6 Steps to Thriving at Work: Step 1


Assessing Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Managers usually have little time available to nurture their employees. But it’s easy for them to spot the superior workers; they’re the ones surging ahead, even without management support.

The key to keeping yourself on the short list of stellar employees is constantly evaluating the needs of your job, your company, and the marketplace, and seeing where you can improve. Even if you’re already performing your job well now, look even further. What will you need to do your job in one year or five years down the road?

If you plan on moving up, do you have the skills to ascend to the next job level? What about the one after that? Always keep your long-range goal in clear sight.

Your Current Job: How Do You Stack Up?

A common mistake is relying on your annual review for feedback regarding job performance. These evaluations are sporadic at best, and non-existent at worst. It’s the rare manager who fully reviews your work for the entire evaluation period and provides constructive direction for how you can improve.

It’s not that your manager doesn’t care; he or she just doesn’t have the time to devote to a full-scale evaluation of staff performance. Though disappointing, this fact presents a golden opportunity for the conscientious. By evaluating your own performance on a frequent basis (every three months or so), not only will you proactively address any areas in need of improvement, you’ll also be in a very strong position when your formal review does occur.

You can use the following step-by-step self-evaluation guide to perform your own evaluation.

Where To Go For Help

Introspection can be tough, especially if you’re unsure of your role and how you measure up. If some objective input might help, here are a few sources to consider:

A trusted co-worker: Enlist the help of someone who’s been at the office longer than you, understands how things operate, and can give you honest feedback. Though they don’t have to be in the same position, they should be at your level or higher.

A “know-it-all” friend outside the company: Everyone has at least one friend who seems to have been born knowing how the world works. Ask this person to help you with your self-assessment. Though she doesn’t need to know the ins and outs of your company, she knows you well enough to be able to envision your performance as an employee.

A career counselor: Career counselors have the advantage of experience; they know what questions to ask to get you thinking. They do cost money, however, and they may not “get” how things work at your company. But their unbiased input may be worth the cost.