It can be exhausting. Whether it be from colleagues, parents, clients, teachers, etc etc; it’s important to be able to take it and not let it get you down or get in your way.
I’m a bit of a sensitive person, I take offense to the slightest raised voice or blunt tone, and I can go right back in to my shell if I think someone is annoyed at me. I’ve always done things to the best of my ability, managed to do well in both school and college; therefore I was lucky that I received praise often.
University is a different kettle of fish, where you’re not surrounded by people who don’t care. You’re competing/learning/working with people who have the same interests as you, are of the same intelligence and ultimately may be better than you at certain things.
Again, working full time can throw a sensitive person in to even deeper waters. In the advertising/marketing/design industry, there are going to be some bold characters. Working in a creative environment means that a lot of work is interpretation, and not everyone’s is going to be the same. Learning how to take all of this in and come out of the other side better for it is vital.
- Don’t take it personally. Criticism is needed. If no one ever gave it, everyone would be walking around being right about everything; and that wouldn’t work. If your colleague doesn’t like your copy, it isn’t because you wrote it; it’s because the writing itself isn’t hitting the spot.
- Ask for feedback. Do what you can with criticism – improve. Whatever it may be, whether it’s a photo you have taken, the way you are managing a project, an essay you have written or even a cake you have baked. Ask why, what, how, so that next time, you can do better.
- Does it really matter? Despite constructive criticism being important, moaning isn’t. Ask yourself if the person giving the criticism is someone who is in a position to do so. If not, sack it off and don’t worry about it. If they are, do something about it.
- Keep going. If someone is getting under your skin with the amount of bad things they have to say about your work, it can be easy to give up with the attitude of ‘if I can’t do anything right, I’ll do nothing’. Don’t let that happen. Be proud of any work that you’ve done – if you know it was to your highest standard; believe that it is despite what someone might say about it. If you know you could do better, then do better.
- Believe in yourself. It’s cliché, I know. However it really does help if you know yourself whether criticism is helping you or not. Sometimes it is, and you can learn to take it on the chin and do better next time. Sometimes it’s not, and someone may be in a bad mood and taking it out on you. This is when you have to let it go over your head.
When given in the right way, and received in the right way, criticism can be good. It can make you strive to achieve better, and when you receive the compliments, you’ll know you’ve worked hard for it.