20 Questions Smart Employees Ask Themselves

ask questions about yourself at workBy Nance Rosen

These 20 questions cover five key areas that are critical to your accurately evaluating how well you're doing at work. Your answers (or score) predict whether you're likely to be promoted, fired or kept simmering in the same spot for years to come.

Score each question on a scale of 1-10 (10 = AWESOME). Add up your total score in each category. If you are totally awesome, you'll have a total of 200 points. If you score below 30 points in any category, it's time to take remedial action.

Job mastery

How well do I?

  • Exhibit expertise of the particular knowledge and skills that make me a uniquely valuable employee

  • Continue to get educated to update my knowledge and skills for my position and the positions I desire to hold in the future

  • Understand the metrics by which I am evaluated as well as those that my department is judged, and work to excel at those measured behaviors

  • Manage my tasks and actions to contribute to the performance outcomes set for my department and company

Communication with my boss

How well do I?

  • Understand and articulate my boss' top priorities and reasons for them, and approach my work in that manner

  • Know which is of greater consequence to my superior: people, projects or principles

  • Appreciate my boss' sense of balancing the need to a) gather information and b) take action

  • Show that I understand and support my superiors' professional aspirations

Relating to others and gaining visibility

How well do I?

  • Seek to create significant, lasting connections with everyone in my company

  • Communicate using all opportunities to strengthen my ties throughout the organization

  • Manage my intentions and actions to appropriately compete and collaborate with my peers

  • Project my desire to be a resource to others as well as a willingness to be assisted by them

Cultural sensibility, belief and belonging

How well do I?

  • Keep a clear picture of the formal and informal reporting lines in my company

  • Like my company's overall approach to business, people and the marketplace

  • Believe that I can contribute to the larger goals and vision of my organization

  • See that opportunities exist for me to grow and gain greater responsibility and authority in my company

Good judgment and resourcefulness

How well do I?

  • Imagine I would be able to step up and fill in for my boss or another superior, if needed

  • Seek opportunities to be increasingly effective and efficient with the tools, workspace and funds allocated to me

  • Build relationships outside of the company that can be leveraged for its benefit

  • Relate to people who have the capacity to mentor me and widen my scope of influence

There's a wealth of free and low-cost resources to get you back on track. Let me know if there are any areas you'd like to drill down on, and I'll be happy to send you a list to kick-start your career.

Next:From General Best Practice To Career Business Case

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