Your endured a traumatic episode without a job for months. I had, on a smaller scale, traumatic experiences under managers who don’t appreciate my effort and demanded improvement in performance. I felt like
I now believe these traumatic experiences shape an individual’s outlook, to put it mildly. In each individual’s career, there’s only one (or two) defining experience. These singular experiences tend to leave a long and deep scar in our psyche.
In my career, the biggest pain is not job loss. In fact, as I said last time, in hind sight my job loss was a positive turning point. My biggest pains were always negative performance reviews. I’m so scared and scarred that I now assign a disproportionate value to manager’s assessment, and basically ignore
other people’s assessment, and ignore the level of difficulty of my role. What I ignore are crucial factors. Ignoring them is an irrational decision and leads to distorted perception of myself relative to coworkers.
I developed naive, knee-jerk reactions that as soon as I get a negative assessment from manager, such as a low bonus, I immediately see myself as damaged goods, of inferior quality and incompetent, when in reality the
role expectation could be wholly unsuitable for me. Imagine you are expected to give salesy presentations to upper management and you are seen as not persuasive not technical enough.
I’m petrified by (extremely scared of) performance appraisals and bonus numbers. This is similar to my mom’s overreaction to random strangers saying “Are you above 80?”.