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Where there is progression, there will be criticism. But your reaction to opposition at work can make all the difference in the success you achieve. If you choose to receive it and learn from it, you can move forward in ways you may not have even thought possible. But if you internalize it and take a defensive approach, you can find yourself feeling bitter and stalled.

Here’s how to make criticism positively impact your career:

Pay more attention to details

Having an “amen corner” is the worst thing you can do in the workplace. Sure, we want others to agree — but when we’re wrong, we need to be checked. Entitlement is a setup for failure.

Developing a “goody two-shoes” attitude about your work makes you careless and sloppy over time. When you acknowledge the potential for criticism, you’ll pay more attention to those fine details until you get it right.

Be more open to others’ ideas

Criticism enables you to see another perspective. Not that your way is better or worse, it’s just different.

That one aspect you missed in your work could be the catalyst for a major breakthrough. A closed-minded professional obtains little-to-no advancement opportunities. Money-making ideas are created in brainstorming sessions and two-way conversations. Improve your teamwork and communication skills by actively listening to others. It doesn’t mean you need to become a people pleaser. Just know there are far more ways to solve a problem than tackling it solo.

Achieve personal growth

Accepting criticism as a tool rather than a weapon spawns a level of personal growth that screams leadership. The greatest leaders were laughed at for their outrageous ideas. Rejection has its way of forcing you to self-evaluate. Successful employees will absorb advice and make necessary adjustments in order to reach the next level. The majority of our inner thoughts are negative because we’re our own worst critics. Take control of your mindset and speak life into your ability to overcome barriers by using positive affirmations or self-talks.

Don’t take everything personally

How many times have you gotten defensive when your suggestion was shot down during a meeting? You’re not alone. Understand the rejection is of the suggestion, not you. Don’t jump to conclusions and take things personally. Remember, your idea is on the chopping block, not your worth. Where there’s a recommendation, there will always be advice. Not all advice will be good, but you must make a conscious decision to find a token you can cash out on later.

Much like Erykah Badu, we’re all artists and can be very sensitive about our … “work.” However, reacting negatively to the very criticism that could potentially help your advancement isn’t characteristic of a leader. There is power in always finding the benefits in criticism — good or bad.

Ashley Watkins, of Write Step Resumes, LLC, helps job seekers and career changers write their career dreams into reality one step at a time.  She can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or via for resume help, interview prep, career tips, and motivational quotes.



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