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  • 2 Words that Hold Your Career Back – and What to Do When You Hear Them

    02/19/19 8:25 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Career Advice | Leave a Comment
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    “Good job!”

    On the surface, this phrase sounds positive – or innocuous, at the very worst. But when your boss uses it to describe your performance, they’re doing you a great disservice (especially when it comes to your career growth).

    Here’s why:

    Throwaway compliments like “nice work” do nothing more than encourage mediocrity and complacency. They’re the verbal equivalent of those participation trophies toddlers get on the soccer field. And if you think the work you’re doing really is good enough, you’re deluding yourself into believing that you have nothing to improve upon.

    How’s that going to help you move ahead in your job?

    So, if you’re hearing generic phrases like, “Good job” or “nice work” – and nothing else from your supervisor – it’s time to ask for something more.

    Three Words that Drive Career Growth

    “Can we talk?”

    These three words can help you initiate a meaningful conversation with your boss to get what you really need to move ahead: specific, constructive feedback.

    Here’s how to get it:

    Be Positive

    Whining that you “never get feedback” won’t set the right tone. Instead, let your boss know that you’re looking for ways to improve your performance and grow in the organization – and that their input would be very helpful.

    Schedule Time

    Asking your boss for feedback will require work on their end. Explain what your goal is (e.g., to earn a promotion), and that you’d like to know what you’re doing well, what you could improve, and how you can prepare to succeed. Schedule a sit-down meeting to speak with your boss, free from distractions.

    Steel Yourself

    You’re asking for feedback – so prepare yourself to hear things that sting, or with which you might not agree. Guard against defensiveness; temper your emotional response and pay attention to the substance of any critical messages. Listen with curiosity and try to understand your boss’s comments from their point of view.

    Focus on Positive Change

    Write down the feedback you receive – both positive and constructive – and discuss how you can use it to learn, improve and grow. Find out whether your manager can help you create a plan of action and/or ways to measure progress. Remember that feedback won’t help your career unless you use it change your behaviors and habits.

    Looking for more ways to accelerate your career growth?

    Check out this earlier post on how to earn a promotion, garner a raise or set the stage for a career transition:

    How to Blow Your Boss’s Mind (in the Best Way Possible!)

    Then contact an Exact Staff Career Agent. With a nationwide presence, we can confidentially represent you to employers who need talented, career-minded professionals like you. If you’re ready for a new opportunity to build your skills and advance your career, apply with your local Exact Staff office today.

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