JOB SEARCH / JUL. 23, 2014
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How to Get Reliable Career Feedback from People That Matter

Everyone has their own opinion about how well they’re doing in their careers. And since we love ourselves so much, we spare ourselves the pain of self- criticism as we keep encouraging ourselves with strengths and achievements. But when was the last time you actually got outside feedback regarding your career? Chances are, most of us simply want to mind our own business and thus, we wouldn’t take the intrusion into our career lives kindly. However, it would be quite beneficial if that intrusion was done by people that really matter since getting different angles regarding our careers might help us shape ourselves better and consequently enhance our career performance. Thus, we should ask, how does one get reliable career feedback from people that matter?

#1 Establish Rapport with Career Peers, Workmates and Supervisors
We’ve all got friends pursuing the same career paths as us. Plus, in the workplace, we’ve got workmates and supervisors that observe us every step of the way:

  • Our career peers have had their own unique experiences and are well versed with how career challenges should be tackled from different angles.
  • Workmates are indeed better suited since they’re always with you on the ground. They’ve seen your mistakes and your achievements. As a result, they’re likely to know you career wise inside-out.
  • Supervisors assign tasks to us according to career merit and effectiveness in completion of tasks. They must have done a few assessments to habitually assign you some tasks. And since they know what it takes to get a promotion, they’re likely to give you raw advice on what it takes to clinch a lucrative position within your company.

#2 Be Open to Constructive Criticism and Valuable Advice from Third Party Sources
Third party sources, refer to people you’ll never have close contact with. Yet their sound advice and criticism indirectly gives you reliable feedback about your career streak:

  • Online social media forums and career websites like are filled with like-minded careerists that share a myriad of career experiences that you can relate to.
  • Newspapers also have career advice segments by career experts. There are also TV shows that host industry players who share their career success stories.
  • You can also attend career workshops and seminars where career gurus congregate to give sound career advice based on their wealth of experience.

#3 Get acquainted with Experienced and Reputable Career Mentors
There are people who’ve been showing us the way in our career journey. While some of them knew us as kids, others came to know us during our adult years and are currently influencing our career choices:

  • Our career mentors have gained years of reputation through wealth of experience and hard work. Their sound advice keeps us safe from making wrong career moves.
  • Since they’re our career parents, they’re likely to give us unbiased feedback that’s devoid of friendly bluff. A true career mentor is not there to offer you friendly comfort because in several occasions, the criticism might hurt but it will be for your own career benefit in the long run. 

#4 Befriend Career Proteges Younger than You
To strike an age balance in career feedback, you’ve also got to befriend career protégés going through the same career path you once went through. Chances are, they’ve learnt something you didn’t:

  • Some protégés are more tech savvy than us and are thus likely to keep our youthful side lively by giving us advice on how to stay sharp, trendy and constantly updated in our careers.
  • Others have achieved better career excellence than you did. Their advice might help you in your current career path. Maybe it’s an academic qualification you missed on or a skill you neglected. Find out from them.

#5 Keep close contact with your Clientele
Despite the fact that your employer determines your pay, ultimately, your job is for the benefit of those who seek your services:

  • They must have compared you with a competitor and are thus best suited to give you advice on what will make your services stand out.
  • You also get to understand the mind of a client and become more oriented to their ever changing tastes and preferences.
  • This boosts your effectiveness thus making your skills more relevant and indispensable in a competitive job market.

Even as we seek reliable career feedback, we also should avoid sensationalizing the situation. For instance, some people will give us false advice to avoid hurting our feelings regarding how terrible we are at our jobs. You’ve therefore got to insist that those who give you career feedback should be real, unbiased and straight to the point to ensure ultimate effectiveness and success in your career.

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