Looking for ways to climb the career ladder faster?
If so, there is something specific you should ask for. Believe it or not, it's not more responsibilities, a stretch assignment or a big office. One of the best (and untapped) tools to fast-track your career growth is asking for feedback.
Whether you're an entry-level professional or have been in the workforce for decades, feedback can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and advance your career.
Let's take a closer look at how you can use feedback to your advantage.
View Feedback as a Positive Tool
The next time you hear feedback from a supervisor or colleague, interpret it as something that is intended to help you improve. Rather than viewing feedback as a judgment, think of it as a powerful tool that can benefit your professional future.
Initiate a Conversation
If you'd like to benefit from feedback, it's important to truly understand it and initiate a real conversation about it. For example, if your boss tells you to be more organized when hosting meetings, ask them exactly what they mean. Are they suggesting you prepare an agenda beforehand? Do they believe you get off topic too much and prolong meetings as a result? Get the details you need to turn well-intentioned advice into constructive action.
Leave Emotions Behind
It's human nature to get defensive when you're receiving feedback in the workplace. Make every effort to leave your emotions behind and pay attention to the substance of the message. Emotions run high when we hear what we don't want to hear, and they can get in the way of using feedback for positive change.
Understand Your Perception May be Different
For example, if you believe you possess excellent time-management skills, but your colleagues are concerned you're not managing your time well, hear them out. Listen with curiosity and try to understand your performance from their points of view.
The colleagues who work with you can see things about your performance and work ethic that you may not necessarily be able to see on your own. When you view your behavior through someone else's lens, it may provide the fresh perspective you need to improve your behavior.
Don't Guess; Ask
If you really want to grow your career, you need help from others. Specifically, you need to know how your actions are impacting them and being perceived. There's no reason to guess whether or not your supervisor is pleased with your work when you can simply ask them.
Create a Plan of Action
When a supervisor provides you with feedback, refrain from simply nodding and walking away. Take the time to ask them how you can improve. Find out whether they can help you create a plan of action and/or ways to measure progress. Remember that feedback is meaningless unless you use it change your behaviors and habits.
Give Feedback Regularly
While it's important to accept and listen to feedback, it's also crucial to solicit it. Do your part in helping your colleagues grow and they'll be more open to sharing their feedback on your performance. Help create a culture where learning and feedback is highly encouraged.
Act Like Smart Companies and Managers
Smart companies and managers are not afraid to ask their customers and direct reports how they can improve. Consider following their footsteps and asking others what you can do to become a better employee.
As an individual with a desire to accelerate your career growth, it's essential to keep the tips listed above in mind. By asking for feedback, you'll increase your motivation to succeed, enhance your performance, and meet or even exceed your career goals.
A Staffing Recruiter Can Help
A staffing recruiter can help you accelerate your career growth by providing valuable feedback on your resume, interview skills, assignment performance and more. To find out how a recruiter can help advance your career, contact us today.