Is Perfectionism Hurting Your Career?
Doing a good job at work should be a top priority. After all, performance influences promotions, raises, and reputation (not to mention the feeling of self-worth that comes from knowing you are a valuable asset). But trying to make sure everything is done to its absolute best can be stressful and time-consuming.
One of the greatest dangers of being a perfectionist is fear – fear that a mistake will tarnish your spotless image, fear that you will let others down if you make any error, fear to try something new because you might not be able to do it 100 percent right. Such feelings can stifle career opportunities as well as create anxiety.
Another problem is that someone who is busy sweating the small stuff may fail to see the bigger picture. That great PowerPoint presentation that took hours to perfect is of no use if it doesn’t reach your manager in time for his presentation. Watch out for good-intentioned inefficiency, from spending way too long selecting a font to providing so much information on a new client that the team can’t decipher what it really needs to know.
Perfectionism also can hurt relationships with co-workers. Micromanaging others in the name of making sure everything is “right” can make colleagues feel angry, jittery, or disrespected. They also may become unmotivated to put forth their best when working with you, figuring you are just going to change things anyway or will pick up their slack.
So how can an employee walk that fine line between doing things well and doing them too well? Perhaps start by examining output. If you are getting things done on time without feeling frazzled, everything is probably fine. But if work is leaving you burned out or meeting deadlines is a constant struggle, it might be time to start figuring out the meaning of “good enough.”