Professional Development for the Workplace

Executive summary

Remember that an executive summary of a report is just that, a summary (and is NOT included in your total word count for this assessment). It contains:

  • a statement of report purpose
  • an overview of the actual and specific


For this assessment, Executive summary should be no longer than one to two pages. The summary can only be written after you have completed your report. Write in ‘past’ tense (e.g. The purpose of this report was to …). If an executive summary is well written the reader should be able to understand the main points, findings, and conclusions of the actual report without having to read the full report.


Table of contents


Ensure that each heading number, heading and page number is included and professionally laid out. The easiest and most professional way is to use the Word feature that automatically creates a table of contents for you.

Section 1 – Introduction

Include a brief overview of what you are about to discuss and the order in which you will do this.


Section 2 – Self awareness

This section should demonstrate a solid self-awareness and discuss your career related strengths and weaknesses. Your discussion should focus on the following Organizational Behavior (OB) factors (approximately 2 paragraphs for each):

2.1– Personality

What insights have you obtained about your personality, for example from personality models such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or the Big Five personality model?

  • – Values and Motivators

What are your most important attitudes, values and motivators?

  • – Emotional intelligence

What are your emotional intelligence abilities?

  • – Leadership

What is your leadership aspiration and potential (or demonstrated ability)?

  • – Power and Politics

What are your approaches to power, politics and influence?


Remember your self-awareness needs to be relevant to your career planning. How will each of the above factors influence your career? Link this discussion to the results of your Profiling for Success Type at Work Indicator report. Additionally, you may wish to include results of other relevant self-awareness tools, approaches or discoveries you have made about yourself during your reading for this unit.


Section 3 – Opportunity awareness

Another important component of career planning is opportunity awareness, which is concerned with knowledge of the world of work and training. Your discussion should focus on the concept of career and explore industry sectors and occupational positions that you are interested in.


3.1– My career

Describe how you visualize your perfect internship/graduate position and broader career in 1–2 paragraphs. Critically evaluate how your descriptions compare and contrast with the literature covered in this unit relating to definitions of careers, career management and career success.  Do not use dictionary or Wikipedia definitions in this discussion. Instead, you should be evaluating the descriptions contained in academic writings such as the readings associated with this unit and those that you identify through your own searching. As part of your critical evaluation consider the different elements of critical thinking to ensure:

  • firstly, you understand your underlying assumptions
  • secondly, you understand the contexts that have shaped your image
  • thirdly, you are aware of potential alternatives
    • finally, that you ask lots of questions to assist you in evaluating all sources of


3.2– Industry sector and location

Give a detailed description of the industry sector that you want to be working in either for your internship or on graduation (2–3 paragraphs). Include information on the opportunities and challenges within this industry sector. Use information gained from discussion with industry insiders, from academic journals and from your observations and general research.


Section 4 – Decision making and planning

This next section, regarding decision making, addresses how to actually go about making decisions relevant to career planning or development. Refer to the literature on Problem Solving and Decision Making and critically evaluate how an understanding of these theories can be of assistance to the decision-making and problem-solving processes you will be using when seeking your internship/graduate employment. You must compare and contrast at least two approaches/theories (approximately 3–4 paragraphs).


Your discussion should identify factors that will be important in your internship/graduate position decision such as the geographic location, paid/unpaid nature, opportunity for training and development, opportunity for ongoing employment, and so forth.


Section 5 – Goals

Setting goals (both short and long term) is important in career planning. Challenging, but realistic goals can have powerful positive influence on career success. Identify your top five goals relating to your career success and rank them in order of preference. Use appropriate headings for each goal, numbered 5.1–5.5. Choose your goals from any of the following categories:

  • career satisfaction
  • status and respect
  • personal relationships
  • leisure
  • learning and education
  • spiritual growth and religion
  • material rewards and possessions


For each goal, develop a SMART goal statement using the following guidelines:

  • begin each with the word ‘To … ’
  • be specific
  • quantify the goal (i.e. ensure it is measurable)
  • each goal should be attainable, realistic and time


After each SMART goal statement, you should critically reflect on how and why each goal is important to you. Each reflection should be approximately 1 paragraph in length.


Section 6 – Conclusion

Within this section restate the purpose of the report, then provide an overview of the main points covered in your analysis. Ensure that you do not Include any new information, only that which has been discussed within the main body of the report.


Reference list

A minimum of 15 well-integrated reference sources is required. Students must use the Harvard referencing guidelines.

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