- “I’m not qualified for this job. I didn’t get the ‘right’ degree.”
Reality check: You didn’t get your job by luck, or because the hiring manager liked you. “It’s not all about paper qualifications or experience. Other ‘soft’ skills like your personality, situational and emotional quotients, also play an important role,” says Celestin Chua, a personal excellence coach.
When we focus on our limits, we often forget what we’re good at. Make a list of your strengths and put this in a prominent place such as your work cubby or on your desktop screen to motivate yourself. Says Amanda*, 28, a civil servant: “I always praise myself when something is done well. When things go wrong, I try not to blame myself but focus on what I could have done differently.”
Don’t be threatened by stellar colleagues. Learn from them. Observe how they think and work, and pick their brains – how do they deal with difficult clients? Benchmark your work against theirs. Janice*, 26, a marketing officer, has this tip: “I’m the youngest and least experienced in my team, but I make up for that by reading through the files that previous employees left behind and observing my colleagues closely. I also ask them lots of questions.”
Drill down and figure out what your weaknesses are. Start by getting feedback from your colleagues. For instance, if you feel that you are a terrible public speaker, ask the people who have seen you give presentations which specific areas you need to improve in. Rope in your supervisor as well; tell her that you would benefit from regular performance appraisals – this is a more professional way of seeking help, rather than admitting that you feel insecure, says Chris.
Make it a habit to keep track of the trends and developments in your industry, whether you do this by attending conferences or reading reports, so you are constantly updated about what’s going on. And if your company offers professional development courses, sign up for as many as you can. This way, your technical skills and know-how will be up to par.
Nine out of 10 times, the reality is that your boss is fine with you. However, if in that rare occasion that you do somehow find out that your boss dislikes you, do some self-reflection. It doesn’t matter if your colleagues hate your boss too, think about what you can do to be better to make this working relationship work. There’s no harm in a little self-improvement.