Some people have a natural talent for their chosen career. The major skills needed to do the work come easily and it doesn’t take much effort to get the job done. If that doesn’t describe you, then it can sometimes be a challenge to do your job. However, if work has become so challenging that you often get called into your boss’s office for doing subpar work, you have a problem on your hands.
At the end of the day, the bigger question here is not, “are you bad at your job?” but, “Why are you bad at your job?” Have you lost passion for a career that once made you jump out of bed each morning? Or maybe your poor work performance is due to being wet behind the ears. Perhaps you simply lack experience and need more training.
Do you suspect you might be terrible at your job? Take this quick quiz and find out.
1. Your boss gives you an assignment and asks you to finish it within 3 days. What happens?
- A. You hand it in one week later. You were tired and didn’t feel like rushing.
- B. You submit your work within two days and ask your boss if there is anything else you can do to help.
- C. You decide to delegate the assignment to someone else. You’ve got a ton of work to do.
- Best answer: B
If you answered A, you’re lazy. It’s a wonder you even have a job. Improve your work ethic or you just might find yourself packing up your desk. Answer C is a tiny bit better, but you should always ask your boss if it’s OK before you delegate. If your answer was B, congratulations, you don’t suck at your job. It’s always best to try to submit your work on time or even earlier than expected. This shows not only that you are enthusiastic about your work but also that you respect your boss’s time.
2. Your co-worker has been staying late every night and looks stressed out with a big project. What do you do?
- A. Offer to help. Teamwork makes the dream work.
- B. Offer to help — only if she agrees to go out with you on a date.
- C. Ignore her.
- Best answer: A
If you answered B, you’ve got some issues. It’s a matter of time before you’re called into a closed-door meeting with human resources. And if you answered C, you’re a terrible team player. You don’t necessarily have to be the one to help your co-worker, but you could ask what’s wrong and offer some suggestions. If your answer was A, you understand that sometimes it’s best to roll up your sleeves and offer a bit of support to your colleagues. You never know when you’ll need someone to return the favor. Just don’t overdo it. Studies have found that helping too much at work can lead to burnout.
3. You hand in an important report to your supervisor. What does he say?
- A. It’s great you handed this in on time, but it’s about 10 pages too short.
- B. This report is full of mistakes; were you even awake when you wrote this?
- C. This looks great. Good job!
- Best answer: C
If you answered A, you get an ‘E’ for effort, but you obviously have a problem following directions. In the world of work, effort doesn’t matter as much as getting the job done right the first time. Be more careful or you’ll be looking for a new job. And if your answer was B, you’re not so good at your job. You either need some training or you just don’t care enough about what you’re doing. It’s also possible you got some pretty bad direction and you were confused, but that’s still no excuse. If you don’t understand something, ask. If you answered C, you’re a superstar. Keep it up.
Are you really bad at your job?
Are you really bad at your job? If you’ve come to the conclusion that you need improvement, either make some changes or get a new job. If you are motivated to do better, it’s time to put in some elbow grease. Enroll in a continuing education course so that you can brush up on your skills. Also read a few career books. In addition, make an effort to partner up with a mentor in your field so you can gain access to nuggets of wisdom you may not get from the books and seminars. A mentor can guide you and warn you about career missteps to avoid.
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