It’s easy to fall into a comfortable routine at work. We go into work each day, complete our tasks, attend meetings, and go home. If we aren’t given any feedback on our daily job performance, we will most likely continue the same patterns. Since most of us don’t receive this feedback, I have a list below that you can use to evaluate yourself, or ask a trusted co-worker to evaluate you on, to see if changes need to be made in your work performance.
Are you falling into these traps?
- Not Generating New Ideas
We are able to accomplish all of our work tasks when they are laid out in front of us, but that’s about all. Oftentimes we can become complacent and complete the tasks as assigned time after time. Are there better ways to accomplish these tasks? Are there new projects or ideas that you would like to work on that would benefit your company? If so, when was the last time you spoke to your manager about these ideas? Bringing up new ideas not only shows your initiative, but can also lead to some great projects you can work on to grow your skills professionally.
- Needing an Attitude Adjustment
Work has its ups and downs. No one loves their job all day, every day. However, ask yourself if you are falling into the complainer trap. Are 60% of the words coming out of your mouth negative? Do you spend too much time focusing on the negative aspects of your co-workers, managers, projects or company in general? What are your responses to new assignments or manager/co-worker interactions? Are you even-keeled in listening to what they have to say? Do you take some time to process the information before reacting or are you oftentimes reacting in anger or other outbursts? Individuals who have a calm demeanor will have their ideas, suggestions, and input taken more seriously. Those who are positive and don’t focus on the negative, will command an audience longer.
- Over-Reliant on Email
Technology has been a wonderful aid in the workplace. Tasks can be done faster & delivered over great distances and collaboration is made easier. However, our reliance on technology can also include unnecessary work. Do you engage in lengthy and multiple email conversations with those who you can easily speak with? Do you IM the person who sits directly next to you? Are you using technology as a way to avoid face-to-face engagement with a co-worker or boss? Sometimes a face-to-face or phone conversation can easily answer questions, provide input, and finish the endless conversation on a specific issue. Don’t be afraid of old fashioned face-to-face interactions. It can be the best use of your time, while helping you develop personal relationships.
- Hiding Your Mistakes
Perfection is impossible in the workplace. No employee completes perfect work 100% of the time. Mistakes will happen. Your boss cares more about how you handle the mistake than the mistake itself. Don’t try to hide the fact that you made a mistake and avoid talking with your boss about it. Instead, identify your mistake, understand the impact of the mistake, understand the solutions that are necessary to fix it and to make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future. Bring this information to your manager. She will appreciate your thoroughness in dealing with the issue.
Even when you aren’t getting the feedback you need from your manager or co-workers, you should take time to evaluate your own performance. The four traps listed above are a few ways to measure how you are performing, but they are critical in self-examination and, in turn, developing your career.
Amy Wolfgang is a career coach who founded Wolfgang Career Coaching and co-founded Coaching 4 Good. She brings over 15 years of corporate and coaching experience to help organizations boost employee engagement while simultaneously helping her clients excel in their careers. She is a certified PCM (Professional Career Manager) and has a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin.
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