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Personal Professional Development for the Workplace

Executive Summary

This personal development plan is an important and very helpful tool that is in the disposal of someone who recently finished her studies. Even if there is so much learning in the theoretical aspect of managing a business there is nothing like working in a real-world setting. The personal development will provide the needed information regarding personality types and the kind of leader that I will become.

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The Myers-Briggs Type indicator is one of the most helpful tools. It is an assessment tool that allows the user to find out how he deals with people as well as the internal and external environment. This is also a tool that will help the user to determine the way he or she will solve problems and accomplish a task. There is a way to find out if someone is people-oriented or task-oriented. The ability to find out what the person is capable of doing and how he or she will react in a given situation will help the person make prudent choices.

After understanding personality types and even the propensity of the person to adhere to a particular leadership style will help in formulating a plan that hopefully will limit the trial-and-error aspect of job hunting as well as determining the kind of career that is suitable for the person.

In order to find out if the person really understood and internalised the personality type as well as leadership style there is a need to develop SMART goals. This will later be used as a gauge to discover if the person is well aware of his or her strengths and weaknesses. More importantly the SMART goals also provide a guide that the person will follow in determining his personal growth in the business sector that he or she chose to build their careers.


This Personal Development Plan (“PDP”) will be of assistance when it comes to choosing a career. This PDP is not only a helpful tool when it comes to making long-term decisions, it will also help in determining short-term goals such as in making the decision on what position I will be applying for. The PDP will help me make the correct decision considering the fact that I will be applying for an entry level job after finishing my studies. In this regard the PDP will also help me formulate strategies and then determine with clarity the specific steps that I will embark next when I am ready to work as a professional. More importantly, the results of the PDP can help me position myself in the industry sector of choice as well as provide the necessary tools on how to adapt to a new environment as well as adjust to a new group of friends, co-workers and superiors. The ability to understand my personality types, and the inherent strengths and blind spot linked to that personality will enable me to make the necessary changes so that improvements in character and skills will help shorten the distance between career goals and professional achievements.

My Career

The perfect job for me is to become the director of the food and beverage (“F&B”) department of a large hotel. I choose to live and work in Singapore for I believe that in Singapore there are plenty of opportunities where I can hone my skills and become a successful professional working in the F&B sector. According to a government sponsored website, “Singapore has been ranked alongside Hong Kong and Australia as one of the three major eating capitals in the Asia Pacific region” (Spring Singapore, 2009). This strengthens my resolve to work in F&B because I want to oversee and delegate different sub-units such as: the food production or kitchen department; room service; alcoholic beverage etc. This is a complex job especially in a five-star hotel where there one can find a coffee shop, a gourmet restaurant, a poolside snack bar, request for room service, banquet halls, function rooms, piano bar, lounge, nightclub, and lobby bar (Rutherford & M. O’Fallon, 2007). This kind of job fits my personality. It will allow me to have the kind of position that will provide a good salary as well as the ability to demonstrate my problem solving-skills and how to manage people.

At this point in my career it would be too early and to presumptuous to desire for a high level executive position because aside from the learning curve that I have to deal with in the new job, I am also aware that I do not have natural leadership abilities as seen in various personality and skills tests that I was able to complete. I do not hesitate to admit that my verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning skills are not at par with those whom I suppose could lead multi-national companies. I have time and have an opportunity to improve my skills and my abilities therefore at this point, early in my career I would like to focus more on learning and education as my primary goal in my entry level job.

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Industry Sector and Location

The industry sector that I would want to be working in is the Food and Beverage sector in Singapore. The F&B sector is one of the most important sectors in any first-rate country. This is so true for Singapore because it is an economic hub in Asia and conducts business in a global scale (Sung, 2006). It is a melting pot of culture as well as magnet for tourists coming from all over the planet. As a result, the hotels in this tiny city-state must offer quality service especially in the food service aspect of the F&B. The F&B sector is something that does not deal with abstract ideas. The CEO and the top honchos of the company can setup a system and I would be very happy to follow it. There is no need for me to think of creative solutions to problem. There is predictability in this sector and this would fit my personality.

The decision to work in Singapore was an easy decision on my part. My cultural roots are in Singapore and I know the place more than any other nation in this world. It would be to my advantage to find a job in Singapore. I perfectly understand the culture and even how the business and politics converge to create a city that may be unimpressive in natural resources but known as a significant economic player in Asia and even the rest of the world. I know the people and it would be much easier for me to deal with them the moment I am promoted to a managerial position.

Problem solving and decision making

At the very beginning of my journey as a professional working in the F&B industry I am faced with the problem with regards to my employment. I have to choose from among a list of employers and then go through these alternatives to determine where I should apply. One of the best tools that can be used to solve this dilemma is the Rational Decision-making model. In this model the most important thing to do is to develop alternatives and then evaluate each one according to criteria defined earlier (Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A., Millett, B., Waters-Marsh, T., 2008). The only assumption for this decision-making model to work is to have a clear understanding of the problem and the needed outcome (Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A., Millett, B., Waters-Marsh, T., 2008). In this case, it is to make the correct decision with regards to what hotel I will submit my application to.

Another decision-making model that can be used to reveal the best course of action is the Klein’s Recognition Primed Decision Model (Osland, J.S., Kolb, D.A., Rubin, I.M., 2007). In this model the one making the decision has to have an overview of the industry, find out what are the opportunities available and then link it to my needs. After deciding on a course of action, this model will also help me to determine the upside and downside of that particular decision. The only caveat for this decision-making model is the fact that the one who uses it must have a prior experience when it comes to making crucial decisions. Still, I can use it as a basis for making the correct decision.

How and why I am suited to working in my chosen sector

According to noted behaviourist Isabel Briggs Myers, a person does not think or behave in random. Most of the time he follows a pattern and this pattern can be studied. Building on principles developed by Carl Jung the mother-daughter tandem of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers developed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This system will help the person discover his or her personality type. The beauty of the MBTI system is that it focuses on four areas a) the direction that a person focuses his or her attention; b) the way a person digests information and deciding whether to trust it or not; c) the way a person makes decisions; and d) the way a person reacts to the external environment and how he or she orients itself to it (Robbins et al. 2008).

There are four dimensions considered in this system of determining personality types and the proponent of the MBTI simplified it into: 1) extroversion vs. introversion; 2) sensing vs. intuition; 3) feeling vs. thinking; and 4) perception vs. judgment (Robbins et al. 2008). After going through the MBTI test it was discovered that I am an ISFJ. This is the combination of Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, and Judgment. This combination is also known as the Protector.

A Protector is considered as one of the most patient and considerate among the 16 types. One of the most interesting features of the ISFJ type is the assertion that they are quiet, reserved and modest but with the strong urge to help other people. With the exception of the first descriptive term given above – quiet – the Protector is indeed the best person to be working as a manager for the F&B sector. This can be easily understood by looking at the chaotic and noisy environment in the kitchen department and the stress levels in the preparation room where drinks and food are being made ready before being sent out to room service. During these times one needs a leader who is reserved and modest but with the strong urge to help others. This means that the Protector can easily dissociate the system from the person and encourage those who needed encouragement as well as guidance. In a tense environment a disciplinarian or an authoritarian figure is not helping simplify and reduce the problems in that particular area of responsibility.

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Moreover, the Protector is a stickler for details but at the same time they long to see the human purpose and relevance and therefore has the propensity to treat co-workers and those under him or her as a human being and not just a statistic. Aside from that the Protector is also someone who prefers to maintain the harmony of the group and would willingly support traditions. These traits are very important in a hotel where guests expect to be treated the same way as the last time they checked in to that particular hotel. They came back because they were happy with the service and so they want to experience the same satisfaction once again.

The proponent of this professional development plan will be suited to working in the F&B sector because this is the sector where a lot of personal interaction is needed. The ISFJ result also strengthens this view because it means that I have the ability to sense if there are employees or hotel staffs that are having problems. Other personality types may chastise them for not doing their jobs but in my case I have the ability to help them achieve their full potential. Moreover, the results of the various personality tests reveal that I would do well working with a large group of people.

My most important attitudes, values and motivators

I am also suited to this job because of my learning style. According to the Learning Style Inventory Feedback report I am a clarifier. This learning style can be simplified into two statements: I prefer to know the details of implementation, clear structure and steady progress. I believe that owners of five-star hotels would prefer this kind of learner. A large hotel can only be run by a system – a system that has to be followed closely and without deviation. I do not have the tendency to experiment and to innovate and therefore I would be very happy to be given a clear set of instructions to be followed exactly as stated.

Role of Emotional and social intelligence in job selection

Emotional and social intelligence is a way of measuring not what a person knows but how he or she can adapt and succeed in a new environment or in a work environment where there is high levels of stress and pressure (Robbin et al. 2008). A person can have so much “head knowledge” but if he or she does not know how to deal with people and problems brought by the external environment then chances are he or she may not succeed in the workplace. This is a concern of mine because the self-assessment I-E-1 reveal that my emotional intelligence score is only 35. I do not belong to the higher echelons of well-adjusted and with very high emotional intelligence.

This means that I may have a hard time dealing with a pressure packed jobs and to make matters worse I may not be able to resolve difficult problems in the workplace. In a tough working environment such as the F&B sector where the customers are always right no matter how ridiculous their demands may be, there is a need for a leader who can balance everything and keep everyone level-headed even if there is a mini-crisis brewing within the hotel premises. I need to work on this area in my life.

Leadership Potential

When it comes to leadership potential I firmly believe that I am a people-oriented leader. This means that I am in a good fit to work in the F&B sector where the main business is not manufacturing goods but dealing with people – both employees and customers. A task-oriented leader will not be suitable in this kind of work environment because he is only focused on the task at hand. A customer will notice that even if the food was delivered on time the disposition of the hotel staff is as important as the meal.

Moreover, a people-oriented leader will find it easy to inspire a team of workers to accomplish a complex and energy-draining job. He would find a way to make them feel special and an important part of the system. According to the review of literature some of the more effective leaders are those who have people skills. These are the leaders who can balance the need to finish the work on time and at the same time be well aware that the people behind it needed to guidance and affirmation in order to sustain a job well done.

Approaches to power, politics and influence

Based on the results of the assessments I do not have the propensity to be a “Machiavellian” type of leader. My leadership is not aggressive and doing something without thinking about the welfare of others. Authority will not be used simply as a means to an end. It would be to bring those who are under my authority to achieve their full potential. Authority will also be used prudently to ensure harmony within the group. This is a commendable trait because there is evidence that will show a decline in performance if there is an autocratic leader dominating a group (Robbins et al., 2008). I believe that I prefer forming coalitions than acting as if I can do it on my own. I feel empowered if clusters of individuals will come together and work to complete a task or solve a specific problem. I also believe that my team will feel the same.

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Career Goals

A career goal is important. Those who are not aiming for anything will usually achieve nothing. A career goal is like a plan that can be used as a guide to chart the journey towards learning to become a better leader and how to be in a position that I will be satisfied and happy. The PDP that is being developed can help in shaping that career goal. It will also provide the necessary tools that will narrow down the focus of the job hunt and every activity related to finding a suitable work environment and work opportunities.

To obtain a position as an executive assistant in the local Food and Beverage Industry commencing November 2009 after my completion of my degree course

Working in the F&B sector requires experience. There is no amount of college education that can adequately prepare a person to work in a hotel for instance. If I will be accepted as an executive assistant to one of the executives to any of the five-star hotels in Singapore then this will be a good starting point. I will learn the business of running a hotel with the mindset of a leader. By working under the tutelage of an executive I will be able to have a bird’s eye-view of the hotel operations and when I decide to move into a more specific role then I know what I am getting into. The main goal is to enhance learning and education regarding issues pertaining to the food and beverage department of a five-star hotel.

To be promoted as the assistant to the Food and Beverage Director of the hotel by first quarter of 2011

If I work hard and work smart under the wings of a seasoned executive then it will not take long before other leaders will notice my capability to follow instructions and to complete a task thoroughly. They will also realise that I have the skills to coordinate tasks and to communicate what the leader wanted a subordinate to do. As the go between the executive and other low ranking employees this skill can be sharpened for more than a year of working as an executive assistant. Thus, it will not take long before I can request to work as the assistant to the Food and Beverage director of the said hotel. My job will be more complicated but I would be in a position close to my heart.

To manage one subunit of the Food and Beverage Department e.g. the Room Service or the Wine and Liquor subunit by 1st quarter of 2013

This is a major step up to the ladder of leadership. The job requirements will be more complicated than the previous positions but this will be more challenging and more satisfying. This also means that I am closer to my goal. This will allow me the chance to work with a greater number of people. The pressure is more intense as I will have the chance to have a face-to-face encounter with the customers and at times be forced to make quick decisions. This level of job requirements will help accelerate my growth as a leader and as a practitioner of the art and science of handling the food and beverage department.

To be the assistant to the Food and Beverage Director of a five-star hotel in Singapore by last quarter of 2019

After rising from the ranks and working for close to ten years in various capacities and in various positions relating to Food and Beverage, it is fair to assume that at this point I have mastered how to manage the food and beverage department of the said hotel. I have an overview of the whole operations and not just form the perspective of a kitchen staff. By this time I know how the system works from the moment the customers complete their reservations to the time that they actually set foot on the hotel and order food and beverage. Moreover, by this time I would have a good track record to show that I know how to work with people, with groups of people tasked to do a variety of jobs and on a very tight schedule. The ability to manage human and non-human resources will help me secure the job.

To be the Food and Beverage Director of a five-star hotel in Singapore by last quarter of 2024

Five years is enough time to learn everything needed to assume the role of the Food and Beverage Director of a Five Star hotel in Singapore. At this point I would have gone through more than a decade of training and learning from some of the best people handling F&B. Through the years the experiences, the victories and failures have helped shaped my character and has added much to my knowledge of the industry. This will give me the confidence to move forward and be able to have a career that will make me a fulfilled professional working in a place that I truly love.


This personal development plan is a helpful tool in determining where to start and then how to build a career in Food and Beverage sector. The most helpful feature of the plan is the tools that help in determining my personality and the leadership style that I prefer. The Myers-Briggs MBTI tool is exceptionally helpful in this regard and I get to know more about myself that I would not have known if I simply relied on my assumptions or the biased comments of those who are close to me. This type of psychological and personality tests will confirm what I had known in the past regarding my strengths and weaknesses as well as open my mind on how to improve on my potential pitfalls and blind spots.


Osland, J.S., Kolb, D.A., Rubin, I.M., (2007) ‘How people really make decisions’, in The Organisational Behaviour Reader 8th edn, Prentice Hall, New Jersey, pp.528-541.

Robbins, S.P., Judge, T.A., Millett, B., Waters-Marsh, T. (2008). Organisational Behaviour (5th ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education.

Rutherford, D. & M. O’Fallon. (2007). Hotel Management and Operations. (4thed.) New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sung, J. (2006). Explaining the Economic Success of Singapore. UK: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited.

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