Career Mastery Inventory

Career Mastery InventoryThe Career Mastery Inventory (CMAS) evolved from the Career Adjustment and Development Inventory (CADI), a measure that was developed by John Crites as a means of assessing important facets related to career adjustment and development in early adulthood. Accordingly, six developmental tasks associated with the establishment stage of career development were identified. The establishment stage is typically defined as being between the point of occupational entry and midcareer. The CMAS consists of two parts. The first part assesses mastery of the developmental tasks. The second part assesses the ability to cope with problems in the work place.

The first part of the CMAS consists of 90 items that make up the subscales that reflect the six tasks: (1) Organizational Adaptability involves the process of becoming socialized to the expectancies of the work environment, (2) Position Performance refers to learning the duties and tasks associated with a job, (3) Work Habits and Attitudes involves being dependable and receptive to supervisory feedback and having a positive attitude, (4) Co-Worker Relationships involves being cordial with others and dealing with interpersonal conflicts as they occur on the job, (5) Advancement involves promotion within the organization, and (6) Career Choice and Plans involves establishing goals and identifying a career path to follow. These scales are ordered along the sequence in which they would be encountered developmentally. Thus, the CMAS provides a series of developmental tasks that gauges an individual’s level of adaptability during the establishment stage. Theoretically, mastery of these six tasks results in success at work and job satisfaction. A total score provides an overall index of career adjustment.

The second part of the CMAS consists of 20 open-ended items that assess how well a person can cope with problem situations on the job. These items reflect thwarting or barrier conditions that occur in the work place. Scores on this part of the CMAS reflect how well a person managed each situation. Responses to these items are scored on three levels of adjustment: integrative, adjustive, or nonadjustive. An integrative response indicates that the person was able to remove the barrier condition and reduce tension and anxiety. An adjustive response indicates that the person was able to reduce tension and anxiety, but was unable to remove the barrier condition. A nonadjustive response indicates that neither the barrier condition was removed nor tension and anxiety reduced.

The CMAS can be either hand or machine scored. Raw scores are plotted on a profile and matched against the corresponding standard score. Further information regarding scores can be found in the CMAS User’s Guide, which also includes case study illustrations. CMAS scores can be used to benchmark how well individuals are progressing in their career development when compared to their peers in an organization, thereby providing a means of identifying those who may require intervention in their career development.


  • Crites, J. O. (1996). Assessment and counseling for career mastery. In M. L. Savickas & W. B. Walsh (Eds.), Handbook of career counseling theory and practice (pp. 237-250). Palo Alto, CA: Davies-Black.