Self-Assessment: Do You Have What It Takes to Move Ahead?

Published: Jan 24, 2019
Modified: Mar 25, 2020

You’ve held the same position for some time now. You believe that you have performed your duties well (in fact, you’ve consistently gone above and beyond the call of duty) and that you’ve proven yourself a valuable member of your team and your organization. You’d like to move ahead, but how should you proceed?

AMA’s seminar “Taking on Greater Responsibility: Step-up Skills for Nonmanagers” recommends that you assess, then enhance your skills in five key areas:

  • Understanding your business and becoming business savvy
  • Managing change
  • Communicating strategically
  • Juggling new assignments and current responsibilities
  • Leading and working in teams

The following self-assessment will help you rate the skills that are essential to your job as well as your proficiency at those skills. It can also serve as the basis for a career development discussion with your manager.

How to Take the Assessment:

  1. Rate each item on a scale of 1 to 5 for its importance to your current position, with “1” being “of little importance” and “5” being “of great importance.”
  2. Rate each item on a scale of 1 to 5 for your proficiency in that skill, with “1” being “little skill” and “5” being “very proficient.”
Five Keys to Success    







*Understanding Your Business/Becoming Savvy

a. Understand company vision and strategy and be able to explain it to others; putting meaning to the words for impact

b. Define how your role fits into the business strategy and how it impacts business results

c. Support the strategy by using your current skills

d. Demonstrate knowledge of basic business principles and trends

e. Understand external and internal factors which have an impact on your business


*Managing Change

Understand your responses to change

Accept uncertainty and practice coping skills to adapt to change: develop resiliency

Demonstrate the ability to remain positive and proactive in a changing business environment by encouraging and accepting new and different processes and ideas

Look for innovative solutions and new approaches when it appears nothing Else is working

Facilitate the change process by influencing others to adapt their behaviors and approaches

*Communicating Strategically

Demonstrate an ability to effectively communicate information to al levels

Recognize different styles of communication and demonstrate flexibility 8in your approaches

Apply techniques for feedback that are appropriate to the situation

Use influence and persuasion with confidence to present information

*Employ Strategic Communication Skills

Juggling new assignments and current responsibilities

Prioritize your assignments and reorganize your work to maximize productivity

Balance multiple demands on your time and resources

Use resources to support your priorities

Practice negotiating skills

Adapt to additional challenges and responsibilities by identifying and fulfilling your training needs


*Leading and Working in Teams

Take a leadership role in team situations and demonstrate the role with knowledge, poise and confidence

Create an environment that fosters cooperation and recognition

Motivate others to meet team goals and achieve results for organizational success

Encourage active participation while respecting others' opinions and ideas

Facilitate group decision making


Identify Your Strengths and Areas Needing Development:

  1. Identify your strengths: Review Columns A and B. You will note that there are some skills that are very important to your job (rated “4” or “5” in Column A) and at which you have a high proficiency (rated “4” or “5” in Column B). These skills are your strengths.
  2. Identify your areas needing development: Note the skills that you have rated as being very important to your job (rated “4” or “5” in Column A) but in which you’ve scored as “less skilled” (rated “1”, “2” or “3” in Column B). These are your areas needing development. (Note: a true development need should show a gap of at least two points between a skill’s importance to you job and your proficiency level in that skill.)

Next Steps:
Now it’s up to you. Depending on how you scored on the self-assessment, your next steps might include:

  • Set up a meeting with your supervisor. Show him or her this assessment and use it as a springboard for a discussion about your career goals and training and development issues. Chances are your boss will be impressed that you took the initiative to analyze your responsibilities and your role in the organization.
  • If you have identified a gap between your job requirements and your skills, think about taking steps to bring your skills up to speed. If you want to consider taking an AMA seminar, visit
  • If you discover that you are so proficient in your job’s required skills that you have outgrown your current position, think about how you might move on to a higher-level job that takes best advantage of your strengths.

Keep in mind that the time to think about your future is today. Remember the words of motivational speaker Tony Robbins. Ask yourself, “How am I going to live today in order to create the tomorrow I'm committed to?” Good luck!