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How to Surprise Friend and Foe through Self-assessment


Your employer proposed a self-assessment, but you are not sure whether to take up the offer? Rest assured: assessing your personal strengths and weaknesses is nothing but beneficial for your career. In fact, it is just what you need to improve your skills from adequate to excellent. This will not go unnoticed by your colleagues and competitors.

Uncovering your Strengths

By uncovering strengths as well as weaknesses, self-assessments help employees and jobseekers gain more insights into their competencies. Do you think you know yourself best? The results are likely to surprise you.

Areas for Improvement

Self-assessment puts your professional skills under the microscope, enabling you to identify key areas for improvement in detail. If a certain project did not end as expected, a self-assessment challenges you to ask yourself what went wrong, what your responsibilities were and what you can do to achieve better results next time. In short, it encourages you to consider your future approach.

“Good is the enemy of great” – American business expert Jim Collins

Talent Development

Self-assessment is a chance to identify your strengths and work out a strategy to continue to develop them. After all, being good at your job does not suffice if you’re determined to make it big. As Jim Collins puts it: “Good is the enemy of great.” Define what your ambitions and key competencies are, and how you can excel at them even more through training (talent development). Is a lack of skills holding you back? Identify which of your competencies needs improving, and get cracking.

Tips for a Successful Self-assessment

  1. Be open and honest with yourself. Important lessons can be drawn from both successes and failures.
  2. A personality analysis speaks volumes. There are plenty of tests, both free and paid, available on the Internet, e.g. AssessFirst or the classic MBTI test. Give them a try and confront yourself with the results.
  3. Turn weaknesses into areas of improvement. For example, you could say: “This used to be an obstacle for me, but I’m improving myself in this area every week in order to better service our clients. Last month, I successfully completed projects X and Y.”
  4. Communicate your vision and ambitions, and identify your future potential. Ask your employer how you can achieve your potential to the fullest within the organization. Every employer appreciates someone who is future-oriented.
  5. Talk about your personal development with a manager and/or colleague you trust.
  6. Only assess yourself. A self-assessment does not imply that you evaluate your team members’ qualities.
  7. Focus mainly on your strengths (strength management). After all, the tasks you complete successfully – thanks to your strengths –will motivate you the most during your career.

Time for a career change?

Finally, does your self-assessment indicate that your talents remain unused in your current workplace? Then perhaps now is the time to make that long-awaited career move.

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