Career Development, Mentoring, Personal Selling

Self-Assessment and Career Development: Identifying Strengths and Areas for Growth

When it comes to your career and livelihood, you don’t want to leave your professional development to someone else’s discretion or you might miss out on opportunities to advance. This is why conducting a self-assessment is so important for your career development. 

But how do you effectively identify strengths and areas for growth, so you can improve your career trajectory?

It’s not as difficult as you might think!

Why is self assessment important in professional development? 

Self awareness is vital. Self assessments provide the important factors necessary for your career decisions, professional growth and any career transitions you might want to make. If you don’t know where you want to go, what you want to achieve and what you have to improve to get to your end goal, you are simply operating on the hope that you might be happy with your profession in the future.

Hope is not a strategy! 

You must decide on the direction you think you want to take. It’s okay if that changes. In fact, you should expect it to! The more you learn and grow, the more your perspective changes, and that will lead you in new directions and toward new career opportunities, which will in turn have you adjusting your career direction once again. 

Setting your career direction comes back to getting to know yourself. When you do your self assessment, not only should you think about what you want to achieve in your career, you should also consider things like your preferred work style, optimal work environment, times of highest productivity, and your communication and learning styles. They all affect your professional development needs, the goals you set for yourself and your strategy to achieve them.

The more you know about yourself the easier it will be to build your professional development strategy. 

How do you identify strengths and development areas? 

There are many ways to identify your strengths and areas for career growth. Here are three that can be extremely effective:

  1. Ask people for their feedback. Let them know what you are doing and why, and ask them to identify areas where your skills exceed their expectations (your strengths) and areas where it would be in your best interest to develop and improve. Make sure each person touches on the field-specific and technical skills required to excel in your career, as well as the soft skills that are also important for career advancement. 

Keep a growth mindset as you complete this exercise. Be open to all the feedback you receive and look for patterns in it. Those patterns will likely highlight things you already know about yourself, but you may find that the results lead you into some interesting, and helpful, directions. 

  • Seek new experiences inside and outside of your work environment. When you enter into new situations, you will see which skills you can use to problem solve and excel in this new space; and you will identify opportunities for personal and professional development. 

  • Consider your passions. The things that really fire you up are great areas to explore for career development. Becoming the go-to expert in a specific area can open new career paths in your current work environment or lead to career transitions into other departments or companies. When your passion shines through, your confidence, charisma and communication levels tend to increase, which can be noteworthy and inspiring for the people in your area of influence.  That can take you far!

How do I create a roadmap for my career path? 

Once you identify areas for skills training and soft skills improvement, it’s important to develop a plan to ensure you reach your goals. Sit down with your mentor, manager or Human Resources representative and discuss what your self assessment has revealed and how you feel the areas of growth will improve your career development. 

Ask about the opportunities and resources they have for the specific area, or areas, you want to improve for your career development, and discuss how improving these skillsets will help with your career advancement, then develop your roadmap.

When you build your roadmap, be sure to:

  • Set specific goals for your career growth. Break down the bigger picture into smaller steps that are easier to achieve. For example, doing one training lesson or reading one module a day is a more effective goal than a very generalized objective to finish the training course or book. 
  • Ask for help from others in your organization who may be able to mentor you or assist in your training. This can vastly decrease the amount of time it takes to reach your goals.
  • Define measures for your progress and improvement. By doing so, you will know how much you have improved your career skills and can better track your progress. This kind of information is very important when you are up for a promotion.


Career networking is key for your professional success. As your power of association grows, inside and outside of your organization, so will your opportunities for career transitions and professional development. Your network is a gold-mine of opportunity.

When it comes to your career, understanding yourself, your needs and where you want to go, really is the first step toward achieving the career growth you desire. Become your own greatest advocate and you will go farther than you can imagine! 

For some people, conducting a self assessment for career growth may reveal that you have more of an entrepreneurial mindset. If this is you, I encourage you to explore the Play Big Financial Freedom and Entrepreneurial Course. In it, you will create your personal wealth plan and leverage your personal expertise to generate income producing assets, so you can be financially free for a lifetime and feel more fulfilled with your professional direction. >>CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!<<

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