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Anyone work in a system where your work product is consistently graded?  And do you face anxiety related to it?  Or have any tricks for not facing anxiety related to it?

I work in a system where every piece of work product is given a score ranging from 1 (way below expectations) to 3 (meets expectations) to 5 (really exceeds expectations).  I've been getting 3s and 4s, which is great.  My supervisor seems to understand that things will take more effort when new and that you don't expect work product from a newby to be that of someone who has been there for four years.

Despite doing well so far, I have horrible performance anxiety.  I just dread the thought that I'm going to get a 2.  I have a colleague who has reassured me that I won't.  But I have a hard time accepting that. 

My therapist essentially approaches it from an exposure perspective--the more I do it, in theory, the less the anxiety I'll feel.  I'm curious if anyone else has alternative approaches?

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Actually, yes, being an artist, my work *is* constantly graded, although on a different scale. There’s the first and foremost, acceptance or rejection, then being judged by another in the same field but with a more established and successful career (so kind of in essence, a higher level peer?). And then there’s the ultimate judging by patrons of whether they’ll buy your work. Having each piece critically reviewed can be nerve wracking, and I am glad that I don’t have to physically face the people who make such decisions, but getting feedback is valuable. 

That said, I do believe very much that the more exposure you have, the more you can learn from what is working, and what is not, and feel more confident about doing a job that is graded higher. The newbie vs experienced makes a ton of sense. And knowing your work will be graded should hopefully give you the proverbial thicker skin for times when you receive less than stellar marks. 

I do still get anxious when waiting for notifications, but it doesn’t eat me up as much as it did in the beginning. For me at least, the trick is to immediately move on to the next project, and stay busy. 

Not sure if any of that is helpful or applicable.

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12 hours ago, dancesintherain said:

Anyone work in a system where your work product is consistently graded?  And do you face anxiety related to it?  Or have any tricks for not facing anxiety related to it?

I work in a system where every piece of work product is given a score ranging from 1 (way below expectations) to 3 (meets expectations) to 5 (really exceeds expectations).  I've been getting 3s and 4s, which is great.  My supervisor seems to understand that things will take more effort when new and that you don't expect work product from a newby to be that of someone who has been there for four years.

Despite doing well so far, I have horrible performance anxiety.  I just dread the thought that I'm going to get a 2.  I have a colleague who has reassured me that I won't.  But I have a hard time accepting that. 

My therapist essentially approaches it from an exposure perspective--the more I do it, in theory, the less the anxiety I'll feel.  I'm curious if anyone else has alternative approaches?

Unfortunately, I suffer from extreme performance anxiety on the job,  regardless. It really hinders me. I'm self-critical with high expectations for myself.

It gets worse depending on the level of work, complexity and the people that are evaluating me (i.e. peer versus manager or high-level person). Also, it gets really bad when I don't receive positive or encouraging feedback (like some people only "pick" at you, I'm sensitive and hate dealing with those types that have nothing good to say).

I was only scored at one job years ago, I always had near perfect scores. It was a mindless call center job where we literally just had to be overly-accommodating, friendly, sympathetic listeners to people with complaints all day. At the beginning of my shift I would pray that I didn't get any verbally abusive clients. We often read from scripts. So draining. By the end of the day I literally felt like a robot, some jobs require "metal skin"

Edited by Blahblah
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thank you both.  Rabbit, it helps to know that time and experience/exposure can help.  I try not to agonize over it and move on, but it is still there in the back of my mind. 

Blahblah, I'm sorry to hear you're dealing with it also.  I'm fortunate to not have people who are always negative--my supervisor at my last job was exactly like that--nothing was good enough.  I didn't expect to be told I was perfect, but it would have been nice to get a comment or two among the "feedback."

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I don't get much feedback at my new job, and I wish I did.  I already have a new boss (restructuring, my old boss is now my new boss's boss) and I got some great feedback from him which helped.  But I'm left wondering and it's a super long probation period (per CBA) which is stressful.  

I do think your therapist is right.  As long as the work environment stays supportive.  Having left an extremely dysfunctional, toxic workplace in August I know that even if you're getting good feedback WHAT NEXT is stressful.  

I wonder if having been recently at a very negative workplace is feeding into your anxiety at your current job?

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