity influences the way to which I respond and react to whatever happened to me. Another personal value is honesty. Dedication is another important value. The accounting profession, as it is with the daily life, possesses a lot of challenges. Nonetheless, staying on the course and not giving up leads to results. This is the difference between failures and losers. Thirdly, listening is important as it enables one to put the issues in question into context and come up with a solution. It is also important in collaborative initiatives. Fourth, vision is key as it provides a way to explore opportunities and deal with challenges with the aim of growing in a certain manner.

Personal Strengths

In the analysis of my strength, validation from friends, family, and colleagues was taken into account. According to my friends and family, I am a good listener. I provide advice and solve issues by first listening to those who are involved and those who have experience in the matter. Secondly, my colleagues hold the view that I am a strategic thinker.

Areas of Improvement

As it is with strength, the establishments of personal weaknesses also require validation from friends, family, and colleagues. Accordingly, one of my weaknesses is staying focus. This is a validated weakness, as I digress most of the time. Secondly, I have problems meeting deadlines. This issue of timeliness is crucial in accounting as accounts need to be updated as they happen and some of the financial reports need to be presented on time. Given that my accounting career is just starting my level of competence in this profession rates as a beginner. As such, I hold that inexperience is one of my weakness and an area which I am supposed to improve on.

Priority Interest

My priority interests vary immensely and are not all associated with accounting. One of my interests is bookkeeping. The interest in bookkeeping emerges from the fact that it is a process that entails application of financial principles, accuracy and the game of numbers. Another priority interest is social media. Being in the twenty-first industry, I am interested and love the idea that friends, strangers, the community of professions have the ability to network through various platforms. Additionally, seeing the theory of network effect in actions contributes to this interest.

Dynamics in the Field of Finance

To develop a proper action plan that is paramount in the learning and developing within the finance profession, it is important to evaluate the contemporary changes within this industry. In this century, the world of finance is fragmented from both a geographic and functional perspective. This is attributed to the development of offshore business centers and shared services.

In the past, finance focused on processing of transactions, but now organizations are centralizing other capabilities such as information management, reporting and technical specialism in finance such as treasury, tax, and audit. These roles may be staff by finance people; however, organizations also make use of non-finance resources. The rationale for the deployment of non-finance staff is the perception that the non-finance staff understands better the produced information and how it is used. Additionally, some also hold the view that they are equipped behaviorally and culturally to associate themselves with the diverse customers. It is evident that businesses are not in a position to incur high overhead costs relating to the concrete segregation of roles of finance. The businesses are combining various components of finance role within complicated and highly evident business-partner roles. Additionally, some are outsourcing.

To respond to the changes in the field of finance, there are various activities that professionals can engage in to remain relevant. For instance, accounting professionals need to network effectively. This may entail cultivation of a strong professional and personal relationship with coworkers, former contacts, and colleagues, and seek advice when encountered with difficult issues. Another way to adapt to the changes is embracing the look and learn tactic. Other techniques include investing in oneself, developing a skill-focused plan for development and embracing the change.

Action Plan

Based on the personal evaluation and the current trend in the field of finance. The following are my goals that will direct the action plan:

• Getting to the top of the finance profession

• Creating an impact as an accountant

• Working effectively as an accountant

Getting To the Top of the Finance Profession

The goal in question is achievable and to realize the target one need to reach and succeed in the senior finance role, navigate the political landscape, and also benefit from wise mentoring. One of the requirements that are needed to get a senior financial role is a technical strength. To achieve this, I plan to enroll in a graduate school and major in finance. This will give me an upper hand and the technical foundation to navigate through the finance profession. Ideally, this will take two years. After graduate school, my next move will be to join a multinational organization for a one-year internship position. This will then be followed by another year in another company so that I may gain diverse experience. In addition to this, I need to be strategic, as such enrolling in courses, webinars, and seminars on strategic management within the two years internship period. This is because to be at the top of the accounting profession one needs to be more strategic and accept the reality that he or she is not only a numbers person. Another crucial consideration is the career path. Although there is no right path to a career, I intend to work my way up in a large corporate environment. Lastly, to get to the top, I will need to get a mentor. This is important given that the corporate world is a jungle and there is a need for a person who has gone through the process and has made it. This is especially because a mentor knows of the does and do nots of an industry.

Creating an Impact as an Accountant

The second goals that I intend to achieve are creating an impact. In order to realize this goal, I plan to make the right impression and establish a strong network of finance and non-finance profession. To make the right impression, I need to be aware of the ins and outs of the concept of impression management and how to use it effectively. In this regards, impression management refers to the act of effectively building one’s reputation via quality promotion, aspirations, strengths and what one brings to the table for an employer. Per se, the art of impression management is a socio-psychological process where a person aims to dictate others’ view of her image, and thus realize more favorable results. I will achieve this through ingratiation, self-promotion, delivering a good job. For example, I will aim at building a career equity by knowing the why, what, how and who associated to the financial profession. Secondly, networking will be on my priority list. In order to achieve this, I will maintain and create new connections. This connection will range from friends and family to that of people who I don’t know off but I would like to meet them. With the knowledge that networking is not a simple thing, I intend to change my state of mind to one that is ready to face the challenges that involve networking. Particularly, I will join account associations, attend seminars and workshops, and employ impression management. With these, I am confident that I will be in a position to achieve this goal.

Working Effectively as an Accountant

The roles given to financial professionals increase as one progresses through career path. So as to work effectively throughout my accounting career, I will frequently engage in prioritization and planning, and delegation. Prioritization and planning is an important technic in eliminating distraction which is a symptom that leads to achieving less. By prioritizing and planning this will make sure that all the tasks are allocated enough resources to be finished within the required processing time. By so doing I will be aware that all facets of my accounting job are okay. Completing and achieving more within the stipulated processing time also fosters positive motivation as one’s self-esteem is heightened. Secondly, it is important to learn how to delegate as it is a critical management tool. In this regards, delegation needs to be of tasks and outcomes. This technique enables one to finish a task on time and has a ripple effect on other areas.