4 signs you might be underperforming

4 signs you might be underperforming

Wednesday December 07, 2016,

3 min Read

Underperformance at the workplace can be very detrimental to one’s career because performance is the pivot around which everything from your work ethics to your reputation swings. There can be various reasons as to why one might earn the ‘underperformer’ label, the major cause being stress and burnout or simply lack of effort. But the real struggle is when you see yourself working around the clock only to fall short of your aims and goals.


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This is not something completely alien to working professionals, since many a time, they feel like their hard work just isn’t paying off. Here are four signs that you might be underperforming at your workplace even though you may be working very hard.

No one gives you real responsibility

It’s okay to miss a couple of projects once in a while, it happens with every employee. But if you find yourself being left out of assignments and projects consistently, then it becomes a point of concern. It simply means that your peers or your bosses do not deem you to be competent enough to follow through.

Perhaps a past mistake on your part has made people doubt your ability to handle important work, even though you might be literally quivering for it. Work harder to identify such mistakes and restore that lost faith.

Problems in articulation of goals

Goals are something that one constantly strives to achieve. They help a person improve and grow and are particularly important in your professional life. If you have failed to realise them or articulate them in a cohesive manner, be sure that you are an underperformer.

You may be pushing the hours with almost no free time on your hands, but this doesn’t matter if your efforts fail to translate into results. If you do not know your goals, you do not know where you want to see yourself.

Write down your goals in concrete manner and try to work towards them in order to achieve the desired level of growth and efficiency.

Making excuses

Do you often find yourself making excuses whenever you’re handed responsibilities? Giving fair excuses in case of emergencies is acceptable, but if you start making up stories whenever responsibilities are handed over to you, it’s a tell-tale sign that you might be underperforming.

So the next time you find yourself making up an excuse, take a mental note to judge whether it is legitimate or not.

Lack of focus

Lack of focus can occur due to burnout or exhaustion. It is generally experienced when one gets bogged down by pressures in the workplace and hence, cannot function to the fullest possible capacity. This makes them become less productive and, in turn, an underperformer.

The solution to this is to take a lot of short breaks in between work to gather the focus back to problems that need to be addressed.

As mentioned earlier, underperformance can really be a curse, and every professional must guard against it at any cost. However, it is up to them alone to identify and rectify their shortcomings.