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Professional self-assessment analyze strengths and weaknesses with practical examples
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Updated 12 February 2024

Professional self-assessment: analyzing strengths and weaknesses with practical examples

If you have decided to set up your own business or are oriented to do so, you should know that self-assessment is a crucial preliminary step to ensure the success of your new personal business. Only once you have properly examined your strengths and become aware of your weaknesses, in fact, can you say that you are really ready to start your own startup.

To take this potentially revolutionary step in your life, you need to have very specific skills and qualities or, alternatively, you need to be able to acquire them in good time. A hands-on approach, especially in the very early stages of starting a new business, is essential: you need, therefore, to know precisely how to write a self-assessment form. This information will also prove invaluable to you in the future, when you may decide to put your employees through a job self-assessment.


Self-assessment: what it is and what it is used for in the world of work

Before delving in detail into what skills and qualities you must have to successfully start your own business, it is appropriate to shed light on what self-assessment is and what it is used for (today) in the world of work.

This practice, now increasingly common in various business and professional settings, consists of a form that companies and employers can request periodically from their employees in order to keep tabs on the various aspects that contribute to defining employee productivity and more easily identify possible critical issues. Likewise, the professional self-assessment form is, however, a very useful expedient also (if not especially) for those who are planning to start their own business. This is precisely the case for you.

Although there are differences related to the particular professional fields, objectives and results are the recurring aspects in every example of job self-assessment.Generally, employee self-assessment forms are in the form of a questionnaire and contain within them some grids to be filled out, where you can list your achievements. Feel free, however, to customize your self-assessment as you see fit in view of your new professional adventure.

To best draft your professional self-assessment form, take some time to thoroughly analyze what are your strengths (the personal skills and qualities that you can use for your business) and your weaknesses (the negative aspects that could get in the way of your business success). Not only that, remember to consider your interests as well, so that you can assess whether or not these can be included in any way in your exciting new professional challenge.

Filling out the self-assessment form is an individual process, but you can also conduct it with the help of your friends and relatives: an outside opinion, in fact, can help you objectify your experiences and create an even more true-to-life representation of the talents and flaws that characterize you as a person.

You should also know that professional self-assessment must also be put into context over time. This is because, as Henry Ford, among the historic founders of the Ford Motor Company (still among the world’s largest automobile companies), said:

“Success lies in having precisely those skills required at that instant.”

This means that certain qualities of yours may prove useful in one particular circumstance, but not in others. The same goes for what, at this moment, may seem to you to be flaws that are too great.

That’s not all: for a business to be successful, it is necessary to offer the right product at the right time, that is, precisely when it is required by the market. Self-assessment for the job, therefore, to prove truly effective, must also be accompanied by an analysis of the target market and by an analysis of the competition, possibly even with the help of professional advice.

In this regard, if you want to strike out on your own but wish to move cautiously, know that you can always start a side hustle (a business parallel to your salaried work), then over time reduce your “stable” working hours as your business grows. This gained time can prove very valuable in deepening all the aspects mentioned so far.


Why self-evaluate?

Now that you have a clearer idea of what it means to fill out a self-assessment form, it is useful to dwell on why it is necessary to do so: as already pointed out, this is a crucial step if you want to set up your own business and successfully start your own independent business.

Looking back critically, in fact, allows you to experience your present and future with greater clarity and, as a result, helps you make more informed decisions. Not only that, proper self-assessment also allows you to have a clearer idea of what your goals are.

More specifically, putting down in black and white your strengths and how you have managed to achieve certain results or overcome any critical issues makes you more aware of your skills and helps you make the most of them in the future. Not only that, all of this also boosts your self-esteem, at a time in your life when self-confidence turns out to be a key driver for achieving all the ambitious goals you set for yourself by deciding to set up your own business.

At the same time, highlighting your weaknesses allows you to recognize at an early stage some of the obstacles that might stand between you and the goals you have set for yourself, thus giving you the opportunity to take early action to stem any possible problems.

It is obvious, therefore, that you need to fill out the self-assessment form with utmost honesty and the right amount of self-criticism (without, however, putting aside the proper pride in your achievements so far).

Let us now look, point by point, at the various sections that make up the self-assessment form.



The analysis of strengths in a self-assessment form places special emphasis on professional skills, academic skills and personal characteristics.

In terms of professional skills, it is possible to mention, for example, the ability to manage a group of workers in one’s employ, to make decisions (even difficult ones) quickly and to find timely solutions to any problems. On a more practical level, then, in order to be able to start a startup, it may prove very useful to know accounting management and to know how to prepare a financial budget.

It is also important to know how to follow the negotiation and negotiation stages with clients. In this last regard, you should know that, no matter how original or ingenious your idea may be, if you want to turn it into reality but do not have the financial resources to do so, you must look for investors who will grant you the necessary funds. Could you sell snow to Eskimos? This is a big point in your favor: in fact, language property is one of the decisive academic skills in this area because it can prove very useful in completing the work of convincing even the most skeptical investors.

In addition to language proficiency, other academic skills that must necessarily be taken into consideration when filling out the self-assessment form are numeracy (for the aforementioned financial budget, but not only) and artistic skills, if any.

Creativity, curiosity, determination, and energy, on the other hand, are the personal qualities that combine to form the perfect startupper. Do you recognize yourself in this profile?



As already pointed out, placing emphasis on the aspects of you that could get in the way of your new business is also very important. Among the main weaknesses that could undermine your dream of successfully launching a startup at this time in history are inexperience in installing IT systems, lack of knowledge in software, and unfamiliarity with the most popular social media (and those on the launch pad). More generally, as mentioned above, lack of experience in accounting management also weighs in the self-assessment.

On a personal level, on the other hand, certain aspects of character, such as impulsiveness, insecurity and superficiality, or specific needs, such as the need to care for children or live in a certain city, represent weaknesses. Analyzing your personal situation, also in relation to those around you, is therefore crucial because it allows you to neutralize possible future problems.



Strengths and weaknesses are not the only aspects to take into consideration-your personal interests, in fact, are likely to make a difference in the success of your new professional venture.

Specifically, you need to be clear about what you like to do and what issues you are most passionate about, but also with whom you love to spend your time (besides, of course, your family). Another crucial question you need to ask yourself is this: what have I learned from my personal hobbies? Indeed, it is important to understand how you can also leverage these skills in your new business.



Just on the subject of skills, it is worth mentioning that we have already mentioned several times what skills are most required to successfully launch a startup. Not only that, we have also highlighted the need to perform self-assessment with the utmost objectivity. The concepts of hard skills, soft skills and transferable skills come into play in this scenario.


Hard skills

Hard skills, specifically, refers to all those skills and qualifications that have been acquired formally and, therefore, can be easily demonstrated through official certificates and assessed quickly. These include, for example, educational and vocational background, qualifications acquired, and language skills.


Soft skills

Soft skills, on the other hand, are personal skills that are spontaneously developed and can be crucial to a successful professional outcome. Examples are creativity (can you think, as the British say, “out of the box”?), proactivity and problem solving skills, that is, knowing how to solve any problems in the quickest, most effective and painless way.


Transferable skills

Ultimately, a perfect self-assessment form must pay special attention to what are commonly referred to as transferable skills. These are qualities related to one’s character and acquired or refined over time through personal and/or professional experiences, which can be applied in different roles and work areas. Examples include leadership or organizational skills.

Very often, the decision to strike out on your own and give birth to a new startup generates anxiety, especially if you decide to start a new professional activity on your own in a totally different field than you have always been accustomed to. The absence of specific experience, however, should not scare you at all: transferable skills are your secret weapon to achieve success even in a field that is completely new and unfamiliar to you. For this, you must know how to best identify them in your personal self-assessment form.


Examples of professional self-assessment

Now that you fully understand what self-assessment is and what it is used for (and, more importantly, what its basic elements are), all you need to know about some examples of professional self-assessment in order to draw up your own form.

It is worth mentioning, in this regard, that a professional self-assessment form can serve both to understand opportunities and risks related to the imminent start-up of a new business and to analyze the (potential or actual) contribution of employees. A natural consequence of this is that it is complicated to provide a single example of a self-assessment because its structure and, of course, its content inevitably depend on the purposes with which it is carried out, but also on the nature of the business and (in the case of it being designed for employees) on the role they play.


Example of professional self-assessment to launch a new business

The structure of a self-assessment form before starting a new business should be clear to you, but you may find the practical example below helpful.

Imagine dividing a sheet into 4 separate columns:

  • Strengths
  • Weaknesses
  • Interests
  • Skills

In the first column, for example, you might include:

  • The ability to negotiate and deal with customers (example of “professional skills”)
  • The high property of language (example of “academic skills”)
  • Creativity and curiosity (example of “personal characteristics”)

In the second column:

  • Inexperience in accounting management (example of “inexperience”)
  • The lack of software knowledge (example of “lack of knowledge”)
  • Impulsiveness (example of “personal characteristics”)

In the third column:

  • Regular attendance at industry fairs and events (example of “interests” and “knowledge”).

In the fourth column:

  • Hard skills: the business degree
  • Soft skills: the ability to problem solve
  • Transferable skills: the ability to lead


The self-assessment form

The self-assessment form


Example of employee self-assessment

What follows, however, are examples of job self-assessments useful for understanding employee contribution. More specifically, in the next few lines you will find a structure-example of an employee’s professional self-assessment and a list of self-assessment comments useful for evaluating performance.

Generally, an employee self-assessment form consists of two sections:

  • Self-assessment comments highlighting areas of strength
  • Self-assessment comments highlighting areas where action can be taken to improve.

Here are, below, a number of examples of self-assessment comments, broken down by type.

Sample self-assessment comments on strengths:

  1. I handled [number] customer service tickets and resolved [percentage] of tickets per day, exceeding the company goal.
  2. I achieved a customer satisfaction index of [percentage], exceeding the target set by the company.
  3. To improve the customer experience, I created a survey focused on their satisfaction, which revealed areas where we should focus our efforts to make the experience even better.
  4. Compared to the previous quarter, I increased my sales by [percent]. This is the highest increase in the company this quarter.
  5. I increased the conversion rate of email campaigns by [percent], exceeding the KPI set by the company.
  6. At my direction, we changed CRM software to a new program that helped reduce the average response time of our customer service department by [percent].
  7. I have improved the management of my free time, and because of that, in the past year, I have been able to take part in [number] specific training courses on [topics], filling in some of my gaps.
  8. Last year, I was chosen to be in charge of a project that was outside my comfort zone; nevertheless, I learned new skills and adapted to the new scenario in a timely and effective manner, achieving all the goals set by the company.
  9. As a team leader, I decided to submit an anonymous survey instrument to employees; this initiative made internal team communication more open, with obvious benefits in terms of collaboration and trust.
  10. Because of my proactive approach, I always complete assignments ahead of deadlines.

Sample self-assessment comments on areas for improvement:

  1. My interaction with customers A, B and C does not present any particular problems but I need to strengthen contacts with customers D and E.
  2. I have difficulty saying “no” to new assignments and proposals, but I necessarily need to improve my time management and prioritization so that I can accomplish tasks even more effectively.
  3. I sense the need for advanced training on [program].
  4. Sometimes I tend to focus too much on my tasks, not giving enough space and attention to collective brainstorming moments in the company and thus missing the benefits of these initiatives.
  5. I tend to use e-mail almost exclusively for internal communications, but at certain times and in particular situations it would be more useful to use other, faster communication tools.
  6. When I work under pressure, it can happen that I stiffen up and respond in a way that can appear cold and rude. I downloaded a meditation app to improve this aspect of my character.
  7. I like to take risks and am not afraid to make quick decisions based on my experience and instincts; while, this has sometimes led to unhoped-for goals, in other situations I need to learn to listen more to the opinions of others.
  8. As a team leader, I usually set achievable but very challenging goals, and I should listen more often and more carefully to the requests, doubts, and objections of team members.
  9. I tend to be far too finicky, focusing excessively on certain details; This often results valuable in terms of quality, but risks slowing down my productivity too much.
  10. Since the last self-assessment, I had set out again to improve my performance, but although I made progress in several areas, I failed to achieve some goals. I will focus better on these particular areas, asking for help from other team members.

Nicola Zanetti

Founder B-PlanNow® | Startup mentor | Startup consulting & marketing strategist | Leading startup to scaleup | Private angel investor | Ecommerce Manager | Professional trainer | Book writer

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