, , ,

5 Steps to Help You Handle Criticism at Work

If you are like me and many others, you know how difficult it is to deal with criticism, whether in a private setting or in a larger group, for example at the workplace or an interview. Unfortunately, we often react negatively when it comes to both unjustified criticism as well as to constructive criticism that might be appropriate and might actually be helpful to us, make us aware of weaknesses or help us improve our skills. And yet it is difficult for us to deal with the emotions that any type of negative feedback can evoke. We feel uncomfortable, the heart begins to race and we automatically take a defensive position. Sometimes we may even get caught up and the criticism is translated as an attack that may lead to a counterattack on our part, instead of dealing with the criticism appropriately.


Is it possible to learn to accept tough criticism at work without taking it personally? We believe it’s a skill worth developing. Here are five healthy ways to deal with criticism at work or after an interview that will help take your career to the next level.


  1. Suppress Your First Reaction

It is best not to respond at the first sign of criticism. There is a scientific reason for that. Your brain may need a second to absorb and process the situation so that you can react to it accordingly. This first reaction that comes up is usually not always the best. Crossed arms, a dismissive expression, a snippy reply. You almost automatically go into a defensive stance. You should stop this first reaction and try to stay calm and  aware.


  1. Remember the Benefits of Criticism

By not responding negatively, you have signaled to your counterpart that you are open to criticism. You should spend the next few seconds consciously reminding yourself of the benefits of criticism. Good criticism is not simply thrown in your face. Constructive criticism helps you improve your skills and the quality of your work. Meaningful criticism will never make you feel like everything you’re doing is wrong. Criticism should always come across as a guidance that there is simply still room for improvement. It is also important that you separate the criticism from the person giving you feedback. It doesn’t have to come from your favorite colleague or mentor to be useful. 


  1. Listen Carefully to Understand

To avoid misunderstandings, listen carefully to understand exactly what the other person’s criticism is about. This includes giving him/her the opportunity to fully express their thoughts without interruptions. When the person is done, repeat what they told you and let them know that you want to be absolutely sure you understand what they said. Try to refrain from analyzing what you have heard or questioning it straight away. It is not only difficult to accept constructive criticism – it is also sometimes difficult to express it. The other person may not be able to find the right words or be nervous, so sometimes misunderstandings may happen. That is the reason why you should rather ask – instead of answering your counterpart by interpreting what they said.


  1. Say Thank You

This may be difficult for you, but you should definitely thank them for the feedback. A thank you does not automatically mean that you agree with their point of view, it shows respect for the person who took the time to give you feedback. When you say thank you, don’t overdo it: You don’t have to be overly apologetic when you thank them. Acknowledge their feedback and maintain a sincere attitude. This will ensure you show up with confidence even in a difficult situation. 


  1. See Criticism as Help

Remember that all constructive feedback (including negative feedback) is a sign of interest and a sign that people want to help you do better. It would be far worse for people to notice you doing bad work and not say a word. Now is the time to look into the feedback. Even if you don’t agree with every part of the feedback, don’t get caught up in the discussion. Acknowledge the parts that you can agree on and try to work on solutions. Ask for specific examples so that you can understand the other person’s point of view. It is always wise to also ask for suggestions and ideas in order to be able to approach the matter differently in the future.


Constructive criticism is a great way to identify and work on your own weaknesses. If you immediately take a defensive position, you may lose important feedback that could help you. 

The way we deal with negative feedback can either harm our career or accelerate it. Contact us and allow us to coach you through your next career step and offer you valuable feedback that will help you excel and stand out. 


Email: LynseyBrennan@esginc.com 


, , ,

How Recruiters Can Help With Your IT Job Search

Recruiters can simplify the job search in the IT industry, because the search for a new job can often be a complex matter for IT experts. When you’re looking for a new job it is not just about finding the right employer. It also entails tasks such as preparing your detailed application, many phone calls, interviews, and salary negotiations that need to be mastered.

Even after going through all of this, as an IT job seeker, you still cannot be sure that you know enough about the future company and the position you are aiming for to make it a successful and long-term satisfactory decision. The entire job search in IT can be much more efficient, targeted and effective if you work with a recruiter. Here are 5 reasons how recruiters can simplify the job search especially within the IT industry.

  1. Create better applications

Applicants usually go to great lengths to prepare suitable application documents. However, a good recruiter can be very helpful here because they often know the corporate culture and the people with whom the future employee will work – at least at management level.

Therefore, recruiters can constructively support the applicant in tailoring their application documents precisely to these parameters. This then can result in an application that does justice to the applicant and provides the company with exactly the information it needs to make an informed decision.

  1. Find the right position with a recruiter on your side

The IT industry is very specialized. A recruiter can often help in determining the growth opportunities within the company the applicant is looking to apply at. Recruiters usually have a wealth of information that goes beyond the details of a requirement because they worked with the companies and their hiring managers for many years and are very familiar with their environment and their needs. 

  1. Shorten the application process

The application process in the IT industry is sometimes complicated and requires many rounds of interviews, especially for managerial roles. The various steps in the application process can be much more coordinated and efficient by working with a recruiter. Recruiters have already pre-screened applicants and have a more detailed picture of the person. They can now pass this knowledge on to the companies and represent the applicant’s interests at the same time. 

The potential candidates therefore always benefit from the services of a recruiter, because of the relationship and trust between the recruiter and the company. Of course, the company will always want to get their own idea of what the applicant is like, nevertheless, it should be noted that those who have been selected and recommended by a recruiter will always find themselves much more supported during the hiring process.

  1. Negotiating optimal conditions

For IT experts, many factors play a role when it comes to committing to a job. The financial compensation is important, but sometimes not the decisive criterion. Important aspects are the work environment and interpersonal relationships, but also perspectives for further professional opportunities.

Applicants can confidently discuss salary issues with a recruiter without fear of putting themselves in a bad light because of excessive demands. The applicants can speak openly and immediately receive feedback from the recruiter as to whether certain ideas are unrealistic. A recruiter mediates between both sides by also taking into consideration how the overall market looks like for the specific role.  

  1. The job search can be more discreet with a recruiter on your side

When IT professionals are in the middle of an established career, the thought of looking for a new position with better opportunities is a little daunting at first. At all costs you want to avoid revealing your efforts so as not to endanger your current position.

In these types of situations, recruiters do a very good job working discreetly by being able to forward resumes to the company anonymously at the request of the applicant. In this way, the new employer learns everything important about a potential employee – except their identity. 


There are many more reasons why it can be very beneficial to work with a recruiter. It will save you valuable time during your job search, expose you to a much larger network than your own, and allow you to get access to a lot more job opportunities out there. Most importantly, it is always in the recruiters interest to see you land a great job.   

Are you looking for the right IT job? Visit our job search page for many current opportunities. With us you will find your dream employer! Contact us to get a personalized consultation by our experienced recruiters that offer valuable guidance for IT professionals no matter what stage in the job search they are.