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Test Your Work Skills


Are you derailing your career? Take this quiz adapted from Lois P. Frankel’s “Jump Start Your Career: How the Strengths That Got You Where You Are Today Can Hold You Back Tomorrow.”

Your total score for each section shows how well you’re doing in that area. Answer each question with a number from 1 to 4:

  1. Right on the nose
  2. I’m like this
  3. Sometimes I’m like this
  4. This isn’t me

People Skills

  • Others say I’m a real “people person”.
  • I spend some part of each day making small talk with co-workers.
  • I know most of my co-workers socially, not just professionally.
  • I have good work relationships, so I succeed where others don’t.
  • I don’t need everyone to like me

People total:


  • When I share my ideas, people pay attention and later use them.
  • I think that how you say something is just as important as what you say.
  • I think before I talk to make sure my comments are presented in the best light possible.
  • I try to buy what “fits in” at my workplace.
  • People tell me I’m a good public speaker.

Image total:

Working With Authority

  • When I have a logical reason for it, I don’t mind expressing an opinion that is different from management’s.
  • I tell managers if I think they’re making a decision that might hurt the company.
  • I can independently assess management’s decisions and offer a different opinion when it’s appropriate.
  • *When my boss asks what I think, I tell the truth.
  • I think it’s more important to be honest with bosses than to say something that will keep me on their good side.

Boss relations total:


  • I’m even-tempered.
  • I act assertively at work.
  • I have my own definite opinions, but I’ll listen to what others have to say.
  • One of my greatest strengths is diplomacy.
  • When I don’t like the message, I hardly ever shoot the messenger.

Personality total:

On the fast track?

Your total score for each section tells you how well you’re doing in that particular area.
Total your score for each section, then rate yourself:

5-8:You’re still moving on up.
9-13:You need to do some fine-tuning
14-17:The brass ring is getting out of your reach. Do a self-assessment and try to expand your skills.
18-20:You’re seriously derailed. Get help with getting back in career mode.

Gary Perman is President of Perman Technical Search Group, a national search firm that specializes in recruiting Executives to Engineers in the technology industry since 1996.
If you have questions about this article, feel free to contact him at [email protected]

See our Blog for Technology discussions,
Interviewing advice, comments relating to
IT, Software, Technology issues.

Gary Perman is a certified recruiting professional and owns PermanTech, which specializes in recruiting technology executives, managers and engineers. He hosts an employment-technology blog.

See our Blog for Technology discussions,Interviewing advice, comments relating to IT, Software, Technology issues.