You may think you’re good at what you do, but you know what they say, “just because you think you are good doesn’t mean you are good.” And it’s true for most professions: it’s a bad idea to judge your own work.
So how do you know if you’re doing fine at your job? Maybe honest feedback from people who know how your work works?
No matter what your profession is, you don’t just deal with your workload and career objectives at work but also different types of people. Some see you as a reliable teammate, and others see you as a threat. Therefore, you should always be prepared for the worst, which you’ll face when things go wrong.
Based on my experience and the experience of people around me, most working environments lack leaders who take responsibility for disappointing results. So they’re always on the lookout for a scapegoat. Therefore, when things go wrong, there’s a fair chance you’ll take the blame no matter how well you’ve devoted your time to the job. The good news is that you don’t have to — if you have asked for and received regular feedback and worked on it.
Regular feedback helps you identify what you are good at and what needs to be improved. If you receive it positively, you have an excellent opportunity to improve your skills and grow as a professional. Similarly, it helps you to deal with toxic people.
So why do I think I’m the right person to suggest you this?
Having worked as a marketer and a writer for quite a long time, I know most people don’t consider writing skills as ‘real’ skills. And they may be true! Writing is nowhere close to skills like designing or coding that require special knowledge no ordinary people can figure out. It’s something any literate person can pull off.
So if you are a writer, your abilities and contributions will be challenged time and again. Even the people who can’t form a correct sentence won’t hesitate to ask you about your processes at any given point. While you can always defend your abilities with the best explanations, if your work is getting regular feedback, you don’t need to prove yourself.
I don’t know if the regular evaluation has worked for everyone else out there, but frequently asking (and pressuring) for honest feedback has helped me grow as a professional and shut the mouth of the most toxic people I’ve worked with.
I like to classify office employees into four different categories: 1. Cool people (who prioritize personal growth and deliver what’s expected), 2. Lazy people (who prioritize delivering the minimum and not getting fired), 3. Ambitious people (who prioritize personal growth and simultaneous growth of everyone), and 4. Insecure people (who prioritize only personal growth and fear others growing).
If you are type 3, chances are you’ll go beyond your job description to suggest what’s good for the business and point out weaknesses that are affecting the common goals. Now imagine you’re working under type 4 people (you’ll have to deal with it six out of ten times). They’ll take your suggestions as attacks and start looking for a reason to get rid of you.
The sad part is that toxic people will always find a way to destroy a culture (if they’re not taken care of), and you wouldn’t want to be a part of it. But it’s utterly satisfying to make them look like fools by rejecting their accusations and proving them wrong with the approved facts of your achievements. Therefore, no matter what you do, ask for regular feedback on your work. Not many workplaces practice this, but you should frequently push for it. It is your growth pill and the shield against toxic leadership at the same time.