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Why being incompetent at your job is sometimes ok (and 7 tips to improve)

By December 3, 2020No Comments
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To most people, being incompetent at your job is a bad thing, it leads to inefficiencies as others have to pick up your slack. However, as long as you’re doing all you can to learn and add value, being incompetent simply means you’re growing and challenging yourself. No one starts out an expert, it’s a journey, and the acceptance of imperfection (both by employees and employers) allows for self-improvement, development and stronger engagement in the workplace.

So whether you’re an individual, or a forward-thinking business looking to know how to encourage growth, adaptability and engagement in your workforce, here’s 7 ways to go from incompetent to indispensable.

1. Other people will know more, and that’s a good thing

Through your life, you will meet many different people. These people all will have a different life story to tell. Many will be older, wiser, better educated or more experienced. Accept that throughout your life you will meet these people who will know better about certain subjects than you do, and know that this is an opportunity to learn, listen and empower yourself with wisdom.

2. Ask for help

The fear of failure can be a debilitating mindset, which has seen many people curtail potentially fulfilling careers. Remember that one person cannot defeat an army. To ask for help, whether assistance or advice, leads to better understanding with you and within the business that you’re part of. There is no shame into asking for help, quite the opposite, it’s a sign of strength and ambition.

3. Acknowledge failure

You will fail. You will fall. And it’s a good thing, because it’s where the greatest lessons are. The insight you gain from failure leads to improvement and progression. The key is understanding why you failed…

4. Learn from your failure

If an employee or employer does not learn from their failures, then the business will fail long-term. Companies that own, embrace and learn from errors, will see benefits for all stakeholders. And individuals that analyse their mistakes and adapt, will become leaders.

5. Utilise the resources around you

In order to better yourself in your field, you need to work smart, not hard. Be aware of the resources available to you: people, courses, books, videos. Set aside time to refresh and recharge your ideas once in a while, working is not always learning, you need to make time for it.

6. You are the master of your own destiny

Knowing that you can always improve your own knowledge brings a sense of control and confidence. Only you alone can put a limit on the improvement that you’re capable of, if you aspire to be a person in say three years time, be that person now, live and learn as they would and you’ll accelerate your outcomes.

7. Help teach others

So, you’ve learned some new things you’ve read, listened and evolved to increase your competence and value. Now teach and share your knowledge, experience and resource with others. Tell others of your failures so that they may avoid them and achieve success sooner, explain how you have learned from your mistakes. If you have asked for help, then show others who gave it.

Follow these steps and you will transform your ability and output. And when you see a colleague that seems incompetent, look for the eagerness to learn and support it, so that everyone wins. Hungry for more, check out our other career tips and advice articles.

Daniel Wood

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