The above image is what a critique should be, but as most of us know, in the office many critiques don’t meet those objectives.
Liz Strauss said in her recent blog post on 27 Things to Know Before You Work in Social Media, “You’ll be critiqued by people who don’t know how to say things nicely” and “You’ll be critiqued by people who don’t know what they’re talking about.” I highly recommend reading her post even if you aren’t planning to work in Social Media.
To the list she compiled, I would add, you may also be critiqued and evaluated by a supervisor who can’t make up their mind or explain what they want.
If you learn only three lessons before you graduate, learn these: Your boss likely won’t separate you from your work, your good days from your bad and most (not all, but most) managers have little real leadership skills and to compensate lead by intimidation.
Critiques are hard to take. People can be harsh, but if that’s your supervisor’s style, find a way to deal with it or find another position.
Most recent graduates are at the bottom of the totem pole. Some will be used as scapegoats for their bosses mistakes, some will land in a great position with a supportive boss who expects you to learn from your mistakes.
There’s a difference between having a harsh boss and a bad job, but if you can’t separate the two, get out. Call it learning experience and insight into the kind of supervisor and company you work best with.