How Are You Doing? Just Ask.
Offices around the country are staffed with fewer employees working longer hours. This means, among all of the commotion, that employees are too busy to stop for a moment and ask themselves an important question: How am I doing? Unfortunately, asking oneself this question won't generate any objective, useful conclusions. But someone in your office has the answers.
As this article explains "It’s been said that effective development rarely occurs in isolation. Rather, professional growth and behavioral change often results from seeing yourself in a clearer view, after getting valuable input from others. Now you just need to go about soliciting honest feedback."
The real challenge is finding the right person. Don't ask Florence Hadley, who thinks you flirt with her boyfriend at work happy hours (you know it's the other way around). Executing the right idea with the wrong people is worse than having no idea at all. Instead, take the time to find someone who will be candid, sympathetic, constructive and in a position to help you improve. Take time to schedule a brief meeting with your boss or someone above your pay grade, perhaps buy them a cup of coffee, and ask them for direct feedback regarding your job performance.
In general, successful people like to see other people succeed, and they tend to be very open to helping. So ask. Professionals are flattered when you ask for their valued opinion, and they also know how good it feels to help others thrive. This is how networks are built. This is how businesses are made. This is how careers are cultivated. So take advantage of the opportunities around you. Don't be shy. No one makes it to the top of the mountain alone, but those who make it quickest are often the ones who stopped and asked for directions along the way.
Image courtesy of Marco Bellucci.