How to Become Independent in the Workplace

How to Become Independent in the Workplace
Challenges in the workplace, every supervisor has them. The 80/20 rule is alive and thriving in many workplaces. What is the 80/20 rule? More of a reality then a rule, 80/20 is the premise that a supervisor spends 80 percent of their time, focusing on 20 percent of their staff – usually not in a good way. Are you one of the challenging employees requiring a manager to spend 80 percent of thier time negatively focused in your direction?

The fact that a supervisor spends most of their day, correcting your performance and showing you how to complete simple tasks is not a good situation to be in. Whether the issue is lack of training, lack of confidence or whatever may be the reason, it is time to raise your performance bar. You can go from supervisor dependency to star status independence at work by identifying the issues holding you back.

There are many indicators of supervisor dependency including an inability to function without the presence of a supervisor; the constant need to have work verified; constantly making errors or lack of self confidence in decision making. These indicators often require a dependency on the supervisor well beyond when position tenure and expectations dictate otherwise. The question then becomes how does one move from dependency to independency within the work place?

The first step is to determine whether or not supervisory dependency is truly the case. Are you able to perform work accurately when the supervisor is out of the office? If this is the case, self-confidence is usually the problem. If you feel the reason is supervisor micro-management, note the work you are able to perform while the supervisor is not in the office. It’s the same work you are able to perform when they are present. If completing the work is not an issue when the supervisor is gone, you need a boost to your self-confidence with the understanding that you are fully capable of completing the work.

If you truly do not understand the work, it may be a lack of training. What areas do you feel are lacking in your knowledge base? Does the organization provide any type of training? If not, work with your supervisor to get the training you need to perform your job. Many skills, both hard and soft can be taught. Lack of knowledge will only go so far when it comes to performance. Lack of knowledge causes dependency; training is the first step towards independence.

Keep in mind a supervisor who is not willing to work with you, is feeding in to your need for dependency. The responsibility, however, to make sure you get the training you need to perform your job is your's. Managers are not mind-readers, unless you make glaring errors, they don’t know what you don’t know. The ability to perform your job and not spend the majority of your day taking up your supervisor’s time, is the big step towards career success and work place independence.

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