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Am I Doing a Good Job

I have been working for a long time for companies that say nothing about the job you are doing until they are ready to fire you. The first step is emails correcting things you do, then a work review that was supposed to be done every 6 months, but never done, until suddenly it needs to be done immediately. And, your review is, Adequate or below. Then, BAM! Two weeks notice. It has made me gun shy. I need constant reinforcement that I am keeping my bosses. happy. My question is, since they are not telling me constantly that I am doing a good job, what are some signs that indicate your boss is happy with your work?


Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

You take the initiative and ASK for feedback! Written and verbal!

It may be as subtle as "what do you think of my report and how can it be improved"! ....or as direct as "what do you think of my work so far and what can I do to exceed your expectations!"

(Co-CEO) |

Not to be glib, but I get the feeling something like that to my boss would seem suckuppy. They want the work done, and expect it done. If it isn't quite right, they tell you immediately.

Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I'm not sure what about taking initiative and asking for feedback is "suckuppy." I consider it respectful especially given your question. If you never receive any kind of feedback good or bad it's a problem. It's your boss's duty to provide you the opportunity to grow and learn. They are doing you and the company a great disservice. Simply asking the question "Is there any feedback you can provide to help me improve or suggestions you have?" doesn't make you a suck up. It means you care.

Kelly Jennings
Title: CEO
Company: Quincy CFO LLC
(CEO, Quincy CFO LLC) |

I think asking for feedback is very important. Many older generations aren't as used to giving feedback as younger generations, and even more people are nervous about giving feedback. All of these individuals need help remembering to give feedback, and if you ask them for it that will help them provide it.

Cindy Boyce
Title: Senior Manager, Outsourced Financial Ser..
Company: BDO USA, LLP
(Senior Manager, Outsourced Financial Services, BDO USA, LLP) |

Read the One Minute Manager, effective management provides immediate feedback. Use the tips in the book to be your own One Minute Manager by evaluating your work, anticipating issues, and approaching your boss with solutions or debriefs on projects completed. All prefaced by an attitude of how can we improve and exceed expectations.

(Director of Internal Audit) |

If the boss is happy with your work, s/he will generally give you more work as a sign that you can be counted on to get the work done. Conversely, if the boss is unhappy, s/he will generally take responsibilities away, often in the name of "restructuring."

Topic Expert
Patrick Dunne
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: Milk Source
(Chief Financial Officer, Milk Source) |

Another sign would be getting called in on more challenging assignments. If you want to impress your boss, do your work well and make no mistakes. This means double checking your work for accuracy. If you have nothing else to do, ask the boss if they need help with anything. The individual that comes to my door asking for more work/responsibility is someone I want on my team. This assumes the rest of their work is meets/exceeds my needs.

Paul Stheeman
Title: Interim Treasurer
Company: Self-employed
(Interim Treasurer, Self-employed) |

I fear the communication line between your boss and you is not working as it should. The first thing you should do is book a ten-minute session with him/her. Use these ten miuntes to tell your boss that you would appreciate regular feedback, both positive and negative. At the same time, book a meeting for a few days later for the first such review. By the way, it sounds from your posting that you are looking just for positive feedback. You should equally be looking out for any negative comments, with the aim of understanding that is where you need to focus your efforts in the future.

Mark Matheny
Title: VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis
Company: Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)
(VP - FInancial Planning and Analysis, Novolex (formerly Hilex Poly)) |

If you are not getting feedback, I think you need to look yourself in the mirror each night and know you gave it 100%. What you are experiencing is the culture in some (many?) businesses. If you find it troubling, it is time to go elsewhere.

Michelle Rogers
Title: CEO
Company: Virtually There CFO Services
(CEO, Virtually There CFO Services) |

Sounds like there is a pattern at play here, if this situation continues to occur. My advice is this:
1. Make it simple to receive feedback. There are many managers who struggle with this so, make it simple. Ask what you should 'start, keep and stop doing'. Great advice on booking a regular meeting with your boss and setting the table that the intention is you want to succeed so you would like honest feedback. Many people are hesitant to do so because they are concerned 'negative' feedback will be personalized. So, clarifying the rules of the conversation (i.e. I am open to all feedback) is a great start.
2. Retrospective review. If this has happened more than once, see if you can identify a particular recurrinng theme. And then ask 'Uncle Google' for tips on improving in this area.
3. Get a work coach. Could be someone in the organization or outside. If you are in Canada, there is a university (Royal Roads) which provide pro bono coaching (typically 5 - 10 hours - which is a lot) for their students to enable them to get practical experience. Research coaching programs in your area and see if they have a similar program.
4. Read this book. 'The Rules of Work' by Richard Templar is great for providing clear guidance and tangible actions that you can take to be more effective at work.
5. Congratulate yourself. You have recognized there is a challenge and are actively seeking ways to address it. Feel proud that you are owning the solution and being your own catalyst for change. That's pretty powerful stuff.

Mark Rome
Title: CFO
Company: Empower2adapt
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, Empower2adapt) |

Remember the Sony Walkman? Apple made it virtually extinct when they introduced the iPod.

It may not be your boss. Look at the layoffs at Microsoft in July.

Can Microsoft reinvent itself to become a Trillion Dollar company

(Co-CEO) |

I also think something that makes me hesitate asking if there is more work to do is, I got bit pretty hard by one boss. That boss was a really bad boss, but it affected my psychy.

I asked, "What else can I do to make you happy with my work?" They said, "Just do your f---ing job!" Then they laughed and I learned to keep my head down to not get it blown off like that again.

Title: CFO
Company: C-Suite Services
LinkedIn Profile
(CFO, C-Suite Services) |

These are YOUR posts/sentences....

1. "The first step is emails correcting things you do,....."
2. "I need constant reinforcement that I am keeping my bosses happy."
3. "...since they are not telling me constantly that I am doing a good job,..."
4. "They want the work done, and expect it done. If it isn't quite right, they tell you immediately."
5. "I asked, "What else can I do to make you happy with my work?" They said, "Just do your f---ing job!"

Have you ever looked at it as... you are just NOT getting the hint or NOT getting what is NOT being said?

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

You need to be direct and ask for feedback, positive and negative, on your work. The first chance you get to hear something negative and act positively on it, DO IT. I like to know that I can share job responsibilities and the person walks away with a goal to improve. We are all in this together and if I can't count on my team to be area experts, then I need to find someone else.

I currently have a staff member who is not able to complete tasks without a play by play from me on a daily basis. This is forcing me to become a micro-manager. When I asked what I could do to improve his work quality (coaching, classes, time frame, etc), he told me he would prefer if I would focus on positive feedback and cut down/out on anything negative. When I asked him if I had been unfair, disrespectful, or unreasonable, in any of the things we had discussed he responded that I was not doing anything wrong. My question to him was 'how can I be fair to you if I am not being honest? You put me in the position of not pointing out areas that need improvement, which can only result in something happening in the future that causes an immediate dismissal (the so-called straw that broke the camel's back)." He agreed with my example. We are both working towards improving his work flow/product. I am trying to highlight positive items more often, and when I find something that is not done correctly (spreadsheets that do not tie out, or even have formulas in them), I try to make it a learning experience. What I don't think he recognizes is that he sees everything in terms of what is fair 'to him' and not for the position. Every conversation regardless of work or personal turns into a 'woe is me' story. Is this something you are doing and not even realizing it? I work extra hard to be positive in the office and share positive stories. I want to be seen as the person who looks for the way it can be done and not the person who sighs the loudest and sulks away trying to figure out how to 'get that done.'

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I find it amazing (or maybe I and we shouldn't) that the crux to most of the issues people have as managers, supervisors, workers, owners (you get the gist) are based on communication issues or lack thereof.

As you read through many of the questions on Proformative, the underlying issue is usually about faulty communications between people, for both noble and malicious reasons.

I don't believe that the situation will ever be resolved as long as we're humans...


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