High job expectations causing anxiety? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

High job expectations causing anxiety?

Get PDF file

by on
in HR Management,Human Resources,Office Management,Records Retention,Your Office Coach

Question: “I’m concerned that my new boss may have unrealistic expectations about my abilities.  After joining this company, I worked for three managers who all gave me outstanding appraisals.  However, my most recent supervisor, “Ms. Jones,” decided to lay me off. Fortunately, I have been offered a position by a manager in another department, “Mr. Smith.”  After hearing about this, Ms. Jones said, “Mr. Smith will soon find out that you don’t walk on water.”  When I mentioned this remark to the HR manager, she said the glowing reviews in my personnel file create the impression that I can do anything. I asked if these comments could be removed to avoid misleading people, but she said no. Now I’m worried about disappointing Mr. Smith and losing another job. How can I lower his expectations?” — JPK

Marie’s Answer:
This is definitely a first. I’ve never heard anyone complain about a positive personnel record. Instead of trying to erase your past accomplishments, consider the following suggestions:

•    Don’t doubt your abilities just because you couldn’t please Ms. Jones. Your track record shows that her reaction was an anomaly, so forget about her and focus on the future. 

•    To succeed with Mr. Smith, you must clearly understand his view of the job. Ask how he defines “success” for you, and then agree on specific goals and priorities.

•    If you feel ill-prepared for any aspect of this new role, identify the knowledge or skills that you lack. Then agree with your boss on a development plan and meet regularly to assess progress.

Although the unfortunate encounter with Ms. Jones has temporarily shaken your self-confidence, a few successes should quickly bring it back. For more Office Coach suggestions on boss communication, see 10 Helpful Things to Say to Your Boss.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: