Opinion: At work, constructive criticism and respect mean more to me than being liked

Martinez is a student at San Diego State University majoring in journalism. She lives in Chula Vista.

I remember being confused in grade school when I heard a classmate say to me, “You’re someone people absolutely hate or adore.”

Now that I’m in college, I not only realize what those words mean, but also that when it comes to manpower, I don’t really care if anyone likes me or not. To work well under pressure, I simply demand respect.

In the process of building who I want to be, I discovered how far from perfect I am.

So when I’m around colleagues, especially in the journalism industry, where so many colorful personalities mix, I don’t expect instant affection or admiration.

For the past four months, I’ve been an intern at Univision San Diego. I took comfort in the days when I walked into the newsroom. All the buzz from the rest of the world faded away as I focused on the click of the keys and the news in front of me.

Nothing mattered then, including my misfortunes. Whatever problems I faced on the way to the office moved to the back of my mind as I focused on the first task of the workday. My supervisors didn’t coddle me when I made a mistake, but corrected it immediately. I hoped that their confidence in my ability to take criticism showed them that I took my job seriously.

According to the National Association of Postal Supervisors, “Being genuine and sincere in your interaction with others is a wonderful way to make others feel valued.” But what do you do when your sincere view of someone is that you just don’t get along or have different ethics?

Although positivity in a work environment can create more productivity in employees, I don’t need my colleagues to like me. What I expect from them is respect. What I have to learn from my colleagues is invaluable when that respect is there. It seems that providing learning opportunities encourages employees to be more effective in their roles, according to the University of Ottawa.

I also learned that being in a professional news environment is different from a classroom or a college newspaper. I spent a few years writing for San Diego State University’s independent student newspaper, The Daily Aztec, and I have to admit that I enjoyed receiving constructive criticism.

At the college newspaper, my colleagues often provided positive affirmations, but I felt most satisfied when they shared advice on how best to run an interview or how to overcome emotional turmoil while looking for a job. sensitive subject. I liked being caught up in the details that some would find boring. As I now reflect on my time there, I remember that I worked best when I felt challenged. This is a good thing considering that the range of stories that we journalists have to tell expands over time. Challenge inspires change.

There was barely time for jokes, but the truth is I don’t always need it. I felt respected whenever I was told a story first or trusted to cover an event. I felt respected every time I was reminded that I was also entitled to a break, as my co-workers wanted to make sure I didn’t burn out.

Empty words of encouragement didn’t make me work harder. I preferred times when an editor answered my call and helped me be better at my job.

At all times, I knew I could take on challenges when covering an event, because not everyone wants to talk to reporters. Sometimes people are suspicious of the media, but what made me write was not the promise of an award or a title, although, yes, it feels good to receive them.

Who I am to others matters less to me than who I am to them.

For example, I love listening to the stories people want to tell me about themselves, their communities, and what’s going on in their daily lives. I consider myself a listener for storytellers.

Sometimes I see myself as a reader, and sometimes I am the pen. For an editor, I try to be a hard-working journalist. I try to show them respect by valuing their time and accepting the constructive criticism they provide.

For some bosses, I will simply be an employee. I don’t care if they think I’m the friendliest employee they’ve ever had. However, I care about the work that I do and that I fulfill everything that is asked of me.

If my employer expects my best work, I don’t need his fake kindness, but rather his honest criticism. I care less about the pat on the back than how long he took to answer my call because he knew it must be important.

For me, it’s respectful because it shows that he believes in my desire to be better. And, ultimately, that’s what we all want, isn’t it?

About Erin Redding

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