Continuous Self Development In Work Business Essay


Self-analysis is defined as the process of investigating and examining ones personal thoughts, emotions, and behavior (VanderBos, 2006). This concept was popularized by the famous psychologist Sigmund Freud, who studied and researched on the field of psychoanalysis- an outcome of the study of self-analysis (Exforsys Inc, 2010). Therefore, self-analysis belongs to the field of psychoanalysis, which is the study about one's subconscious and conscious mind in our daily life. Psychoanalysis is a therapy as well as a Freudian theory. The aim of psychoanalysis therapy is to release repressed emotions and experiences, to make the unconscious conscious (McLeod, 2007). There are various means to conduct self-analysis with the help of tools such as personality tests which gives objective explanations of the strengths, weaknesses and needs of a person (Exforsys Inc, 2010).


Daniel Goleman (1998) defines self-awareness as the ability to recognize and understand one's moods, emotions, and drives, as well as their effect on others. Also called self-understanding, it gives a clear perception of one's personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, and beliefs (VanderBos, 2006). Self-awareness (Warmerdam, n.d.) allows a person to understand other people, how others perceive him, his attitude and his responses to them in the moment. Gary van Warmerdam (n.d.) explains that self-awareness is developed through practices in focusing attention on the details of one's personality and behavior which can't be learned from a book. An increasing number of people are recognizing the importance of self-awareness since it is one of the attributes of emotional intelligence and an important factor in achieving success; a deficit in self-awareness can be damaging to one's personal relationships and career (Goleman, 1998).

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With the help of psychometric tests, we can know more about ourselves thus attaining self-awareness, then process the results of the tests and undergo a deep reflection to attain self-analysis of ourselves. Now, we can see the relationship between self-analysis and self-awareness. Using self-analysis and self-awareness, we can have continuous self-development of ourselves.


The US Army (2008) defines self-development as goal-oriented learning that reinforces and expands the depth and breadth of an individual's knowledge base and self-awareness. Self-development will complement what one has learned in the classroom and on the job, enhance one's professional competence, and help a person meet his objectives (US Army, 2008). In other words, self- development is the continuous progression of personal growth by expanding one's self-awareness and improving personal skills (Thum, 2012).

Self-development is important to achieving your personal and professional goals. Knowing oneself entails knowing one's abilities, flaws, strengths, and behaviors (Exforsys Inc, 2010). These are essential components to have an effective self-development. The Self-development Handbook (2008) states that it is linked and begins with self-awareness; each supporting the other and raising the capabilities of the individual. Self-development endeavor involves a lot of aspects to consider and apply in order to realize one's potentials. Once these potentials are identified, they become a person's strengths and assets that can empower an individual. Lack of self- awareness can be damaging to one's personal relationships and career success (Reece et al., 2011). In summary, self-development requires more self-analysis and self-awareness is the foundation on which self-development is built (Reece et al., 2011).

From Self- development to Continuous self- development in work

Organizational changes are creating the need for continuous learning environments that support employees' self-development. London and Smither (1999) says that self-development means seeking and using feedback, setting development goals, engaging in developmental activities, and tracking progress on one's own. This assumes that people are capable not only of monitoring their own behaviors, but also of recognizing which behaviors and outcomes are most favorable and desirable (London & Smither, 1999). The self-development philosophy underlines the notion that the individual takes responsibility for learning and choosing the methods and place, to pursue goal-oriented learning activities, whether on-the-job or off-the-job (Gauci, 2009).  Self-development also means that individuals must be motivated, feeling strongly about developing, growing and taking action (Gauci, 2009). Organizations can encourage self-development by providing nonthreatening performance feedback, ensuring behavioral choices for learning, encouraging feedback seeking, and rewarding participation in learning activities and other self-determined behavior (London & Smither, 1999). 

Education and training is a continuing and lifelong process. Mr. Paul Gauci, B.A.(Hons.) M.Ed.(Sheff) MCIPD MIM (2009) explains that the pace of change is so rapid and intense that professional or occupational training can only provide the foundations of knowledge, skills and attitudes on which further development must take place if managers are to remain current and competent. According to Mitch McCrimmon, PhD (2007), some personality types are more interested in learning than others. A quick way to measure one's interest in learning is to take the typology indicator test. 'Thinking' places a premium on competence which is more focused on future possibilities and value change (McCrimmon, 2007). They are abreast of the latest developments in their field. Dr. Mitch McCrimmon (2007) further explains that those who prefer 'sensing' and 'judging' value efficiency and prefer to apply existing skills rather than learn new ones. They excel in following complex procedures and get things done in an organized manner, but need more time to learn new skills and adapt to change (McCrimmon, 2007). Often, they excel as managers simply because businesses want immediate profit. Business needs change agents to create better future (McCrimmon, 2007).

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Gauci (2009) researches that nowadays, self-development has move to a position in the mainstream of management and business development.  According to Pedler (1990 cited in Gauci, 2009) the re-emergence of self-development is attributed to a response to the limitations of systematic and analytical training. It is suggested that the process of self-development enables the attainment of the ability "to learn how to learn" (Megginson and Pedler, 1992 cited in Gauci, 2009), "a continuing openness to experience" (Rogers, 1969 cited in Gauci, 2009), and to utilize this "learning edge" (Wick and Leon, 1993 cited in Gauci, 2009) to increase flexibility and adaptability in the organization.

Continuous self -development is when one commits himself to improving his knowledge and understanding throughout his career. Continuous development (2009) is an active process involving the individual in decisions about growth and change that is concerned with attainable realities which is the difference between what he currently does and how he can realistically achieve.  It focuses on an attainable and viable role in which the job offers increased challenge, demands and ultimate satisfaction and rewards (Gauci, 2009). Indeed, if continuous development (2009) is a viable way of improving performance and effectiveness in an organization, there needs to be a culture in which it is valued and encouraged. Organizational barriers to learning such as the lack of information, access, coaching, support; lack of real value for learning and lack of reward and recognition need to be removed (Gauci, 2009).  Learning organizations are those best skilled at creating, acquiring and transferring knowledge and at modifying behavior to reflect new knowledge and insights (Gauci, 2009). Furthermore, encouraging and empowering subordinates to take charge of their own learning can motivate managers to increase their willingness to continue their own development.


Our accumulated knowledge and experience is becoming obsolete as the days go by but the knowledge needed as a manager is increasing rapidly. We need to undergo continuous self-development to overcome the inevitable change and restructuring. Our personal knowledge and ability to apply that knowledge are our most valuable assets. To stay on top of my future career as a manager, I must continue to increase my knowledge and ability. In undertaking continuous self-improvement, we dedicate ourselves to enhancing our earning ability. By learning more, I prepare myself to earn more in the future. I am positioning myself for tomorrow by developing the knowledge and skills that I need to be a valuable and productive part of the economy.

Self -Analysis and Self- Awareness

Career Planner Test

The Prospects Career Planner (Appendix 1) showed that I have a very high probability to be a management consultant, equality and diversity officer, public affairs consultant, environment consultant and a good probability to be a financial manager, retail manager, marketing executive, sales executive. From the result, it shows that I can be a consultant, manager and executive in the fields of management, public affairs, finance, retail, marketing, and sales. These fields comprise the entire business or enterprise which I can be as the manager and executive.

To further verify the results of the earlier test, I took the Careerpath's Career Planner (Appendix 2). The result showed that I am interested in things which involves communicating with other people by debating and discussing opinions and ideas to help others improve or grow personally and professionally. My style is administrating which means that I have strength in managing details and creating sophisticated processes that gets complex work done based on carefully reasoned decisions and facts. I also always can be counted on to deliver what I commit to. Therefore, the result suggested my career choices are in sales, advertising, public relations and hospitality. Again these fields are all related to a business or enterprise. Now no doubt that I can aspire to be an entrepreneur.

Since the career planners say that I can be an entrepreneur, I have undergone an Entrepreneurial Personality Profile by Psychtests (Appendix 3) which reported that I am people oriented (89%). This proves the results of the career planner that advised me to pursue jobs that needs communicating and interacting with people such as public affairs, sales and marketing.

There is a clear picture that I can be an entrepreneur based on several career planner test. While self-reflecting, I ask myself: Do I have what it takes to be an entrepreneur?


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I came from an entrepreneurial family which is typical of the Filipino-Chinese people in the Philippines. As the only son in a Chinese family, it is said that I am a 'crown prince' in the family with all the negative stereotypes attached to it. Actually, I am not raised as being spoiled and I don't want to be like that.

Since I am from an entrepreneurial family, I feel I have an entrepreneurial nature which I probably inherited from the genes of my parents and not influenced by the environment that surrounds me. I remembered when I was a kid, I used to like selling stuff such as pens or booklets cut out from a magazine to my fellow classmates. I then placed my earnings in a piggy bank and save them. More recently, I ventured in another entrepreneurial undertaking. When I was in my undergraduate years studying at the University of the Philippines, I also did a small business of selling and installation Direct-to-home satellite TV equipment to private homes. Satellite TV is popular in the Philippines due to the geographic nature of our country and the wide range of available channels for any nationality and race for free or with subscription. Engaging in this business involves technical knowhow of the reception the satellite in orbit as well as the preference of customers in the channels that they want to receive. I source the product from an importer of electronic equipment from China which I came to know and market the product through Ebay and other online shopping websites. The business was successful as I have customers as diverse as European expats, Chinese and Filipinos from different islands by online orders and word of mouth from satisfied clients. Some customers order in bulk for reselling. This business lasted for 4 years until a government regulation was strictly implemented that broadcast and communication equipment including satellite TV must all be registered with the telecommunications agency and the person must have a license from the same agency to sell the registered products. Since I don't have any of these licenses, I could not anymore continue this business and came to an end.

After finishing my undergraduate studies, I went in to help in our family business and I got involved in the marketing and sales aspect as the assistant to my parents. The nature of business that my family engages is importing food raw ingredients with a wide range of items such as dried fruits, dried peas, milk powder, soy beans, to sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, and many others from different countries around the world. These items are then sold wholesale as industrial food ingredients for food service, bakery and catering industries. I am the assistant to my parents in handling the operations and finance of the company. I get to meet and talk with customers. The family business evolved through the years. Since my grandfather's time, we have been an importer and also engage in retail as grocery as it is after World War 2 and our country's economy is the 2nd in Asia after Japan. People that time are very eager to buy imported grocery products from the United States and we became the official distributor of some items in the Philippines. Then came the government of Ferdinand Marcos, where a lot of social, political and economic changes happened. It gave our family business opportunities and threats. Opportunities such as having inventories of goods before the import control was imposed and threat of the political uncertainty that caused widespread inflation and devaluation of our currency. After the Marcos regime, the economy was in the worst state and affected the business.

Intended Career Path

After finishing my MBA, I want to experience the corporate world for a few years in Singapore before going back to my home country. Facing the reality, no one but only me needs take the family business into the new frontier. Currently, due to the global financial crisis, domestic political infightings, and other factors, business now is worse than half-century ago and a diversification or a new line of business is needed with the business soon. I have confirmed that I can have a career as a businessman, but do I have the right traits, qualities and personality to be successful in my chosen career?

Personality Test

The Humanmetrics Jung Typology Test (Appendix 4) reported that I am ENTJ with distinctive preference of Extraversion over Introversion (67%), moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing (38%), slight preference of Thinking over Feeling (12%) and a moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (44%). The explanation states that ENTJs often find themselves in occupations that require good analytical and planning skills. ENTJs build successful careers in the areas requiring considerable organizational skills and intellectual efforts, presenting a challenge, and calling for creativity. People with my typology are greatly represented in technological and management consulting and among high- and mid-rank managers. They are also able to realize their potential in start-ups where they often fulfill management positions or take responsibility for the whole project. The Humanmetrics (2012) stated that famous personalities sharing my type are world leaders such as Napoleon, former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Madonna, an American singer, songwriter, actress and entrepreneur among others.

The Cut-E 'Shapes' online assessment (Appendix 5) evaluated that I want everybody to immediately receive all information so that rumors cannot even arise in the first place. In an unclear situation, I very quickly feel uneasy and therefore I want open communication. In my opinion, it should be ensured that sufficient space and tangible opportunities are provided for personal and professional development in order to improve professional skills. It is important for me that weaknesses are taken into account. For me, care must be taken that people are treated fairly and with respect. Everybody must be given the feeling that they are important.

Feedback from Friends

My friends provide me some suggestions based on my personality results and career plan. I asked my group mates to answer a Johari Window and state the adjectives that describe me the most. They find that I am an extroverted, and friendly which are my Arena. Ambitious, knowledgeable, able and organized are my bind spot which I came to realize after they told me. They notice that I can work both alone and in a team but prefer to concentrate on my own tasks. They also feel that I contribute positively to the mood of the group. They said that I contribute to the success of the team but also like it when ideas and solutions I have contributed are recognized. But my friends don't know that I am not prepared to sacrifice my private life or friendships for the career which is my weakness. I also asked my friends if I can be an entrepreneur someday. They all replied in affirmative saying that I have the traits and skills for it.


The psychometric tests and the Johari window feedback from my friends prove that I am an extroverted person. My friends also perceive me to be ambitious which I don't realize before. Probably, they think that I am extrovert and friendly for the sake of ambition which reflects my moderate preference of Intuition over Sensing in the Jung Typology Test. But other people doesn't know that I care and love the people around me and not prepared to sacrifice my private life or friendships for the ambitious career which shows my weakness. This reflects in my slight preference between Thinking and Feeling. My friends also told me that I am organized which reflects the moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving. Overall, the results give me optimism that I have the interest, skills and characteristics to pursue a career being an entrepreneur.


Figure 1: My Personal Johari Window

After undergoing self-analysis, I came to know better about myself. My friends and I know that I am extrovert, friendly, happy and warm which are essential traits for my future career as an entrepreneur; these are my Arena. I am unaware that I am knowledgeable, able, organized, ingenious and ambitious, which are my Blind Spot according to my friends. A person who is knowledgeable and able has the capability to be an entrepreneur. Being ingenious is a trait I like since entrepreneurs need to be creative and imaginative in finding ways to establish profitable business; coupled with being ambitious makes one an entrepreneur with a foresight. It seems that I have these essential traits which I am proud of. My façade, which I myself know but others are clueless, is my weakness. I tend to be caring and loving to the point that I can even sacrifice my ambitious career plans as an entrepreneur. This is a weakness for being an entrepreneur but these traits are morally good as a human being. I am divided deep inside me, will I follow my mind or my heart? Most likely, I will still follow my heart over my mind. Actually, this reflects on my typology test being split between Thinking and Feeling.

Taking an MBA is a choice I made. For me, higher education is essential for my future career. I should apply the theoretical knowledge I learned in MBA and put it into practice. I am young going to start my career life first by working in the corporate world, then establish a new business or revitalize our current business. Working in the corporate world serves as an opportunity for me to experience the real world outside our family business comfort zone, a sort of an eye opener.

Thriving in the entrepreneurial field is a challenge. I am aware that I will be faced with long hours, multiple tasks to juggle, and a great deal of hard work. The tests provided me helpful information about the key traits and skills of successful entrepreneurs, and assesses whether there are areas I need to work on. I realized that I am a total people-person, and seem to be very at ease in social situations. This is a very important trait to possess. In order for me to be successful in the entrepreneurial field, I need to create relationships with helpful business contacts, clients, suppliers, and employees. This requires strong interpersonal skills, and a certain degree of comfort initiating conversations and networking, all of which is my strengths. Even I have the same Jung typology as Madonna, a famous singer as well as an entrepreneur.