Updated: Oct 19, 2019
If I were asked about the most important point to start planning one’s career I’d say “conducting a proper self-assessment.” Understanding our own strengths and weaknesses should be the first step to take in our journey towards career fulfillment. This understanding will help us to determine how to fulfill our career potential by realizing our current abilities and benchmarking them against our assigned short and long-term tasks. It also assists in formulating an objective self-improvement plan that can take us to the next step in our career.
Whether you are a senior manager, a newly hire, or a student; being able to run your own appraisal of your strengths and weaknesses is important for many reasons:
1) It provides you with confidence in your abilities and skills. Sometimes we fear making change in our lives not because we lack discipline or motivation, but because we don’t believe that our own abilities can handle such change. Self-assessment helps us build this confidence by taking a thorough and objective look at those abilities and assess how they can help us make these changes in our lives.
2) It makes you aware of your weaknesses and ready to work on them instead of denying their existence. Many people fail to advance in their lives simply because they have gaps that they deny their existence and hence avoid working on sealing them, resulting in these weaknesses becoming so prominent that it erodes any success they achieve. It is the proper and objective self-assessment that can make us face those gaps, admit their existence and their negative impact on our performance, and work on fixing them.
3) It helps you navigate your career path, as you now can see where you excel and where you’ll need to improve, thus enabling you to select the path that best suits your capabilities.
4) It helps you promote and highlight your capability profile in the right way, avoiding others getting false impressions and avoiding over-promising things you can’t do. In the coming chapters of this book I’ll be writing about assessing our strengths based on how ‘unique’ they are. It is a common mistake we make when we assume that we are so unique in what we are capable of doing while others can’t see this uniqueness or superiority. Running a proper self-assessment will protect us from falling into such a trap of over-inflating our capabilities or over-promising to deliver on tasks we actually can’t do.
"Without proper self-evaluation, failure is inevitable." John Wooden.
The main issue is not that we neglect running our own self-assessments; the issue is that most of us fail to assess ourselves in the right way. This failure is because we don’t have a clear, structured and objective analytical tool to help us measure our strengths and weaknesses properly. This will cause us to build a profile for our capabilities that actually does not match reality, or at least is not compatible with the perception taken about us, which will definitely lead to career hiccups and stumbles.
Want to learn more about proper self-assessment? want to use an objective tool to assess your own capabilities and further understand your strengths and weaknesses? Check my new book "EVALYOUATE! Mastering the Art of Self-Assessment."