I’ve been wanting to talk about the issue of handling criticism for a while now. I get asked about it a lot by the law students I mentor and via instagram message by other young professionals who follow along with LegalLee Blonde.
Criticism is inevitable in any profession – you cannot please everyone – and part of the key to personal and professional growth is dealing with it in a healthy way. Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on how to handle criticism.
Wondering why a “real talk” category post on handling criticism has photos me in a tutu? It’s actually for a very good reason…
These photos are from a blog post I did way back when I started blogging in 2015. I was really new to blogging when I shared these and so was getting maybe 50 page views a day here on LegalLee Blonde. Then one day my page views started escalating. I got 100 views, then 200, then 1000. I was really confused and checked analytics to see where these views were coming from. They were coming from a lil old website you may have heard of … GOMI. GOMI, or the longer “get-off-my-internets”, is a notoriously hateful internet blog where people go to criticize and hate on bloggers or other public people.
A now deleted GOMI thread shared one of these tutu photos with a link to the post talking about what a bratty airhead I must be. In the pages and pages of comment responses people said things like;
– she should quit her legal career because no one will ever hire her;
– she’s fat and poses like an absolute idiot;
– what a f**king moron; another blonde idiot thinking she’s a “blogger”
– who would ever wear that?! She has no sense of fashion
It hurt guys. (A lot). I cried ( … A lot). Let’s call this “career criticism 1”.
Flash forward to this year. I recently had a meeting with a very well respected, incredibly brilliant lawyer who is a mentor of mine. She had some real hard truths to share with me. She talked about the fact that I have now built up a good reputation as a smart, hard-working lawyer. I’ve had some substantial wins in my criminal cases and no longer need to worry about not being taken seriously. However, she shared with me some criticisms that other lawyers had shared with her about me; that I am not friendly/personable enough in Court and that I can come off as being too busy or dismissing opportunities. This was really hard to hear, but absolutely worth it. Let’s call this “career criticism 2”.
How I felt initially after both these critiques was the same; crappy. And le’s be honest, that’s the standard reaction to criticism. But, how I internalized them and decided to deal with them was entirely different. Criticism can be valid and helpful and make you better if it comes from the right people and you are open to the change. My more recent career criticism I took to the very end of this 7 step process below. The first though, the mean internet trolls? Yeah, that stops at step 1! Here’s my thought process on what to do when you’ve first had a piece of criticism:
7 steps to how I handle criticism. I hope this helps you in navigating the difficult world of criticism in your career, whatever it may be. It’s a tough process but it’s so worth to helping you grow.
Thanks for reading today’s Real Talk post. If you want more real talk; check out the “Real Talk” tab in my blog header. And back to fashion for a moment – I still love this outfit – bring on the tulle and polka dots any day!
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