The information technology market may be overwhelmingly a candidate’s market, but that doesn’t mean IT professionals aren’t still subjected to criticism from their IT managers. Dealing with constructive criticism is fact of life in IT jobs, but it doesn’t have to be a necessary evil. If IT contractors can approach constructive criticism the right way, it will make the experience positive and make them even more attractive to IT headhunters and their IT staffing firms in the future. Here are a few important principles to follow:
1. Listen—don’t pretend to listen while formulating your own responses and refutations.
2. Make it clear by your body language and responses that you’re open and appreciative of feedback. Saying out loud ‘Thank you for bringing that to my attention’ could be a game-changer.
3. Stay calm. If you consider constructive feedback as exactly that—constructive—you will bring a positive outlook to your supervisor and anybody else who is involved in or overhears the conversation. If you approach the feedback as a moment to grow, rather than a sign that your job is doomed or you are being unfairly attacked, everyone else will start to perceive you as flexible and full of potential. These are great qualities to have, and they are just the beginning of what you can gain from positively receiving constructive feedback.
Information technology recently saw one of its most egregious infractions of employee behavior when digital video content company IT professionals made sure an ‘I quit’ video went viral. Even though IT contractors might find that their resumes are in high demand they’re getting calls from IT headhunters constantly, quitting in a blaze is still a terrible idea.
This is a particularly bad idea when technical recruiters and IT managers can easily find your ‘I quit’ video, or at least references to it, with a quick google search. Millennials are comfortable with living a life that is, if not constantly in public, at least publicly searchable. They are probably too comfortable with this idea. IT recruiting companies would strongly encourage that nobody try what Marina Shifrin did at home…or at work. Even though it seemed clever and will probably result in a plum job for her, most IT consultants should avoid making their unprofessional behavior so public. IT staffing firms and hiring managers might not always find it funny or entertaining.
Like every other field, the information technology field is attempting to divine whether it will suffer in the wake of the government shutdown. Of course, IT professionals have a lot of reservations about talking about a topic like this at their IT jobs. It’s a deeply uncomfortable thing to discuss with coworkers, never mind the fact that IT recruiters Boston to IT recruiters CA would vehemently state that IT contractors avoid such discussions with their coworkers or IT managers.
So what is the best way for IT consultants to deal with conversations, like one about the government shutdown, that could be veritable minefields in the office? There are two routes to take. The most obvious, of course, is to simply not participate. Finding some way to leave the conversation (hopefully in a way that feels organic, and not abrupt), is probably most common. The second route is to take a page from Megan Garber’s observations in today’s version of The Atlantic, and find the elements that are not politically, racially, religiously, economically, etc- charged. Like the panda-cam that has been shut off due the government shutdown. Find the universally agreeable element, and stick to that like pandas to a bamboo tree.